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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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   Autumn Equinox is about the mid-life phase of a woman's life, and also about the poignant seasonal turning toward winter and inward time. We encounter opportunity for personal assessment, asking ourselves pointed questions as we explore the psychology of harvest-time. We can name, ground and ritualized our harvests for the year: things that have come into being, that have gone well, things for which we are grateful.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Come Ye Thankful People, Come

The Autumn Equinox: it's a holiday of many names.

None of them—to be perfectly honest—quite there yet, if you know what I mean.

Equinox, of course, comes from Latin: “equal night.” It has the advantage of being readily comprehensible, at least. The down side is, of course, that it's ambiguous, since it's got a twin in the spring. And somehow it's got that clinical sound to it.

Then there's Evenday. This is a modern loan-translation from the word for “equinox” in the Scandinavian languages. (Interesting that, to describe a time when day and night are of equal length, the Southrons focus on night and the Northrons on day; make of that what you will.)

“Evenday” has a nice, colloquial sound to it, and is probably relatively transparent to anyone with light behind the eyes. Interestingly, it has already developed two pronunciations, and (curiously) I find myself using both of them: Even-day and Even-dee, just like the days of the week: the formal and less formal options, respectively.

Wishing folks a “Happy Evenday” has a good sound to it, certainly. But, of course, there's still that vernal-autumnal ambiguity.

So far as we can tell, the ancient Kelts did not observe the sunsteads and evendays as holidays (focusing instead on what we would call the “Cross-Quarters”), so there were no traditional names for them in any of the Keltic languages. To rectify this situation, Druidic Revivalists in the 19th century coined Welsh names for them; the autumn evenday is now called Alban Elfed (supposedly, “Light of [the] Waters”), and the name has gained a certain currency in Druidic circles.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Ariel; the poem is the first verse of a song that we sing at the Harvest Supper every year, our version of a 19th century A
  • Ariel Aron
    Ariel Aron says #
    Nicely said I love reading your stuff. I also love the little poem.
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    "Usage determines correctness." No it doesn't. Pronouncing ask as arks does not make it correct no matter how many people do it,
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Given that living languages are in a constant state of change, Andrew, who then gets to decide what's correct?
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    Definitely not people who didn't know how to pronounce a word correctly in the first place.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Fat Lady and the Animal Man

Some 30,000 years ago, they first appear: the Fat Lady and the Animal Man.

For 20,000 years after that, the ancestors kept making Fat Ladies and Animal Men.

We find their likenesses across Eurasia, literally from Spain to Siberia.

We don't know who they were or what they meant to the people that made them. Across such vast distances and time-spans, it's likely that they meant many things to many different people.

What's maybe most amazing is that, across those vast distances and time-spans, they're still recognizably themselves.

Some decades ago it became intellectually fashionable to deny that the Fat Lady and the Animal Man were gods. In the case of the Animal Man, the word shamanism got bandied about a lot: an explanation that explains very little, really.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the close reading and the corrections, Andrew. The development of agriculture is, of course, exactly what distinguishes
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    "Some decades ago it became intellectually fashionable to deny that the Fat Lady and the Animal Man were gods." Do we have any pr
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Nicely said.Cheers, Tasha

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lunar Cycles and Healing

It is no secret that we witches are deeply connected to the cycles of The Moon.  We use lunar cycles to make decisions about planting and tending herbs for healing, food for nourishing our families and communities, and what kind of magic is appropriate to do personally, communally, or politically.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    yes, thank you Ted, blessings on your ancestors and all their descendants
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Divine love, compassion and hope to all who suffer, from those whose families have been touched by the same scourge.
Heathen Visibility Project: part 2 How to Participate

Step 1 Take photos of:

A. People (only include people who want to participate in the Heathen Visibility Project! ) including:

...
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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Reflections on Melek Taus

Last week I attended an Interfaith Gala Dessert Reception to help the Yezidis Facing Genocide, featuring a delegation of Yezidis in exile here in North America and hoping to regain their homelands.

Held at Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, California, the room featured peacock feathers on each table and walls adorned with Yezidi (Yazidi) flags.  The screen upon one wall featured a large image of Melek Taus, the Peacock God of the Yezidis.

...
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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, September 14 2017

Will scientists soon learn the nature of dark matter? How did one of Saturn's moons come to be? And is a future of cybernetic limbs ahead for us or not? It's Earthy Thursday, our segment about news relating to science and the Earth. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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