by the crow's feather
in his cap.
"I am the man in black,"
he will say.
“Do you know who I am?”
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My friend Kelly Meyer reminded me of the Lorsch Bee Blessing today. The 9th century Old High German charm captures the importance of bees in the medieval world, something we're beginning to realise anew as we discover just how perilous life is when they're endangered. As I've written about before, the importance of mead, the alcoholic drink made from honey, cannot be overstated in the Germanic world.
In Old High German, the charm goes like this:...
Every day at this time of year, either morning or evening, I do some gardening, keeping back the riotous growth that excels in this season. If I didn't, many plants would simply take over the garden, crowding out some other favourite plants. Though these crowders may be near the end of their cycle, in their death they will still smother those that have great potential, as their time is arriving. It's a hard time of year to keep on top of things, as the sun is so hot in our south-facing garden, and time is limited to mornings and evenings when we won't burn to a crisp or keel over from heat exhaustion. Jack in the Green is running riot, uncaring, reaching for the sun, drinking in the rain.
Yet if I want my irises and lilies to survive, I must release them from the choking hold of ground creepers/covers that threatens their existence. I must carefully weed out and try to keep under control those plants whose vigorous growth would otherwise overwhelm others. In this, I feel a kinship to my ancestors, not only my recent ancestors whose work with plants runs in my blood, but also ancestors of this land who depended upon agriculture to survive. Both physically and metaphorically, this is the ideal time to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Even as I hear the tractors and combine harvesters rumbling in the fields on the other side of the street, so too do I look both within and without to see what needs harvesting, and if the harvest has been good. Getting out in the garden brings it all home, showing that if you take on the responsibility of growing things, of nourishing them, then you must do your job well in order for your harvest to be good. Walking out in the fields after supper, running my hands over the tops of the wheat and barley that grow around here, I make my prayers for the harvest to go well, for the people to be nourished and for the land to be treated well. The time nears for when we give back in great gratitude as Lammas, Lughnasadh, Harvest-Time arrives.
Welcome back to the Pagan News Beagle. Four our weekly segment Airy Monday today we have a selection of stories about reboots—that is to say up and coming re-imaginings of popular franchises that scrap previous continuity in favor of starting fresh. In particular, we have several pieces on magical, religious, or paranormal-themed fiction that are getting reboots, from Xena: The Warrior Princess to Ghostbusters to even the Arthurian fiction of T.H. White (by way of Disney). All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
excerpt from my book "Peace and Good Seasons"
We are all fairy-tale princes and princesses, trapped by some wicked spell within bodies and behind faces that we don't recognize in the mirror or in photographs - because they are not the real us.
It is often impossible to see beneath the surface of things; but we can train ourselves to sense beneath it....
A while back I attended a wedding in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The name of the synagogue where the wedding was held was Beit Yâm, “House of the Sea”: a good name for a sea-side congregation, one might think.
Indeed. The interesting thing about the Hebrew word báyit (beit means “house of”) is that when combined with the name of a god, it means “temple.”
And, in fact, Yâm is the name of a god: he's the Canaanite (and hence, old Hebrew) god of the sea. It says so right here in the tablets of Ugarit. To this day in the laws of kashrût it's forbidden to slaughter an animal beside a body of water, lest someone should see and mistakenly think that you were sacrificing to Yâm.
The presiding rabbi did a nice job with the service. Afterward I shook his hand and told him so.
I did not, however, tell him that his temple was named for a pagan god.