Scottish Witchcraft

These pages are based on a book “Scottish Witchcraft, The History & Magick of the Picts” by Raymond Buckland. Many things were reworded and omitted because of space on the web site. My personal comments are usually in brackets.The Highlands of what is now Scotland were earlier inhabited by people known as the Picts, or Pechts. In fact, this area was then known as “Pictland” and did not become “Scotland” until as late as the eleventh century. A second century Roman geographer, Ptolemy, drew the earliest map of the region. On it he showed four tribes: the Venicones, Tazali, Vacomagi and Caledoni. By the third century these four had become two tribes, the Caledoni and the Maeatae, and by the end of the third century merged as one nation, the Picts.These people have long been a mystery, partly because they spoke a language that is now lost. When the Scots became a dominant force in the welding together of medieval Scotland, it was not in their interests to keep alive any Pictish traditions.

The Scots, incidentally, were immigrants from Ireland who, having come first as raiders, by the fifth century had settled in the under-populated areas of the west. By the seventh century they were virtually masters of the lowlands.

The right of succession to the throne was matrilinear-in other words, reckoned through the mother. This practice was in existence for well over three hundred years, that we know of, and probably much longer.

Most of what was learned about the Picts was through their art. They used powerful animal symbols and geometric forms. Jewelry, metalwork, stone carvings: all show the same highly skilled craftsmanship.
To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Scottish Witchcraft

 

FESTIVALS AND CELEBRATIONS

“The notations of the Celtic year belong to the Christian period, old style. If there are any traces of Pagan times they are only such as are to be gathered from a few names and ceremonies. The four seasons are known as earrach, spring, samhradh, summer, fogharadh, harvest, and geamhradh, winter….There can be no doubt the origins of the names belong to a period anterior to Christianity.” ~John Gregorson Campbell~Indeed earrach is derived from ear, meaning the head or front, also the east. Samhradh is from samh, the sun. Fogharadh is from fogh, meaning hospitality and abundance. Geamhradh is connected to geamhtach, meaning stiff, thick, binding, and thus sees tied-in with the idea of snow and ice.

With the Scottish Quarter Days differing from the English Quarter Days, F. Marian McNeill concludes that “Scotland follows the ancient customs of the Celtic peoples, and England that of non-Celtic peoples of Europe.” The Scottish Quarter Days are as follows: FEBRUARY 2 – CANDLEMAS MAY 15 – WHITSUN or OLD BHEALLTAINN AUGUST 1 – LAMMAS NOVEMBER 11 – MARTINMAS, or OLD HALLOWMAS

The ancient Celtic year started on the eve of November 1. Then in 527 C.E., this was changed and New Year’s Day was declared to be March 25. Almost a thousand years later this was changed again to January 1. In Scotland it wasn’t until 1600 that New Year’s Day was first celebrated on January 1. The PectiWita, in common with many Witches, still celebrate the start of the year at Samhuinn, though their Samhuinn is November 11 rather than November 1.

The calendar, festivals, customs, and celebrations can become very complicated, especially when you start studying the changes that have taken place over the centuries. But the PectiWita celebrated only on those festivals/dates which were important to them. These were: SAMHUINN – NOVEMBER 11 YULE – DECEMBER 22 (Feill Fionnain) BEALLTAINN – MAY 15 MIDSUMMER – JULY 5 (Feill-Sheathain) 

I would like to point out here that there are rituals described for each of these festivals and celebrations, but do to the length and amount of space it would take, I have omitted them. I am sure the “Old Ones” would understand if you read about it and improvised. Make your own rituals. Be creative and keep them in mind.To read this rest of this article please click on this link: Scottish Festivals