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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in seasons

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Winter is starting here in Wellington New Zealand, and has been heralded by a weeklong southerly storm. The Cailleach, she is not far away and can be felt in this the first of the winter storms.  Offerings are already being made by unsuspecting people who were silly enough to bring umbrellas as protection against the strong southerly winds.

 

The Cailleach, a Scottish winter Goddess brought here, if you will, by settlers from the British Isles.  She is similar to Hine-nui-te-pō  the Maori Goddess of the underworld and death, who was here before. It maybe that the Cailleach found her,Hine-nui-te-pō as a sister, their energies do seem to coexist in a complementary way.  Well they do for me anyhow.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mistress Polly, Thanks for sharing! You have a great sense of place, informed by an awareness of the Gods and spirits.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Spring

Spring
what are we leaping towards
what wants to push up from cold ground
what wants to open to the sun
what is it that we need to know

What quiet, steady pulse beats
below the surfaceb2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0576.JPG
what hope watches from the wings
what light grows broad
upon a patch of ground

Shedding
releasing
changing
renewing
growing
healing
springing

Letting go
leaving behind
casting off
sloughing
opening…

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the flowers

Imbolc, when the little snowdrops emerge from the earth, the first flowers, and the first sign that spring is on the way. Except if you’re dealing with floodwater just now, you probably won’t see them because they will be submerged. If you are a bit further north than I am, there will be no sign yet. People in colder climates can’t expect flowers at this time of year – my other half, who originated in Maine, continues to be perplexed by anything trying to grow at this time. Not everywhere has snowdrops, and not everywhere has winter.

There are no doubt a lot of Pagans out there who feel they should be celebrating Imbolc this weekend, because it’s the ancient Celtic festival marking the first signs of spring, and it’s here. Some will no doubt go out with scripts that talk of things which simply are not happening in their lives. I’ve done that myself. I stood in a hailstorm one year, trying to picture the gentle, generous spring maiden and her magical wild flowers, whilst getting cold, wet, miserable and confused. It was one of those key moments in my journey towards rejecting a dogmatic approach to dates and festivals.

As it happens, the catkins have been opening for a while now, and I saw my first snowdrops last week. The weather forecast is dire, and I do not fancy my preferred hilltop, in case we do get some of those predicted 150 mile an hour winds. I like to think the Druids of old had enough sense, and enough respect for the natural world not to be out in it unnecessarily when it might do them serious injury.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The new Atlantis

It’s storm season. Storms have hit the UK this last week or so, and we’ve seen nightmarish weather conditions, high winds and flooding. People have died. Last year the lanes around Slimbridge, where I then lived, flooded such that some of them were impassable. We’ve been seeing a lot more of this, lately, especially in the winter months.

 

The winters of my childhood were nothing like this. They were usually wet, and you might get a few days of snow, but not flooding. There would be frosts, some dips below freezing, but nothing difficult. Not like the winter three years ago when we dropped down to minus 15c. Ten years ago, high winds were a rare occurrence, but now we seem to get them every winter.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Brown, Thanks for sharing! I hope you and yours fare well with regard to the weather.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

 

The 31st of October is traditionally Samhain, and also All Hallows Eve. It has a long tradition as a festival, as do Beltain, Imbolc and Lugnasadh, all popular with modern Pagans. However, Pagans in the Southern hemisphere have long since decided that it makes no sense to celebrate Samhain at the start of what, for them, is the spring. Southen calendars swap the festivals around, putting seasonal relevance before an ancestral connection with dates.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_ID-100112631.jpg

For me, Autumn is far less about the dying away, and far more about the stocking up. Granted, the leaves beyond my window are turning, shades of yellow and brown creeping in amongst the greens. It’s late this year, but then, so was the spring.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Celebrate the inward journey
Join Persephone as She descends
Mother Earth turns toward Crone
As we dance the last dance
Half is Day, Half is night
Harvest moon, orange sight
Bless the dance, bless the rite
Half is Day, Half is Night
Spiral out, Spiral In
Harvest, death, rebirth again
Goddess-selves bless us all
Who spiral out and spiral in

Ila Suzanne

Equinox, when the scales are again balanced in perfect equilibrium, honors equal day, equal night. On September 22, Mother Sun enters the sign of Libra, balancing cardinal air sign, as she crosses, the equator, traveling south. The Full Moon peaks on September 19th on the Water and Fire Pisces-Aries cusp. The great wheel turns as the tide of summer recedes and Persephone (Kore) goes underground until spring. The second harvest is threshed and the days lengthen, as we spin into darkness. The Sun Queen of summer becomes the Lady of Shadows: sailing West, we follow her into the dark. Life declines, the season of bareness is upon us, yet we give fervent thanks to the Goddesses of plenty: Habondia, Demeter, and the Corn Mothers, for the feast we have been given. Tonight we share this harvest with those who do not have enough.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Going Back

There is no place in a regular wheel of the year where it makes sense to talk about going back, returning, backtracking or heading the wrong way. The cycle of the year does of course bring us round the same seasons, reliably, but there is always a sense of moving forward.  Turning, not returning. Time as we experience it only flows one way. However, there are many ways in which we can go back.

 

We can make geographical returns to places that were important to us, and practical returns to ways of being that we have parted from for a while. Paganism as a whole can be seen as an attempt to go back to something that was lost, and like all lost things, raises issue around how much can be reclaimed. Is anything gone forever? Is it possible to return? As the saying goes, we cannot step into the same river twice. Whatever we go back to is not the same as before. It will have changed over time, too, we will have changed.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is poetic and evocative, Nimue; thank you. Here in Phoenix, AZ we are out of touch with the "natural" changing of the seasons

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Fruits of the Land

Mmmm…I just love summer. The energies run big, bright, and colorful! My fire rhythm can find herself burnt out easily though if I commit to do-ing too much instead of just be-ing. Taking quiet time is imperative for my system, especially during the vibrant summer months. A recent Saturday night was a be-ing night for me and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate a cool, quiet, rainy summer night than by working in the kitchen with fresh fruit.

Food is incredibly sensual, isn't it? The invitation arrives and we have to give ourselves permission to really, truly experience it! Fresh fruit and vegetables this time of the year are truly blessed gifts indeed and I give myself freely, fully to the sensory-filled experience of the harvest. This is also one of my favorite aspects of traveling and brings to mind a recent opportunity while in Jamaica this past spring.

My business partner and I facilitate women's retreats in a beautiful town off the beaten path called Treasure Beach. A treasure it is! Each night we fell asleep under the gentle caress of Caribbean salt air, the rhythmic drone of the sea right outside of our door, and the thud of ripened mangoes falling from the trees…a few times falling right on the roof of our cottage! So each morning the group of us women would excitedly scour the yard at our B&B, gathering the night’s treasures, and run into the ocean. Mangoes in-hand, we began to peel the leathery skin, exposing the sweet, golden flesh of the fruit, allowing the juices to fully encase our fingers. The entire fruit is then dipped in the salt water…oh, the exquisite taste!  There are no words beyond this point so I will leave it to your imagination...

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  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Ashling. I love that you share "sensual" and "poetic" in the same sentence...ahh...that is magic right there!
  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Lizann! You are right about those peaches...like candy they are right now. And you have a copy of that book too? Isn
  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    What a sensual, poetic sharing of the season's delights....beautifully done!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

In your standard Pagan wheel of the year arrangement, harvest happens in the autumn. We tend to celebrate it at the autumn equinox, when many regular Pagan teachings encourage you to reflect on wider ideas of harvest in your own life. However, if you grow soft fruit or salad vegetables, the odds are that you’ve been harvesting since some time in June.

 

The exact timing of harvests varies according to the weather. There needs to have been enough rain to fatten things up, and enough sun to bring about the necessary chemical changes. The shift of colour in berries and grains that shows ripening, is a chemical shift of sugars, hence the radical difference in taste between an apple in early summer and late autumn. Some fruits and roots do not ripen until frosts have acted on them to make changes in the chemistry.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your words on harvest and harvesting - it is indeed a lovely thought to think of the mini cycles of planting and har

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
It's a Spring Fling Thing

Spring should be a time of flights of fancy. Keep with the vibe of the season and hold a light and high-spirited dinner party for six to eight of your closest. Invite people to wear "welcome spring" accessories– whatever that may mean to them. This could range from a flower demurely tucked behind one's ear to a full on toga. Nudge people not to be bashful with this. If you want to keep things carefree, why not create less work for yourself playing host or hostess? Nothing says less work like a potluck, fey folk. I for one start to crave healthier eating at this time of year like nobody's business. Make it a salad dish to pass theme. Assign some greens, some pastas, and fruits for dessert so that you don't wind up with too much of the same kind. You can provide this naughty and nice low-cal deviled eggs recipe for an appetizer:

DEVILED EGGS WITH PICKLED ONIONS (Fry, 2013)

8 large eggs

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Being Pagan Cured My Winter Blues

I have lived in upstate New York my entire life. For the most part, I love it here. I love the changing seasons and the beauty of the rolling hills. What I don’t love so much is winter—probably not a good thing in an area where the first snow often falls at Halloween, and it isn’t unheard of for it to snow in the middle of April. Essentially, of the twelve months in a year, five of them are winter. That’s a long freaking time if you don’t like that particular season.

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  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    You're most welcome, Deborah. Yes, it's actually a variant of SAD, if you can believe it! http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seaso
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    Thanks Janet! The summer blues, eh? Well, I do find the summer energy overwhelming sometimes, so I guess I can see how it would b
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    What a great post, Deborah! I don't have winter SAD (my husband does), but SUMMER SAD (if you can believe it). The symptoms are a

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I’ve been busier than planned in mundania for the last few weeks—hence the lag in my blog posts. I’m going to try and make it up to you by posting a couple more times during November, in hopes of restoring my blogger cred.

RedHere in Oregon (that’s Ory-Gun to you non-US-west-coasters), autumn has arrived for real, with the trees dropping leaves and nighttime temps creeping toward freezing. We’ve had some wind and rain, but we’ve had glorious weather, too—including a recent handful of days near 70 degrees.

Every year, when we have these postcard-perfect fall days, I hear people start talking about “Indian summer” this and “Indian summer” that, and I grimace a bit, because their use of the term isn’t quite right. Indian summer—the real deal—is something very special, and it’s more than simply a nice autumn day.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Hi everyone, and welcome to my inaugural blog post for Witches and Pagans. I'm happy to be here, and I hope you'll enjoy reading along with my monthly meanderings. This blog—Celebrate!—is about exactly that: the ways we Pagan-types mark cyclic and special times, events, and celebrations in our everyday lives. Expect the path to be winding…. We'll probably talk about the traditional eight Sabbats from time to time, also known as the quarter and cross-quarter dates. We may explore the fire festivals associated with the ancient Celts. We might drift into purely agricultural season markers or gaze heavenward for a lesson in seasonal astronomy and reading the night sky. You might join me as we ramble off-trail, touching on wildcrafting or phenology or biodynamic gardening as a way to shape an observance. Or, we might gather in the kitchen for a bit of hearth magick. We could even pull a couple of comparative mythology books off the shelf, considering religious or cultural approaches to celebration and commemoration or following Joseph Campbell's hero's journey. And we're almost sure to read some folklore and practice some magick along the way…. I want this blog to be interesting, entertaining, and, I hope, thought-provoking, and I'm looking forward to your feedback to help me fine-tune the process.

A technical note: I live in Oregon, in the northwestern corner of the United States and very close to the 45th parallel. When I talk about time, I'll be using my own Pacific time zone, and all references to the seasons and the heavens will be north-hemisphere centric. For my readers "down under," please adjust as needed. ? Also, I'll be using the US system of weights, measures, and temperatures.

As I write this, the first day of "astronomical autumn" is just around the corner, with the autumnal equinox due to arrive on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:49 am (US Pacific). An equinox occurs when the Sun's visible path through the sky—known as the solar ecliptic—crosses the celestial equator. What's the celestial equator? Imagine you're standing on Earth's equator. Now imagine extending the entire equator outward into the heavens, and you'll have created the celestial equator, an important marker we use to talk about movements of the Sun, Moon, and other heavenly bodies. The Sun's ecliptic crosses the celestial equator twice a year, creating the autumnal (autumn) and vernal (spring) equinoxes. At the equinoxes, night and day are approximately equal in length, making it easy to see how these astronomical points mark a shift in the seasons.

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  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker says #
    Theresa, forgive me for the slow reply-- it's lovely to meet you! Rebecca, at this point, anything's possible. And thank you for
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Welcome to PaganSquare! Will you by any chance be writing about modern festivals created by co temporary Pagans? For instance, He
  • Theresa Wymer
    Theresa Wymer says #
    Idunn and Pomona have been very generous this year! We can't keep up with the apple yield from the one Gravenstein in our backyard

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Today is Lammas-tide, Lughnasadh, the festival of the grain harvest. Across the land, fields full of golden wheat, barley and numerous others have been growing tall, a feast for the eyes as they bend in the breeze, a feast for the birds, bees, mice and other creatures that run between the rows.

In centuries past, it would be entire communities who came out to help with the harvest, threshing, binding and preparing the crop to last them the winter. Fuel is needed for heat, nourishment and sustenance for livestock - without a successful harvest, a lean winter means walking the path between life and death.

These days, it's more the rumble of heavy-duty farming machinery at work that is heard as the harvest is gathered in - but it's no less valuable for that. Despite the knowledge that we can import food, fuel and whatever we need from other places, there's still the essential connection between us and the land as personified in the life of our fuel-stuffs. We celebrate it, we recognise and remember it. Children make corn-dollies, singers remember John Barleycorn.

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  • Hunter Liguore
    Hunter Liguore says #
    I ventured to make "corn" dollies from corn husks, only to realize that they are made from the wheat or barley. Amazing what can b

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