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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Folklore


Folklore: Name for the traditional myths, superstitions, stories, and healing techniques of any culture. Sometimes ancient knowledge and spiritual concepts are disguised within this folklore. For example, the famous song “John Barleycorn” describes killing someone by that name, but it is actually about growing barley.


Neo-Druidism Since the 1700s
The last vestiges of the Filídhecht schools were stamped out in the 1600s as Elizabethan English conquered and destroyed most of Ireland’s remaining Gaelic culture. The "plantations" of Ulster, and the extension of the Pale beyond Leinster into ...
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Review of the Shapeshifter Tarot
Summary: A stunning and transformative artistic deck that is good as an additional deck with a focus on major life changes and magickal work including meditation, shapeshifting, and spellwork. However there are some flaws and the differences between ...
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Review of the Celtic Dragon Tarot
Summary: A deck that will appeal to lovers of dragons, especially in a Celtic context. As this deck follows the RWS "standard," it will be usable by beginners and pros looking for an additional deck to add to their collection. A must for lovers of ...
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Review of The Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night
Summary: The theme of vampires lends itself to the shadowy aspects of human experiences. The Tarot, by its nature, sheds light in the darkness. This deck, with its dual nature, helps us explore the darkness, whether within or around us, while ...
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Who Were the Druids?
To mention the word Druid is to evoke images of ancient wizards and wonder-workers from old Irish sagas, Welsh legends, Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Scottish folktales. If you have read about the Druids, you’ve probably retained one of their many images ...
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Celtic Religion
Druidism can be used synonymously with the phrases Celtic religion and Celtic magic. In order to enter into this magico-religious system, a familiarity with mythology is necessary. Celtic mythology is best represented in the Irish Book of Invasions ...
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Gerald Brousseau Gardner
English civil servant, author, occultist, and Witch, 1884-1964. Easily the most important figure in the creation of modern Wicca, Gerald Gardner spent most of his life as an English colonial bureaucrat. Born to a wealthy family in England, near ...
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Druidic Vestments
The appearance of the Druid is known to us from two main sources: Greco-Roman writings and medieval Irish tradition. There is also some evidence from Irish and Scottish folklore. Druids wore white tunics, which in early Ireland ...
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Why Do Runes Have a Bad Reputation?
Runes have always been mysterious and forbidding. The very word "rune" means a secret, a mystery. In popular folklore runes are dangerous, evil, pitiless, and destructive. But how did runes get so wicked a reputation? Part of it can be attributed ...
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In Scottish folklore and modern Pagan practice, a group of Witches. The traditional number of members in a coven is thirteen, and Margaret Murray, whose writings on medieval Witchcraft were a major source for modern Wicca, insisted that this was an ...
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A few years ago, my youngest son was arguing with his friend about the age of Honey, our wild golden retriever. His friend insisted that Honey was five, because the dog had been alive that many years. Said Gabe, "Sometimes Honey is really one, like when he chews our shoes; sometimes he's 89, like when he pretends he's too old to listen when you... read this article
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