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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in candlemas

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Crown of Light

The crown of candles sits on the table by the door. I see it every time that I come into the house.

On Bridey's Eve, it graced a sacred head. The tall white candles bathed her in warm light, the leaves of its wreath crisply green against the white of her veil. 

That was thirteen nights gone. Now the brittle leaves crumble as I unwrap the gold ribbon that holds them to the crown. The ribbon goes back onto its spool; the leaves I will strew in the snowy garden, to nourish another harvest.

The candles, half-burned, go into the chandelier in the temple, where they will light our next rite.

The crown, denuded, returns to its peg in temple storage, to await the coming of another February.

More than 300 years ago, Robert Herrick wrote in his poem "Candlemas Eve":

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Beautiful, Steven, as always. Linking on FB.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Soul Walker

It's the morning of the Eve of Oimelc. I sit on the front porch with our youngest coven kid, waiting for the school bus.

As we wait, we sing songs of spring.

Walker in the silent places,

Walker where no one may go,

our aloneness cries out to you,

Walker in the Snow.

The Arctic cold that has paralyzed the city for days has finally broken. There's even a little moisture in the air. A dusting of snow has fallen overnight; the snow diamonds sparkle.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Bride of Light

In Sweden, she comes on Old Solstice Day

But elsewhere in Witchdom, she comes in early February.

The Bride of Light.

Singing she comes. Crowned with candles and greenery she comes. Gowned and veiled in white she comes.

Before the Sun, she wakes us.

We rise, dress, and follow to where she leads us.

To breakfast.

And to sunrise.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Candlemas Dance-Mime

We generally do this dance in a circle, facing in, with everyone singing and clapping. One by one we jump into the center and act out the verse.

You could also do it with the lord (or lady) of the dance leading the singing in the middle, with the dancers circling and miming around.

Likewise, although when we do it everyone usually sings the whole thing together, you could do it as a call-and-response:

One: There was a pig went out to dig

All: Candlemas Day, Candlemas Day

One: There was a pig went out to dig

All: Candlemas Day in the morning.

There Was a Pig Went Out to Dig

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lighting the Way

My daughter and I love watching BBC / PBS shows.  Victoria is the most recent one we are watching.  As I watched how people lived in the 1800s, I considered what it would be like to only have my life lighted by candles and sunlight.  It would certainly make the dark part of the year different.

By 4:00 or so at night, flickering candlelight would be my only illumination.  This reduces my scope of environment drastically.  Right now, if it’s dark I flip a switch and illumination of my surroundings occurs.  But what if I only had dripping smelly candles to light my way?  What would it feel like to be surrounded by darkness?  Would fear well?  Would loneliness envelop? 

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  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I think what the writer is doing is imagining her own modern and urban life - candle lit. I live on a remote farm at 1,000 feet in
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    The rural life is never as ideal as it can be made out to be. I grew up on a farm and remember the difficulties year round. Wint

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Candlemas Carol

At first glance, Steve Ashley's Candlemas Carol might seem something of a downer.

Don't be fooled.

On Candlemas beware, old man,

the wind, gale, and the storm;

and if you think that Winter's dead,

it's barely being born.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bridey's Spring

Well, here it is, right on cue: Bridey's Spring. What cowans call the “January thaw.”

Winter started off gently—the lakes didn't ice over until well after Yule—but we did endure a foul run of sub-zero highs in mid-January, just to remind us who's boss.

Then, just as we prepare to light the untamed torches of Imbolc (or what novelist Richard Grant calls “the mannerly votives of Candlemas”), it might as well be spring. The air is moist and fragrant, and oh that delicious music of dripping water.

Like Indian Summer, Bridey's Spring has its own painful beauty, that fleeting Yukio Mishima poignancy of the necessarily ephemeral.

Winter will be back soon enough. There's plenty more ice and snow in store.

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