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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in frith
What Do You Say When a Non-Pagan Wishes You 'Good Samhain'?

If you're out of the broom closet, and it hasn't happened to you yet, it will.

A non-pagan wishes you “Good Samhain”* (or Beltane, or Yule).

What do you say in response?

It's an act of hospitality to wish someone joy of their holiday. When that holiday is not one's own, the act becomes even more gracious, an act of grith-weaving. (Grith is an old name for “peace between communities,” as distinguished from frith, which means “peace within a community.”) It says: I know you. It says: I accept you for who you are. It says: I care enough to keep informed.

When someone wishes you Good Samhain (or Beltane, or Yule), the automatic instinct is to return the greeting, but of course when the well-wisher is not pagan, it's bootless to wish her joy of a holiday that she doesn't celebrate. It also denies the difference that she has just so graciously acknowledged.

So what do you say in response to a non-pagan "Good Samhain"?

Best, as always, is to answer graciousness with graciousness, hospitality with hospitality, while at the same time acknowledging difference.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Under the Sign of the Green Branch

Why is the Green God, Lord of Leaf and Tendril, called 'Frith-God,' god of peace?

Not hard.

In days before the White Flag came to denote cessation of hostilities, truce, and peaceful negotiation, the Green Branch bore these meanings, and its bearers.

The wielders of the Green Branch bear no weapon, but the sign of life and growth.

Indeed, they bear the sign of the strong God Who Makes War on None, yet in the end wins nonetheless, through patience and persistence.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stands-In-the-Sky

In the old language of the Witches, frith means “peace.”

They say that it's also the name of the Goddess of the Rainbow.

Why? Not difficult.

Daughter of Sun and Thunder, contentious couple that they are, she is child of their reconciliation.

Last new moon I set out for our coven meeting just before sunset. Although the day had been gray and rainy throughout, suddenly the clouds parted and everything began to glow with a long, red equinox light.

And there in the east She stood in the sky with Her twin sister, vast and shining.

I live in a gritty urban neighborhood where it's sound practice to be a little chary of people you pass on the street.

Last modified on
Can a Pagan Woman, in Good Conscience, Go to Uluru?

Uluru: the Great Red Rock, Australia's most iconic holy place.

Held sacred by local First Nations peoples, it is considered by them to be a men's shrine, and hence forbidden to women.

So, can a pagan woman, in good conscience, go there?

Well, different peoples, different ways. I can't rightly expect you to act in accordance with my people's ways, nor you me.

Still, it's always best practice to be respectful of other people's stuff, especially their religious stuff. In the old Witch language, there are two words for "peace." Frith is peace within a community. Grith is peace between communities, and maintaining grith is a cultural value of great (although not overriding) importance.

And when it comes to religious rules, peoples vary. So what to do when your people do things one way, and mine another?

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    Frith and grith come from Old Norse, not some "old witch language."
  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester says #
    The response of Bekah Evie Bel did not strike me as extreme at all, but very respectful. This is obviously a topic that needs car
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the link, Anne; it's a thoughtful piece, well worth the read. The conversation about the proper relation between "immig
  • Bekah Evie Bel
    Bekah Evie Bel says #
    If that was my conclusion then I have to agree, it would indeed be extreme and absurd. It wasn't my intent to give that conclusio
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks for the clarification, Bekah; as I spent more time thinking about your post, it became clear to me that I had far overgener

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Summer in Winter

After the second Battle of Moy Tura, Macha traveled throughout Ireland. “What news?” they would ask wherever she went, and this is what she told them.

Although there is no evidence that the Kelts of Bronze and Iron Age Ireland observed the winter solstice—unlike their Stone Age predecessors who raised New Grange—Macha's proclamation of peace has long seemed to me a fitting articulation of the hope—and promise—of Yule.

Last modified on

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