A new discovery shows Babylonian astronomers were more advanced than we'd guessed. Wild orangutans engage in shocking violence. And the scientific community combats sexism within its ranks. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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The Brideog, or “little Brigid,” comes down to us from ancient times. She was a corn doll (corn being wheat) that was fashioned into a female form and decorated with ribbons and shells. A bed of straw was prepared for her before the hearth in the home where she was assembled, and the young, unmarried women of the village would sit vigil with her on the night of January 31st. The next morning, on Imbolc, the girls would parade the brideog through the village to each home. There, the married women (or the female head of the household) would welcome the spirit of the Goddess. Create a modern-day Brideog using branches from your evergreen as a base, so adding a dash of Yuletide's hopeful energy. (Yule tree? But it's FEBRUARY! If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.)
Listening is more than you being silent when other people talk. It is about giving what is in front of you your complete attention. That might be a person, or it might be a fur friend. It might be a tree, or a plant, or a river. Listening allows the voice of the other to sink into us and become part of who we are.
And that can change who we are....
Tiw. Woden. Thunor. Frig.
Until recently, no one in the English-speaking world had worshiped these gods for a thousand years. But all this time they've been hiding in plain sight. Their names are on the tongues of every English-speaker whenever we say the days of the week.
The language remembers.
The Old English word ós, cognate with Old Norse áss (singular of æsir), designates a '(pagan) god,' and so fell out of use after the coming of the new religion. But all those English names that begin with Os—Oswald (“god-rule”), Osbert (“bright god”), Oscar (“god spear”) among them—have kept the word alive.
The language remembers.
We take a look at what it means to live in the Year of the Monkey. Pagan handfastings are legally recognized in parts of Britain. And the next generation of Paganism is considered. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
This year is a travelling one for me and it begins tomorrow, very early in the morning. My big green bag is packed--including snacks!--and I have a small carry-on and have taken my pocket knife out of my purse.
I'm going to Pantheacon for the first time and that sets off a year of going hither and yon. But first yon....
Each of the past five years Temple Osireion has remembered the journey of the soul through the Duat with a ritual drama. We do this around the first of November, a time when it is natural to embrace the darker season, ponder the afterlife, and imagine meeting the gods. The journey through the Duat is one of the grand myths which provides a metaphor for personal and community growth. It is arduous, confusing, transforming and, ultimately, regenerative.
With the regeneration comes a rebirth into the dawn of a new day. The ancient texts tell of Osiris’ transformation into Ra, of Ra’s transformation from an old, dying neteru back into the young hawk that bursts from the eastern akhet (horizon) into flight across the day.
Pool of Lotus has for three years brought messages that we hope have shed a bit of light on new Egyptian practice, encouraged those on a Kemetic-inspired path, and better connected Egyptian religion to the contemporary Pagan movement. As with many journeys, it is time to look ahead to a new morning, a next new way of being.
In the coming year I will be directing my focus on finishing my graduate degree at Cherry Hill Seminary, so it seems wise to bring Pool of Lotus to a close. My heartfelt thanks goes to the editor of Witches and Pagans, Anne Niven, for opening this opportunity to me in 2012. Your encouragement, advice and support are a treasure for which I will always be grateful. Blessings of peace to all.
A god has been born now that I have been born:
I see and have sight,
I have my existence,
I am lifted up upon my place,
I have accomplished what has been decreed . . .
(Book of the Dead, 174)
Come, come in peace, O glorious Eye of Heru.
Be strong and renew your youth in peace,
for the flame shines like Ra on the double horizon.
I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure.
(From “Great Rite Honoring Djehuty,” Eternal Egypt by Richard Reidy)