Family accused of killing a witch in South Africa are sentenced to 102 years in prison. The controversial new President of the Philippines agrees to a ceasefire with communist militants. And religious conservatives declare that "God might not want a woman for President." It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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We call it Lammas or Lunasa, and think of it as marking the commencement of the grain harvest.
And so indeed it does. In Western Minnesota, they're beginning the cutting of the “small grains” even as you read this.
But here in the New World, this was a festival long before the ships from Europe arrived with their sacks of seed wheat and barley.
“Green Corn,” they called it, and among many peoples, it was the greatest feasting of the year.
Maize cultivation came into Northern America from Mexico about 2000 years ago, and spread up along the river valleys. In the Upper Mississippi Valley, where I live, they've kept Green Corn for almost 1000 years now.
Strength may be the most misunderstood of the Goddess’ virtues. She advises us to be strong, but the tricky part is what exactly is strength, and how can it be used appropriately instead of abusively?
“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is by pushing down, the other is pulling up.”...
I didn't realize that I was speaking polytheistically until I'd already said it.
“How it is out there?” asked the clerk, as she rang up my bottle of water and bag of ice.
I shook my head. “They say it's going to get worse.”
Conversations of this banality this go on between strangers in the Midwest every day, especially when it's hot and muggy.
“The word ‘rune’ originates in words meaning ‘secret,’ but ‘rune’ has also come to mean ‘a poem, charm, or spell.’ Runar (from the Norse) means ‘a magical sign,’ and runa (from Old German) is ‘to whisper a secret.’ ‘Hidden,’ ‘magic,’ ‘whispers,’ all words long associated with Faery, the secret country. So when we talk of runes, we are speaking of objects that have multiple meanings, letters both worldly and otherworldly in origin and aspect. Their ‘secrets’ may not reside so much in hidden meanings, but in ways of seeing the world. In this sense, each single rune creates layers of phonetics, poetry, and power built up over time. Runes are intended to endure. They record things that must be remembered or heeded. Runes are letters and words that must not be lost or wasted. They embody and express essential knowledge…”
–Brian Froud, Runes of Elfland
Several years ago I had laryngitis and was completely mute. I woke up in the morning with a crystal clear vision of the earth, suspended in space, feeling awe-struck at the majesty and complexity of this planet whirling through space, part of the vast, unfathomable universe. It seemed so clear to me that I was seeing the “invisible net of incarnation” of which we are all a part, the earth held in this enormous web of the universe. Upon rising for the day, I was thinking about my ideas about divinity and reflecting on my cosmological view of the universe as the “body” of the Goddess and the idea that the very web of life itself is the Goddess. Accompanying the sense of majesty was then a profound sense of impersonality. How can I possibly connect personally with something so vast and so powerful? So, as I sat that morning at my little corner altar in the living room, I asked (silently—I had laryngitis, remember!): “what do I need to know about the personalization of the divine?” I drew a Crone Stone from my little bag by the altar…
Remember the laryngitis and then also imagine the huge smile on my face when the stone I drew was, “The Speaker,” with the questions included in the interpretation, “is your voice being heard?” and “how will you share your voice with the world?” And then the final message, “let your voice pour forth like a flowing river…” At this moment I felt I had received an answer to my wonderings—that the Goddess is both as enormous and impersonal as my vision of the web holding the earth and yet also personal enough to offer me this cosmic “wink” through my Crone Stone.