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To this awakening goddess, celebrating holidays has more to do with personal history than traditional roots. Imbolc, the modern Pagan celebration of an ancient Gaelic festival, means so much more to me now than it did when I first started studying Wicca and Paganism thirteen years ago.
Thirteen years ago, I found a home in Paganism at my very first public ritual, which was a celebration of Imbolc conducted by popular Pagan writer Ann Moura and her Ladies Tea Circle. I entered my first circle at that festival, and won a raffle for the first time in my life – an amethyst earring and pendant set and an hour-long session with a psychic who would become my mentor on my path to developing my own metaphysical interests and abilities....
I guide without need of scripture,
for my words are written on the hearts of my people.
Muhammad was right.
There are the ahl al-kitâb—the People of the Book—and then there are the pagans.
One of the things that impresses me most about the New Paganisms—and this is one of the ways in which we have remained most true to the ways of the ancestors—is that, from our very beginnings, we have been, and remain, non-scriptural religions. Occasional jokes about Edda-thumping aside (“Snorri said it, I believe it, That settles it”), we have, for the most part, managed to dodge the silver bullet of Canon. In a world in which religions are defined by their scriptures, this is an impressive achievement, rendered all the more striking by the apparently unconscious nature of the decision.
Although they are only breath, words which I command are immortal --Sappho
When I was a younger woman, I wanted to be a Writer; I wanted to be an Author, and I wanted to write literary fiction and poetry. In 2002, that changed dramatically, because my Muse sidled up to me and suggested a romance story. I'd never done that sort of thing before, and while I wasn't morally against it, I wasn't sure if I could do a good job of it. And it didn't particularly match my mental map of myself - I dabbled in romance reading, mostly well-written historical romances, but the genre blending of speculative romance was in its infancy then.
But I jumped in and found that I loved writing romance. There are people who think that writing to that genre is easy and formulaic; I think they should try it themselves and see how "easy" it is to write to the guidelines while making the characters and situations fresh, fun, and invigorating. There's also more than a little whiff of sexism about those who are dismissive of romance entirely; romance is a genre that concerns itself with women's desires and inner lives....
This post also appears on www.tarotbyhilary.com.
This week may have been the week of the “Snowpocalypse That Never Was” in the media, and people complaining about how the press and the people making the decisions overreacted. Me? I’m firmly in the “better safe than sorry” camp in that regard. Even my card of the day for the start of the storm was the 5 of Pentacles… I was tending to agree with the weathermen that the storm would be as bad as they said it would be.
of the Sacred Oak.
of the Sacred Flame.
shape our lives
in the cauldron of destiny.
Ignite our creativity
forge our passions.
in the language of poetry
and hot metal.
Keeper of flame
hope and hearts.
Enliven our work
guide our steps
inspire our message.
(modified from earlier poem: Woodspriestess: Brigid)
Hey, it was the 80s, and we were Gay Urban Pioneers. Of course we over-planted the yard.
If you Google Earth our address (yes, that is a verb: what a language!), you won't see the house at all. The neighbors' houses, yes, but in between them: the magic forest. Think of it as warding: urban invisibility.
Living in a sea of trees as we do, of course we're well populated with squirrels. We've got a whole clan of them living around us; just now in late January, the trees are filled with their drays. (Yes, English actually does have a word referring specifically to a squirrel's nest. When I hear people bemoaning the poverty of our language, I smile and say nothing.)
I call them the White Ears clan. They're standard issue Midwest gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, but unusual in that their outer ears are white, not gray like the rest of their fur. Clearly there's a gene for albinism in this population, and every few years we actually see a white squirrel among them. In fact, there was one just last summer.
White squirrels don't usually last very long: their hyper-visibility puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to predators. But for me a Year of the White Squirrel is always an opportunity to take a little extra time to appreciate the beauty of squirrels. Living among so many of them as we do, it's easy to forget just what amazing little beings they actually are.
Albinism and melanism are both recessive traits, but they're actually pretty common among the urban squirrel population here; most neighborhoods have at least one black or white squirrel. I'd never given this fact much thought until I heard something that Arvol Looking Horse said in 2009.