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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in evenday

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Come Ye Thankful People, Come

The Autumn Equinox: it's a holiday of many names.

None of them—to be perfectly honest—quite there yet, if you know what I mean.

Equinox, of course, comes from Latin: “equal night.” It has the advantage of being readily comprehensible, at least. The down side is, of course, that it's ambiguous, since it's got a twin in the spring. And somehow it's got that clinical sound to it.

Then there's Evenday. This is a modern loan-translation from the word for “equinox” in the Scandinavian languages. (Interesting that, to describe a time when day and night are of equal length, the Southrons focus on night and the Northrons on day; make of that what you will.)

“Evenday” has a nice, colloquial sound to it, and is probably relatively transparent to anyone with light behind the eyes. Interestingly, it has already developed two pronunciations, and (curiously) I find myself using both of them: Even-day and Even-dee, just like the days of the week: the formal and less formal options, respectively.

Wishing folks a “Happy Evenday” has a good sound to it, certainly. But, of course, there's still that vernal-autumnal ambiguity.

So far as we can tell, the ancient Kelts did not observe the sunsteads and evendays as holidays (focusing instead on what we would call the “Cross-Quarters”), so there were no traditional names for them in any of the Keltic languages. To rectify this situation, Druidic Revivalists in the 19th century coined Welsh names for them; the autumn evenday is now called Alban Elfed (supposedly, “Light of [the] Waters”), and the name has gained a certain currency in Druidic circles.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Ariel; the poem is the first verse of a song that we sing at the Harvest Supper every year, our version of a 19th century A
  • Ariel Aron
    Ariel Aron says #
    Nicely said I love reading your stuff. I also love the little poem.
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    "Usage determines correctness." No it doesn't. Pronouncing ask as arks does not make it correct no matter how many people do it,
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Given that living languages are in a constant state of change, Andrew, who then gets to decide what's correct?
  • Andrew
    Andrew says #
    Definitely not people who didn't know how to pronounce a word correctly in the first place.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Crowning the Harvest

 Now the falling of the leaves, now the shortening day:

for Summer is a-going out, and Winter's on the way.

 

You won't find our Autumn Evenday ritual in any Book of Shadows.

In some ways, it looks more like Thanksgiving at your mother's house.

Well, assuming your mother was Sybil Leek.

After all, this is Witches' Thanksgiving.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I've quoted from seven different songs here; there are lots of Harvest songs. Here's Albion Band's version of the last, The Reapho
  • Haley
    Haley says #
    How does the tune of this song play? I hear something akin to 'Oak, Ash and Thorne', perhaps.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Joining the Dance

I start awake with the prickling knowledge that someone is in the room.

Every house has its secrets. I am about to learn one.

My eyes fly open. A luminescence hovers mid-air at the foot of the bed.

We'd been in the house nine months. My bedroom faces west, so I was accustomed to wake to darkness.

But now a shaft of red-gold, ancestral light slants in, spans the room, and illumines the windows of the west.

Minneapolis is a four-square city, its good Midwestern street-grid laid out cardinally. As the Sun rises due east at the equinoxes in his annual journey along the horizon, his light shines in through the east window, streams in a thick, tangible column down the hall, and into my bedroom on the west.

Like something out of New Grange.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Goddess Rising

One day the Goddess went away.

The Moon wanes away into darkness. The seed goes down into the soil. Summer descends into Winter.

Each Spring, we too descend. Into the Underworld we go. We seek Her, we find Her, and we bring Her back.

There was a time in history when it seemed that the Goddess had gone away.

So we descended into the Underworld. We sought Her, we found Her, and we brought Her back.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Chloe
    Chloe says #
    Very beautiful. As someone who reveres and adores Persephone, this speaks to my heart. Thank you!
  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
    Beautiful.

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