13 Ballyfey Tales - The Winter Festival

Ch3 pt1
The Winter Festival

Four Bramble witches, Alice,Rosheen,Adeen and Sinead arrived at Granny’s house for the New Moon meeting. It was at these meetings that they planned their next Full Moon ritual and as this was the thirteenth moon, the last one of the year, it was felt to be a special occasion.

Granny said “I have had a suggestion from Robur (Grandpa Druid) which I want you all to consider. He thought that perhaps Sheersha, Goban and Ciaran might like to join the Bramble Coven? I am leaving the decision up to you four.”

Adeen replied “Sheersha is very capable but she considers herself to be a Lone Witch,so am not sure whether she will want to give up her independence”

Alice said “It would be good to have Sheersha with us though”

Sinead added “I have no objection to her joining us, Rosheen, what do you think ?”

“ Can I be the one who asks her or shall we go as a group ?”
Asked Rosheen.

“Oh I think that we can trust you Rosheen” said Adeen with a smile.

“Right that’s settled then” said Granny “Now what about the two lads, how do you feel about them?”

The group were silent for a few minutes. This was not unknown as they often sat quietly, pondering, when something new was to be decided upon.

“H’m I think that if we do admit them they will need some training and who among us is going to do that ?” asked Rosheen

Sinead said “I’m all for them joining us and not just for the jewellery that we might get from them!”

A big grin went across all of their faces at the mention of jewellery.

“Oh! That never even crossed my mind” said Granny with a wink.

“That’s a wonder!” said Alice and Adeen. All five started laughing, for each of them had their own special jewels.

“Lets be serious for a while”  said Sinead “For we have never had men in the group before and there are times when we might not want the men present.”

 “Mmm, a different dynamic altogether.” mused Adeen.
“Well suppose we admit them just for training as Male Witches and when trained they can then form their own coven?“
All present nodded in agreement with this plan.

Granny said “In that case let us not mention any of this to the lads and keep this to ourselves for the time being.
Rosheen please go and see Seersha and pass on our invitation.”

Many other topics were discussed amongst the women, including the time and date of the Full Moon and who would do what.

A few days later Rosheen went to visit Seersha in her Craft Shoppe and asked her if she would like to join Brambles Coven.

“Thank you for the invitation, which I truly appreciate. I am, as you know a Lone Witch, however there are times when it would be good to work magic with other women.
So my answer is this. Would the group permit me to only work with them a few times each year? Perhaps at the Imbolc and Bealtaine full moons?” asked Seersha.

“I’m sure that can be arranged” said Rosheen “And by the way have you ever trained any male witches ?”

“Why, yes of course, my last coven was a mixed one before I moved to Ballyfey. It’s no insult to you but I prefer the dynamic of a mixed coven” said Seersha.

Rosheen called an extra special meeting of the coven and explained all that she had learnt from Seersha.

“Well good for you, Rosheen, you have got us out of a sticky situation there and brought Seersha to us for two or three of our moon rituals.” said Granny, which they all agreed was the best outcome.

Rosin made contact with Seersha again and suggested that she might like to take Goban and Ciaran under her wing and train them both. The two women later made their way to the
metal-smiths’ home where they explained the idea to the brothers. They both readily agreed that a coven would be the right place for them.
“You probably don’t know this but it is on the New and Full Moons that we get our best inspiration.” said Goban.

Rosheen returned to Brambles whilst Seersha stayed to make arrangements with Goban and Ciaran in regards to their training.

Grandpa Druid told Granny, whilst they were having a breakfast of creamy porridge and cocoa, that he had received a wonderful message via a crow that Ollie’s parents, Snapdragon and Rufus, were taking up the offer to move into and run the Apothecary’s Shop in Ballyfey.

“Oh that’s wonderful news and it means that Ollie will have a proper family-home again without all the expense of travelling to and fro’. What is happening to the present apothecary, Jean-Pierre ?” asked Granny.

“That’s all taken care of. Jean-Pierre has for sometime now wanted to retire to live with his family on the Isle of Gavrinis, off the French coast” said Grandpa.

“Oh very nice!” replied Granny “He will be missed though.
H’mm, is he staying on for awhile to help Snapdragon and Rufus get the hang of running the shop?”

“Yes, he will stay at Seersha’s and train them for a month. Afterwards if they have any major difficulties he can always return on the Gavrinis Stone. Not that I think they will have many problems, for they have been studying herbs and herbal remedies for years” said Grandpa.


Three days later Snapdragon and her husband, Rufus arrived to look at their new home and the shop. They decided to redecorate the living quarters but not the shop as they did want to upset the old apothecary as he had been there for a great many years.

Their wise decision paid off, as the inhabitants of Ballyfey do not like change very much, unless those changes are absolutely necessary. So they were congratulated for leaving the shop exactly as it had always has been, although many of the customers suggested that the treatment room might be freshened up with a few licks of paint.

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