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Make a Silver Branch

© 1995 by D. J. Conway

Some folks who do not care for the sound of the drum prefer to use the musical Silver Branch instead. Similar to the rattle used in other shamanic cultures, the Silver Branch is used as a guide on the journey to the Otherworlds. King Cormac of Ireland received a Silver Branch from an Otherworld stranger and used it to heal his people. As a link between the outer and inner realms, the Silver Branch is a source of inspiration and authority.

To make your own Silver Branch, first select a tree branch 12-16 inches long. Try to get one that has fallen naturally, or use a length of dowel instead. Strip it of bark. If the branch is too smooth, you will want to cut some grooves in the surface so that the bells will not slide off. Once it is ready, paint the branch with silver paint.

For the golden bells, choose 3 bells with a clear, pleasing tone and tie them to the branch, once it has dried.

In legend these bells were called chiming fruit. Three is usually given as the numbers of apples or other items that adorned the Silver Branch. Three was an important number to the Celts in both Ireland and Wales. The Celtic clans held the Triple Goddess in high esteem; the Druids believed in the three rays of Light that created and renewed; Gwion Bach drank three drops from Cerridwen s cauldron.

In Celtic lore the Silver Branch was always given to a mortal by a being from the Otherworld. It became fee emblem of the PoetBards of Ireland and Wales.

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