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Maeve, Queen of Connaught, was talking one day with Fergus mac Roi, that was foster-brother to Cuchulain.
(And were not those two, as Cathbad the druid said, like the two halves of a hazelnut?)
"There's only one thing that a man loves more than he loves a woman," she tells him.
"And what might that be?" he asks her.
I am more naturally conscious of ancestry around Beltain than I am at Samhain. Partly because there are so many traditional songs that start with someone roving out on a bright May morning. Usually to get laid, or to indulge in the kind of voyeurism intrinsic to folk music. And partly because of my grandmother, who loved the bluebells.
My grandmother was a keen walker for much of her life, having grown up with a mother who went walking on Sundays in preference to going to church. In old age, she could no longer climb the hills each spring to go looking for bluebells, and so this time of year became a source of grief to her. I have never driven a car, I was never able to take her out, but others did, and I’m not the only one to think of her when the bluebells are flowering....
Pagans fight for right to a worship area in a Nevada prison. In Eastern Europe, the impact of the Chernobyl disaster is remembered 30 years later. And right-wing populism gains momentum in Austria. 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!
The spirituality of Charles Schulz' Peanuts is explored. Actress Ruth Negga talks about the new TV series Preacher. And surprises abound as Game of Thrones returns for another season. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
This continues the story I began last week. Catherina is my 2x great-grandmother; Agnes is my 2x great-aunt; Johanetta is my first cousin, 3x removed, and my step-2x great-grandmother; Henry is my 2x great-grandfather. It is true that Henry had eighteen children with two wives. It is also true that Henry and Johanetta married and had a child soon after Catherina's death. Some of the other details came in waking trance as I allowed the ancestors to tell their stories through me.
Agnes Lattauer Sweitzer: I thought the day Catherina left for America would be the worst day of my life. I did not know I would see Catherina again. I did not know I would outlive my two little sisters and both of my brothers. I did not know what my daughter would do. I read Catherina’s letters from America through my tears. How I wanted to be with her on her wedding day. How I wished she had been with us when we buried our sister Johanetta. My heart nearly burst when Catherina wrote that she longed to take my hand when she gave birth to her first child. My mind contorted itself trying to envision her living in a big city, in a big building, climbing up and down stairs, her feet never touching the earth, her hands never working the soil. What kind of life was that?