49 Degrees: Canadian Pagan Perspectives

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Sable Aradia

Sable Aradia

Sable Aradia (Diane Morrison) has been a traditional witch most of her life, and she is a licensed Wiccan minister and a Third Degree initiate in the Star Sapphire and Pagans for Peace traditions. Author of "The Witch's Eight Paths of Power" (Red Wheel/Weiser 2014) and contributor to "Pagan Consent Culture" and "The Pagan Leadership Anthology," she also writes "Between the Shadows" at Patheos' Pagan channel and contributes to Gods & Radicals. Sable is just breaking out as a speculative fiction writer under her legal name, and a new serial, the Wyrd West Chronicles, will be released on the Spring Equinox this year. Like most writers, she does a lot of other things to help pay the bills, including music, Etsy crafts, and working part time at a bookstore. She lives in Vernon, BC, Canada with her two life partners and her furbabies in a cabin on the edge of the woods.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

On Imbolc, it was snow-raining and the middle of flu season. I intended to have a gathering at my metaphysical store, but there were so many last minute cancellations that I decided to skip it. I went home and lit a candle from a wick that was lit from Brighid’s shrine at Kildare, and I quietly contemplated and looked to Light`s return.

I believe that Imbolc is kind of a strange holiday for most Canadian Pagans. More often than not, the groundhog tells us we’re going to get six more weeks of winter. According to the lore, it’s the time when the snow starts to melt, the bees start to appear, crocuses and daffodils start emerging from the snow, the animals start bringing forth young and the ewes and the cows start giving milk. Even in the southern portions of our big piece of land, such as the Okanagan Valley where I live, the climate is similar to Oregon State, and so things are still covered in snow and if we’re lucky, we might be seeing a hint of mud. Weather starts to turn from snow to rain and is quite frankly, a nasty cold, often foggy drizzle, similar to a time I once saw described in a Stephen King story as “Strawberry Spring.” Every once in a while we get a Chinook (a warming wind coming down from the mountains) but you can’t rely on it, and even the first pussy willows are usually a week or two away. None of these signs of the thawing really start happening until around the beginning of March, halfway between Imbolc and the Vernal Equinox, and farther north it’s even worse; from Prince George north (the geographical centre of BC, but not of its population,) or especially in Northern Ontario (which is at a similar latitude) you don’t get flowers until April or maybe even May. So how do you celebrate Imbolc when so many signs associated with it simply are not present?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Donald Cutler
    Donald Cutler says #
    Hi Diane. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska so I know what you are talking about when it comes to weather. Most of my rituals were i
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Merry meet, Ronald! You know, I find that often the most beautiful things in life are as lovely as they are *because* they're so

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