A Priestess, a minister, and a fat white woman walk into a bar…? Nope, it’s not a joke, it is merely I, Catharine Clarenbach, one of the newer bloggers to come onto Witches & Pagans. I have been blogging elsewhere, as well as at my own site (see below), and I welcome the chance to interact with you her at "Deep to on High."
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
The hearth. The center of the home, the center of domestic life. For our ancestors, it was where food was made, stories were shared, textiles were crafted and mended. Eminent scholar of medieval traditions and folklore Claude Lecouteux writes: "Hearth is a generic term for designating the place where fire burns. The hearth can mean different things depending on the era and the region; it ranges from the simple fire pit of primitive dwellings to the more modern earthenware and cast-iron stove, and includes the open chimney, the fireplace, the oven, or the furnace" (The Tradition of Household Spirits, 69). So when I refer to the hearth, I mean the place where the fire dwells and provides warmth and sustenance.
Greetings from the Canadian prairies! I feel so honoured to be here taking part in this amazing conversation. As a long-time reader of Witches and Pagans, as well as PaganSquare, it is very exciting to be invited to blog with you, and share some of my reflections on earthen spirituality at this critical juncture of our shared planetary life.
Over the last several years, I have noticed more people expressing that they are encountering a thinning of the veils, openings between the worlds, crossings to and from the neighboring realms, and so on. These reports have been increasing in number and the intervals between reports have been decreasing. Significantly, these encounters and observations are less linked to the times and places that are traditionally thought of as naturally liminal or during the times in the changes of the seasons of the Sun and Moon when these passages are expected. I have read and heard a variety of suggestions to explain this phenomenon, and many of them are reasonable and plausible. I’d like to propose that there is also a slow and steady shift in the Astrological tides that is also one of the root causes of this change. There will be just enough Astrology in this post to offer an explanation without bogging down in a lesson in Astrology.
In Iceland, they call it the Black School. (But blá can also mean “blue.”)
There go all the aspiring young warlocks to learn from the Horned his secret and magical arts.
Exactly where the School may be is hard to say. (Some say Paris.) It's one of those places that seems always to be somewhere else.
It's called the Black School because it's always black as night there. (It sounds like some sort of cave.) For five (or nine, or seven) years, they live there together, underground, in the dark.
There they study from the Horned's ancient tomes, which, being written in letters of fire, can thus be read in the dark.
Each day they receive for their sustenance a trencher and horn from the hand of the Horned, although they do not see him.
And of the Black School there is also this to say: that at the end of their study, when they step out into sunlight for the first time in five (or nine, or seven) years, each warlock must leave behind his shadow there with the Horned, and so casts no shadow for all the rest of his days.
When planning a ritual involving children, I always have to remind myself to keep it short and simple! This simple ritual of spring welcome is perfect for family or a small group of friends. It can also be adapted to enjoy alone. This ritual is designed to be done at night around a campfire and to be followed by a drum circle, but can easily be adapted to day time (perhaps with a fresh flower mandala to gather around instead of a fire). It can take place anytime between March 21 and mid-May and still feel seasonally appropriate....
“I work with Ereshkigal, Oya, and Tlazolteotl,” she tells me.
Then she pauses for my reaction.
Welcome to the Irony-Free Zone.
Gee. The Sumerian Goddess of the Underworld, Santeria's Lady of Storms (mispronounced), and the Aztec 'Eater of Filth.'
Clearly, I'm supposed to be impressed.