A path lined with clues was laid out for us thousands of years ago in Celtic mythology. These clues are woven into our world – into the very elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth that we see and feel around and within us.
In ancient Irish legend the Tuatha De Danaan (the clan of the Goddess Danu), now known as the Sidhe (pronounced Shee) or faery folk, came from four sacred cities bringing four gifts to our world. These gifts provide us with a template of creation and the secrets of Magic. The four gifts are known as the Four Sacred Hallows.
Today the Hallows can be recognized in the Arthurian legends concerning the Holy Grail and in Tarot decks, the images of which can be traced back to the legends of Merlin and beyond. These four sacred objects have become known collectively as the Holy Grail.
The Hallows are feminine, right-brain symbols. They are also represented by the Pythagorean geometrical solids which are masculine, left-brain symbols of the elements in the Hermetic tradition. Many other symbols have sprung from these basic roots, allowing us to penetrate deeper into the mysteries of reality and creation.
The Hallows have never been lost,
yet few now recognize them.
Legends of the Hallows and the Holy Grail abound in Celtic/Arthurian mythology, but the Grail itself remains a mystery. It is represented as a Cup or Cauldron of Plenty in some stories, often in connection with a Spear, but in other stories it is seen as a Stone, sometimes in connection with a Sword.
Even in stories as modern as the Harry Potter series, we find reflections of the original four hallows in the symbols of the houses of Hogwarts: the stone in Slytherin’s ring, Huffelpuff’s cup, and Gryffindore’s sword. And of course in the final book, the Deathly Hallows are represented by the elder wand and the stone from Slytherin’s ring (with the unique addition of an invisibility cloak).
- The mystery of the four Sacred Hallows is a map to understanding who we are and our place in the universe. They can be seen as stepping stones on our path through this world and the Otherworlds.
- The Hallows are keys to using magic in your life; a pathway to order, balance, rhythm, and harmony. They increase access to right-brain consciousness and the Otherworlds, while also grounding us in the reality of physical life on Earth.
- The Hallows are the living elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water with which we can communicate in love and respect. They are not here to serve us, nor are we here to serve them, but we can establish a mutually beneficial relationship with them. They are here to serve Sovereignty, the goddess of the Land.
The Holy Grail is not a “thing” it is the wholeness and balance of all things, as represented by the four elements and four gifts of the faeries. They are represented as follows:
Note: Some traditions associate the Sword with Fire, and the Wand with Air. Multiple and varied streams of oral tradition have led to much confusion about our history and these ancient associations, but magic is a living practice and we are reinventing our traditions as we explore the mysteries.
The only important thing is what works for you. As you walk the magical path, you will naturally discover your own alignment with the symbols, directions and elements. Depending on where you live, that may or may not fit with what you have read or heard. Trust it.
For our present purpose, we will touch on the most commonly accepted associations you may find in modern Celtic magical teachings.
The Stone of Destiny from the Faery City of Falias in the North
Representing the Element of Earth – Imbolc – Pentacle
The Sword of Light from the Faery City of Gorias in the East
Representing the Element of Air – Beltaine – Athame
The Spear of Victory from the Faery City of Finias in the South
Representing the Element of Fire – Lughnasa – Wand
The Cauldron of Plenty from the Faery City of Murias in the West
Representing the Element of Water – Samhain – Cup
The Crossroads – Celtic Cross
Glen of Precious Stones – Center – Balance
Ether – Energy – The Void
By finding balance between all four Hallows, directions, and elements, we stand at the center of the crossroads. We are able to achieve inner harmony and connection with our Creative Source within and without. You can use these symbols in meditation to enhance the creative energy of your magic. Held in balance they are a portal to the Otherworlds.
See also Celtic Holidays and Calendars
Faehallows School of Magic
Director – Bernadette Wulf
Also offering EFT – Matrix Reimprinting – Reiki Attunements & Sessions – Access Consciousness Bars – Magical Life Coaching – Faery Reiki Attunements & Sessions
E-mail Bernadette Wulf
Learn More About Celtic Magic
and the Path of the Faery Hallows
Sign Up for the
Celtic Mystery School
Magical Law of Attraction Foundation Course
Monthly Magic Lessons for a Year and a Day
Includes 12 (monthly) lessons and
up to four E-mail consultations each month!