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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs



Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Happy new year! (No, I haven't lost my mind.)

And no, I don’t have a faulty calendar. Let me explain.

The Mediterranean region is lovely: a marvelous sea surrounded by sun-kissed lands all the way around in a huge oval that reaches from the Atlantic to the Levant. But one thing this area doesn’t have is four seasons. Those of us who live in the temperate zones are so used to spring, summer, autumn, and winter that we often forget there are other climates, other seasonal cycles. The Mediterranean has a very interesting set of seasons, and this cycle had a powerful influence on Minoan religion since the island of Crete lies in the middle of the wine-dark sea.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Markos Gage
    Markos Gage says #
    Apologies, but I’m going to call this out. The Hellenic archaic new year is based on the Egyptian calendar of the rising and fall
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    The Minoans pre-dated the Hellenes by centuries. Educate yourself.
  • Markos Gage
    Markos Gage says #
    I’m well aware of that, thank you. I used Hellenic as a descriptor for the land and associated cultures. I never said the that the
  • Markos Gage
    Markos Gage says #
    Actually the chapter is 2. I misread my Roman numerals
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    It's a pretty sure bet that they used greenery decorations as soon as the rains started, but the several-week-long celebratory sea

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Jack in the Sheaf

That Jack guy sure does seem to get around. First there was Jack in the Green (you can hear his song here), soon to be followed (to the same tune) by Jack in the Heap and Jack in the Drift.

Here's a harvest version that we usually sing later on at our Harvest Supper, after we've all had a few and the kids have gone to bed.

Earthy folk, pagans.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I've Replaced "Mabon"  with "Harvest Home"

Yes, I am a Wiccan and I am a staunch advocate for the Wheel of the Year. I have been known to sing the praise-songs for that elegant crucible by waving my hands in the air and intoning--two Solstices, two Equinoxes and in-between there is a time to plant, a time to tend, a time to harvest, a time to rest!

Some of you have seen this explanation--I hope this hasn't been too triggering.

Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Soul Behind the Soul

Hildegard von Bingen wrote: “The soul is not in the body; the body is in the soul.” (Vol XXII, No. 5). This is a concept that I’ve been thinking about all week, and how we have tried to place unnatural limitations upon the body and soul based on our dualistic way of thinking.  I suppose a true Zen answer would be the body is the soul and the soul is the body, but right now I’m enjoying thinking that the soul contains the body. Next week I’ll probably veer off into a more Zennist approach.

For this to happen, the soul must accept the body, not the other way around. As I’m not entirely certain that there is even such as thing as an individual soul, it’s an interesting concept.  What if the “life force” on this little ball of rock hurtling through space is all soul, all an expression of soul?  What if everything is an expression of the Earth’s soul, or the soul of the universe?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Lovely reflections. Thanks!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I really love this conversation, Joanna. I've been recently speculating that each planet's level of vibrational consciousness all
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    I know - it blows my mind each and every day. Perception is such a strange beast Why can't you trust an atom? Because they m
Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, September 22

An Egyptian student struggles to make her voice heard in a corrupt system. Hindus in America are denied the opportunity to enshrine their religious symbols beside those of Christianity. And a comparison is made between the dystopia depicted in Children of Men and Europe's ongoing refugee crisis. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly take on political and social issues from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wining and Dining

Beer enthusiasts may beg to differ, but there is no other alcoholic beverage that compliments food more splendidly than wine. For this Autumnal Equinox, get in the kitchen and see what can be whipped up for a pairing feast. To get your party started right, try the following impressive appetizer and welcome your guests with a glass of dry sparkling wine to set a festive tone. I used it  at a fall wine party a few years back, and it was very well-received.

(Serves 6)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs
24 large dates, preferably Medjool
3/4 lb. soft fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the dates in a single layer. In a small frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs are evenly golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the bread crumbs to a plate, and let cool.

With a small knife, make a a small lengthwise incision in each date. Carefully remove the pits. Stuff 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese  into the cavity left by each dates's pit. Arrange the dates, with goat cheese side facing upward, in the prepared dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. (The dates can be prepared up to this point up to 24 hours in advance. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.)

Bake the dates until warmed through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.

For the main dish, cook up your favorite couscous and toss with some stir-fried and roughly chopped fall produce of the harvest. Toss everything together lightly with some extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Serve it up with a fruity Syrah or Red Zinfandel.

Finish with a dessert plate of assorted apples, grapes, berries and locally-made chocolate. Match with a ruby port or a sassy Riesling. Assign each guest a bottle to bring for one of your courses, and be sure to have some mellow, romantic tunes playing throughout your party. If a round of Indian Leg Wrestling breaks out later, don't say I didn't warn you. ; )

Photo "Wines and Vines," by Xedos4 from

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