For all those guys out there wondering, Should I tell him?, a perennial classic.
Not quite as I learned it from my grandparents.
Shine On, Harvest Moon
The night was mighty dark, so you could hardly see,
for the Moon refused to shine;
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A Victorian nationalist wrote the lyrics. The king of British folksingers wrote the tune. The father of modern witchcraft made it part of the Book of Shadows. And across the English-speaking world, pagans sing and dance to it every Midsummer's Day.
How good is that?
Poet Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) first published the poem A Tree Song in his childrens' novel Puck of Pook's Hill in 1906. Folk-singer Peter Bellamy (1944-1991) wrote a musical setting for the poem (you can hear it here), retitled Oak and Ash and Thorn; it was released on the album of the same name in 1970.
Meanwhile, some time in the 1950s, Gerald Gardner (1886-1964) had written the last verse of the song into the liturgy for Beltane. How did a Midsummer's song (“Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, me love/all of a Midsummer's morn”) end up at Beltane? Well, the cross-quarters were the original sabbats of Gardner's revived “witch-cult,” as in Murray, and the quarter-days (solstices and equinoxes) didn't come in until later. That explains the truncation of the lyrics in the BoS version as well.
It's the oldest surviving song in English to which we have both words and tune, an earthy and exuberant hymn to spring. It's also a delight.
Sumer Is Icumen In
Sumer is icumen in;
lhude sing, cuckoo.
Groweth sede and bloweth mede,
and springth the wode nu;
Art by Pascal Campion
My Women’s Sacred Circle has begun a new year with a different plan, and it was a great opportunity for me to jump back in after a busy summer. They split it into two monthly meetings. One is to be similar to what we had been doing, which was like a book club, where we will be reading Caroline Myss’ “Sacred Contracts” (last year it focused on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ “Women Who Run With The Wolves” which is a favorite of mine) and keeping a journal for the work we do in that book. The other meeting will be a moon circle on the night of the full moon, where we will do ritual together and discuss the symbolism of that month’s moon. Last month it was the Hunter’s Moon. :) We will also be keeping a moon journal for this meeting....
The more traditional American holidays can leave some of we Wiccans and Pagans feeling a little left out and blue. Here are some ideas for taking pride in ourselves and where we live– as the old Francis Scott Key ditty goes: "the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Get your magical-minded buddies together for an outdoor picnic. For this, I would suggest your friendly, less populated county or state parks. If you are concerned about the forest ranger making the rounds, hold the festivities in your own (or co-host with one of your guests') big back yards instead.
Cook special dishes of significance to you. Cakes and Ale or Cakes and Wine are always an easy crowd-pleaser. Per Patti Wigington, at the about.com website: "The Wiccan ritual known as Cakes and Ale is often celebrated as a way of thanking the gods for their blessings. Cakes are usually just cookies prepared in the shape of crescent moons, and the ale can be alcoholic or it can be apple cider, juice, or even water." Here is her recipe:...
During my latest New Moon Intention Circle I shared with my sisters on the call my Goddess music playlist on Youtube. One of my favorite pastimes is finding new Goddess songs and supporting female artists by buying their music. So here I am sharing my Goddess music playlist with the hope you will share new songs with me and perhaps find some new songs for yourself!
I have listed the songs in the order they appear on my Youtube playlist. The song’s name links to the Youtube video for it so you can listen to the song. If you feel called to learn more about the singer, their name is linked to their website if one is available. After that I provide the name of the album with a link to purchase it. I tried to provide a link via Amazon.com so you can purchase just the Mp3 of the song if you cannot afford the album.
Again, I hope in sharing my list with you that you will be motivated to share what songs we have in common, what new songs I should listen to and perhaps find a couple of songs you had not heard before. I look forward to hearing from you sisters! ❤
~featured art in this post is "The Muse of Music" by Emily Balivet, another amazing Goddess sister!~
In the middle of lunch, my father looked into my eyes and asked who I was. This question stopped me in my tracks. For a moment, I forgot my father’s illness. Instead, I remembered that he was responsible for naming me.