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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Underworld



In some Pagan traditions the name of the area, metaphorically under the surface of the earth, where the souls of the recently dead go. In some traditions this is a temporary location followed by a location where the souls may spend more time, either permanently or temporarily in anticipation of reincarnation.


The planets (including the Sun and Moon) are the actors in the astrological drama. They represent ten general categories of energy Ė ten sub-personalities Ė that reflect facets of your personality and ways that you function in the world. Each planet ...
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The Druid's Gem
Pliny the Elder, in his Natural History, mentions the Druids manufacturing an object called the ovum anguinum, or "snakeís egg," which in Gaulish would have been called ouion natracos. In British and Irish tradition it was known as the snakeís gem, ...
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The Realms
According to ancient Celtic beliefs, three main realms co-exist: an Underworld associated with the past, an earthly realm of the middle world associated with manifested reality, and an Upperworld associated with potential reality and all possible ...
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Ostara Ritual
Setup Items needed for this Ostara ritual include: Four green altar candles for the directions; Two lavender or purple altar candles for the Goddess and God; At least one cut flower for each participant in the group ritual. For solo ritual, have a ...
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The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough is a reference to a mystical tree branch in Greco-Roman myth. In an ancient tale the hero Aeneas, on a quest, consults a prophetess who is one of the Sibyl at Cumae. The Sibyl instructs Aeneas to break a branch from a certain tree ...
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Samhain Ritual
Setup Items for this ritual include: Two white candles and four black candles; Four small sprigs of bittersweet; One branch of bittersweet; Strands of black, white and red yarn cut to twelve-inch lengths placed in a basket on the altar; Pomegranate ...
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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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(Arabic tilsam, from Greek tetelesmenon, "that which has been consecrated") In magical lore, an object charged or consecrated with magical energies for the fulfillment of some specific purpose. Talismanic magic has had an important place in Western ...
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The End of Time
Eschatology is the end of time in a religious system. Celtic eschatology is not "linear" but cyclical, like the Hindu and Teutonic cycles of time. The Teutons believed in Ragnorok, which would mark the ending of this age. The world would be ...
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The Sabbats
The Sabbats are a combination of solar and earthly celebrations. The daily cycle of the sun and the seasons of the earth determined the rhythms of activity for our ancestors. They lived close to the land and on an everyday basis observed its subtle ...
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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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