At first glance, Steve Ashley's Candlemas Carol might seem something of a downer.
Don't be fooled.
On Candlemas beware, old man,
the wind, gale, and the storm;
and if you think that Winter's dead,
it's barely being born.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Over in Ariadne's Tribe we have a list of recommended books about Minoan spirituality and related topics. One of the books from that list that I find myself pointing out frequently to anyone who is interested in Modern Minoan Paganism and/or goddess spirituality (besides my own books, of course) is Charlene Spretnak's classic work Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths. Originally published in 1978, this amazing little volume is still in print, and with good reason.
Ms. Spretnak addresses herself to nine goddesses, eleven if you count the Moon Triad as three separate ones: Gaia, Pandora, Themis, Aphrodite, the Moon Triad (Artemis, Selene, Hecate), Hera, Athena, Demeter, and Persephone. She offers some fascinating information about each one, detailing where they originated, what their early worship was probably like, and how the Hellenes and other later cultures "demoted" them from their original places of honor and power. It's both enlightening and a little sad to discover how these goddesses were purposely tarnished over time. But this book helps to polish them back to their original glow....
Imbolc approaches on silent, padded footsteps. A time of quiet rejoicing, where here in the UK the festival and time signifies the start of Spring. Though for many in North America, the equinox is when the celebrations for Spring begin, here in the warmer climes of these isles hugged by the gulf stream we already begin to see the changing of the seasons reflected in the green and growing things, as well as the birthing of new lambs. Just today, as I went outside to meditate, the songs of the birds had changed, and the robin and blackbird were singing their first songs of courtship, even as the blue tits chirped their appreciation of the sunlight. The slender green shoots of crocuses are beginning to appear, alongside a wash of green from the grape hyacinth shoots. Living so close to the sea, our south-facing garden is always ahead of the season it seems, and at this time of year, it's most welcome.
It's been a difficult winter for many, and the signs for the future can seem bleak. But as followers of an earth-based tradition, we know that we can look to nature for guidance, for inspiration, for sanctuary and for blessing. Our relationship with the land, sea and sky helps us through the darkest of times, with the gods and ancestors breathing their ancient breath into our bodies, inspiring us to carry on, to create change, to go with the flow. Nothing is permanent.
The new film Hidden Figures tells the story of three black women (among many) who helped to save the American Space Program. In segregated Virginia, these women battled both racism and misogyny, deftly fended off micro- and macro-aggressions against both race and sex, and figured out the very mathematics necessary to launch Americans into orbit and bring them back safely. Ultimately, their work helped to win the Cold War.
Their stories have been largely untold until now. Their lives were mostly unknown by the general population. Sadly, despite their incalculable service to their country, despite the fact that they fought against all odds and proved their value and their capabilities, the same fights are still being waged. Racism is alive and well; misogyny is on its way to taking power in the White House....
White Mountain Druid Sanctuary (WMDS) is a Druid inspired Pagan site in Trout Lake, Washington. There aren’t many Pagan sites in the US and there are even fewer that have been created as a modern interpretation of ancient Indo-European customs and practices. WMDS was envisioned after years of study of ancient Celtic (Irish, Welsh, and Gaulish) archaeology, history, and religion and was built to honor the practices of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF), a Pagan church based on ancient Indo-European traditions expressed through public worship, study, and fellowship. WMDS was also built to re-imagine how the ancient peoples of Celtic Europe may have honored the world around them, the Land, and the Gods and Spirits.
If some Da'ish thug put a gun to your temple and hissed in your ear, Convert or die: what would you do?
Pagans have faced this choice ever since non-pagan religions gained political power. In our own day, alas, some pagans still face this hideous choice.
Which is better, to be true and die, or to hide and live?
The martyrs get all the hero-tales, it's true.
And indeed, I praise the sacrifice of those who kept (and keep) faith at the cost of their lives.
But ever, they say, the Craft must survive.
So I also praise the sacrifice of those who wrap themselves in the cloak of the conqueror, but keep the Old Ways in secret.
Ugh, my on again, off again life.
We moved here to slow life down. It has been quite the adventure! Since 2009, I have had 7 jobs. That is more than Ihave ever thought I would have in my lifetime! My husband has had 2 since being here. I've started many projects and finished only a handful....