Last weekend, the first pumpkins showed up at the farmer's market.
The first pumpkins, scarecrows and Halloween decorations appeared in the neighborhood....
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I want to be La Llorona for Halloween, I told my grandmother after watching a Mexican movie.
Sacrilege, Abuela said, she is a murderess!
At eight, I was used to my grandmother's threats when I misbehaved: La Llorona will take you away.
The myth of La Llorona conjures up strange effects on Latinos. Most children scream after hearing her name. Many women cross themselves, saying "Ave Purisima," after mentioning her name. And yet, some women—like my grandmother—smile after summoning La Llorona. The Weeping Woman did not scare me; instead, she fascinated me. I suspected that La Llorona had a secret. Perhaps, if I dressed like her I could uncover her mystery.
Scientists motivated by a deep love and fascination for the natural world share with most Pagans a recognition of the world’s intrinsic value, but without our metaphysics. However they bring skills of observation and analysis many of us lack to deepen in their own way their love and fascination. This was a happy insight I had while researching the role of Pagan religion in the modern world. Biologists are important teachers who can help us deepen our own understanding....
For all its liturgical and cultural importance, Samhain has yet to inspire much popular music.
So when we end our big public Samhain ritual by joining hands and announcing, “Let's finish with the Samhain song that everybody knows,” you'll see eyebrows go up all around the circle.
When you first start in, you'll get a nice laugh, and then folks will belt it out like they mean it. After all, what's Samhain for, if not for Old Long Ago?
Pulpit Rock is the North point in my Blue Mountains Circle of Eight. A pulpit is a raised place within a church, where a speaker stands. Standing on Pulpit Rock and looking around me I see a church built not by humans but by the earth itself. We call this place the Blue Mountains but actually it’s a plateau, lifted up by volcanic activity around 170 million years ago. Pulpit Rock has nearly 360 degree views of vertical cliff, deep folded valley and curving lines of tree tops. I feel small there, but also expanded, reminded of my capacity for the appreciation of beauty and my connection to this living planet we are all a part of.
In 2013, I engaged in a year-long Woodspriestess experiment in which I visited the same place in the woods behind my house every day for an entire year. The experience described in this post occurred eight months into my experiment...
“Oh my GAWD!!!!! I just STEPPED ON an ARMADILLO!!!!!!”
Yes, that is correct, I stepped squarely on a genuine, real live armadillo on my way through the woods last night. I’d gotten “too busy” to visit the woods during the day and by the time I made my way down there, it was totally dark. I opted to go out without a flashlight, feeling a bit smug, if I do say so myself, that I know these woods so well and am just so connected that I don’t even need a flashlight to find my way and then…STEP…bizarre-growling-squeal-grunt-and-scuttle and me screaming the above. My first thought as I grasped what had happened was actually to try to take a picture for a blog post, but by then it was too late and only the scaly tail was dimly visible under a nearby shrub! By the time I stood on the rocks, I was laughing semi-hysterically and my heart was pounding with the adrenalin and surprise. I reflected again on how very many creatures share these woods with me and I wondered how many other woodspriestesses of various species cross these very stones each day. I think of this space as “mine,” but clearly an armadillo also finds it a useful nighttime exploration place.