A PLACE OF BELONGING
ere at COFF, we have a bustling, thriving community, and once you enroll in our Mystery School, you will not only become a valued neighbor in our secluded, picturesque village, but you'll also discover that there are myriad places to visit within easy walking distance of your new cottage, all with their own special attributes and purpose.
The MAGICKAL REALM
of the FÉTH FÍADA
Your Journey begins here, at the stout iron Gates standing as sentinels to COFF's Magickal Realm, and thence to the Celtic Otherworlds. Those who dare to venture to these last do so at their own peril, for it is neither a swift Journey, nor an easy one, Quester. But if you accept the challenge, "those who realize their innate virtues on the quest return with supernatural powers, special knowledge or magic gifts." (Juliette Wood, The Celtic Book of Living and Dying)
Even the great and mighty King Arthur didn't travel to the Celtic Otherworlds on his own. Rather, in addition to his fabled knights, Arthur journeyed with his trusted Navigator, Barinthus, who piloted Arthur's stalwart vessel, Prydwen (Fair Face). Here at COFF, we, too, have our own Navigator who advises us on the conditions for travel and assists us with our Journey. So if you need help navigating our Forums, this is the place to get it.
If you're still debating whether to enroll in COFF's Online School of the Mysteries, then take a stroll along the Fisher King's Wharf, which is our Outer Court (Public Forums). There, you can visit the Bubbling Cauldron, the Crane Bag, and the Magickal Net to get a glimpse of the kind of knowledge and activities you'll find in our Magickal Realm. Interact with COFF students and emissaries there, too, and read testimonials.
If you've bought a ticket to board the Swan Boat, congratulations! Here at COFF, it's the only means of transport to the Celtic Otherworlds. It belongs to the secretive Knight of the Swan, whose true name must never be revealed, and who spends his days rescuing beautiful damsels in distress. He is sometimes connected to the poor children of the Sea God Lir, whose wicked wife cast an evil spell upon them, turning them into swans.
Obscured by Manannán mac Lir's magick cloak, the Misted Isle lies somewhere across the great western sea, far beyond the setting sun. Often called the Isle of Apples, Tír na hÓige (Land of Youth), or the Summerland, it's the province of the Well of Knowledge and the Cauldron of the Nine Maidens. Only those Questers who have mastered the secrets of the Féth Fíada know how to journey to its sacred shores.
Built of massive grey stone, high-walled, well-defended, the Castle cleaves to the mountain whence its soaring towers and turrets cut a jagged oblique against the sky. The sweet-scented briar roses of fairy tales surround it. Here, the Magickal Realm's inhabitants gather to glean the latest news, to discourse on, among other things, Celtic Studies and the ways of magick and wisdom, and to celebrate the Living and remember the Dead.
Tucked away in the green hills overlooking a hidden glen lies the Village. Filled with charming cottages, gathering sites, and opportunities to take part in and learn from all kind of activities, the Village is the heart of our Magickal Realm. Every Quester has a home here in which to dwell, create, dream, think, sojourn, and share with his or her neighbors. It's not at all uncommon for fellow villagers to fly by for a spell!
Sooner or later, every single Quester drops by Great Gob's Tavern for a tankard of legendary red ale, a hearty bowl of stew, and a fierce game of chess. Serving for centuries as a local gathering place and waystation for weary travelers, Great Gob's Tavern is one of the oldest buildings on the Misted Isle. It's the place where friends both old and new meet and mingle as they tell tales tall --- and sometimes true --- about their lives' adventures!
Not all who wander are lost.... There are those who call the Wanderers tinkers, gypsies, and travelers, but it's only because of their metalwork and propensity never to put down roots. Keeping to their brightly painted, ornately carved wagons, they're a closed society, speaking an ancient language and inclined to be suspicious of outsiders. Still, when the Moon is full, they can sometimes be persuaded to prophesy one's fortune....
Here in our Magickal Realm, the Mill of Time symbolizes the Great Cosmic Mill that orders the Universe. Within its hallowed walls, we study Cosmic & Night Witchery --- Archaeoastronomy; Astrology and Lunar Astrology (the Mansions of the Moon); Calendars and Time; the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Planets, and Asteroids and Comets; solar and lunar eclipses, the "Nowl" (Nail) of the North and the Celestial Guardians or Watchers.
The Irish Dindsenchas (Lore of Places) speak of more than one Well of Knowledge. But perhaps the best known is surrounded by nine hazel trees, whose nuts of knowledge ripen to drop into the fiery water of the Well, feeding the five salmon that swim within, or only the single Salmon of Wisdom, depending on the tale. Five streams that are the five senses flow from the Well, and all who drink from them gain knowledge and wisdom.
The Celts are credited with having introduced the use of soap for personal hygiene to both the Greeks and the Romans. So it's clear that they grasped not only the concept of purification, but also that of cleanliness, and that they associated both of these with healing. The Healing Waters of our Magickal Realm flow through our Healing Temple complex, where you may seek healing for yourself or others.
Buffeted by strong, chill winds, the Wizard's Tower clings like an eagle to the mist-enshrouded mountain peak whence it rises in solitary splendor to pierce the billowing clouds. Questers bold and stout enough to undertake the arduous trek to the soaring pinnacle upon which it stands will be rewarded by discovering that the ancient tomes yellowed with age and gathering dust in the old Wizard's cluttered library contain a wealth of magick and wisdom.
Not everyone finds their way to the strange and wondrous Enchanted Forest. This ancient, long-shadowed woods has long been associated with fairy tales and rumored to be home to Witches and other mysterious beings and beasts. But who can say for certain if that's true? If you want to follow the serpentine Path that leads through the tall, dark, old, and gnarled trees, you'll need to learn how to practice Fairy-Tale Magick....
The Sacred Grove has long been a holy and much revered place, as it was the custom of some ancient peoples to inter the ashes of their Dead in the trunks of trees forming a grove. There, the tribes' Shamans would go to speak to the Ancestors, whence the idea of "Talking Trees." The trees in COFF's own Sacred Grove relate lessons to the students enrolled in our Mystery School.
Although it's true that the ancient Druids did not build any of the complex Stone Circles or Henges (Hanging Stones) to be found on the Misted Isle and elsewhere, it still seems likely that they might have made good use of them and their observatory powers for tracking the stars, as well as for gathering places to celebrate the Festivals of the Wheel of the Year --- which is primarily what we use our own Stone Circle for here at COFF.
If you aspire to a Leadership position here at COFF, and are granted one, then you will be admitted to the Mount of Higher Powers, which is where all the administration and day-to-day business of running our Mystery School take place. Here at COFF, we work hard to ensure that everything we offer our students operates smoothly and efficiently. You are our top priority! How can we help?
If you leave the Village to wander off in the direction of the "Nowl" of the North, you'll eventually come to COFF's Magickal Academy of Arts & Sciences. This is where all the courses and extensions classes take place here at our Mystery School. Just follow the second star on the right --- and head straight on till morning!
o receive the key to unlock the Gates to our Magickal Realm, enroll now!
We think you'll be glad you did.