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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Red Ocher People

They say it's Earth's moon-blood, from which we're all born.

We've been painting ourselves and our dead with it since before we were sapiens.

Red ocher.

FeO2: iron oxide. Hematite (from Greek hêma, “blood”). It's found practically everywhere, and practically everywhere our people make use of it for purposes both religious and practical.

Rubbed on the skin, it acts as sunscreen, and keeps off bugs.

Sprinkled on the dead, it hastens rebirth.

We used to joke that if we were a Wiccan tradition, it would have to be Cro-Magnon Wicca. Really, once you start using red ocher in ritual, you'll never stop. There's nothing, nothing, nothing more authentic.

Here in the Upper Midwest, we've been using it since the end of the last Ice Age. (Before that, there were no people here, only ice.) There's even an archaeological horizon known as the Red Ocher People.

Be warned: this stuff is pretty damn close to permanent. Some years ago, I was privileged to see the original Willendorf Mother at an exhibit of Ice Age art. Even at 40,000 years, you could still see the red ocher in her hair.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've read a little about the red ocher people in Northern Europe, apparently they were very similar to the red paint people in New
November – a difficult time for celebrating

Last year I wrote about the first frosts as something to enjoy in November. http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/nimue-s-wheel/celebrating-the-first-frosts.html

This is without a doubt the month I find hardest to be positive about. Samhain with all its spooky joys is now behind us. The winter stretches ahead. The cold has its teeth in and will likely keep chewing for months to come. The ground becomes slippery and treacherous, the days short and dark. Everything is harder. And I’m one of the lucky ones; I have a home, I can afford to heat it and I can afford to eat.

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, November 7 2017

Indigenous peoples fight for their rights. In Indonesia, a festival is celebrated with elaborate masks and costumes. In Germany, the country's defiant Chancellor seeks to rebuild her government after a tough election. It's Fiery Tuesday, our selection of societal and political news from across the globe! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Embodying the Graces by Skyfae LaVeau

One fateful day, after Lammas Monologues, hosted by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, I gave my permission to be cast as a Grace for Spring Mysteries Festival 2017.  Little did I know, how demanding, and how rewarding this role would ultimately prove to be.

While I cannot give many details about the journey of Spring Mysteries, because it is something we all must experience for ourselves; I wanted to share my journey as a cast member for this intrinsic and profound experience.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

There’s a chance to deepen our belonging to a place when we move around through the seasons in a circle, or a wheel. We learn our places, our moods and activities as related to the time of year and can map our own yearly cycles. When we are on a straight line, changes from one summer or winter to the next are perhaps not that noticeable, part of a changing scenery that we move through, not necessarily expecting repeats. But when we consciously travel around the seasons we are bound to notice – that the winter we just had was unseasonably mild, that the rains didn’t come when we needed and expected them, that the number of major weather events, worldwide, are increasing year by year.

I came back to the southern hemisphere in spring. I had known it would be spring, of course. On the calendar I knew it – but that’s quite a different thing than seeing it, feeling it, hearing it. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

For the past half-decade, our family has been homesteading on an off-the-grid farm in Treaty 6 territory.  For anyone who is unfamiliar with Canadian history, Treaty 6 refers to a particular regional relationship whereby land was shared (not ceded ... a very important distinction) by the Indigenous Peoples with the Crown and its settlers.  The treaty was made in the late 19th century, and still holds today, though it has been bent and broken numerous times by the colonial government.  Today, our farm's direct neighbours are the First Nations of Moosomin (Cree) and Saulteaux (Ojibwe), as well as many Metis folk in the near vicinity.  For me, that means that when Samhain comes round on the Great Wheel, my mind turns to a very complicated ancestral inheritance.

As a Christian, and in particular as an Anglican priest, my genetic and spiritual ancestors  were responsible for some pretty reprehensible mayhem in this part of the world.  The residential schools were probably the worst of it, but racist colonialism has been an Anglican curse for several hundred years, and there's still plenty of it to go around.  In recent years, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has delivered a mandate of 94 “Calls to Action” ... concrete steps which can be taken by the Canadian government and other institutions (and individuals) to repent of the toxic legacy which has oppressed so many Indigenous people and torn our nation asunder.  Several of these calls to action are directed specifically toward the churches which ran the residential schools.  This one in particular has been haunting my conscience lately:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

 

As we continue building the Goddess Samona's Shrine... We got the concrete poured right after Fall Equinox.  

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