EARTH DAY 2020

Fifty Years Since the First Earth Day…

Earth Day 2020

And we haven’t even started to do enough. I can’t believe, having participated in one way or another in this Celebration for most of those years, that more progress hasn’t been made. The effort to raise Awareness of this Planet’s plight has been going on for more than a half century, and while more people are indeed Aware, the situation remains much as always. Certainly, many more people are actively trying to make changes. their have been accords and agreements, the Talking Heads have debated the issue at length. Legislation has been passed to protect the environment, and then summarily overturned when it suited the current “Powers that Be”.

Shame on us All!

more “EARTH DAY 2020”

Lughnasadh–Harvest Festival

Lugnasadh Or Lammas

Is It August Already?

Yes, I know I’ve been kind of falling behind on posting this summer. Well, it’s Summer. And, the Energy Work has been kind of All-Consuming for the past month or better. I knew this year’s Summer’s Solstice (Second Quarter on the Wheel of the Year. Should have done a post–wasn’t able.) was going to bring in some intense and huge change for the Earth as well as myself. We’ve been being hit by one wave of transformative energy after another since, and I’ve been functioning largely on automatic pilot. My oldest daughter was in England during the Solstice and visited Stonehenge shortly after on June 24th. Big things are happening.

In the meanwhile, we are beginning a new month and Celebrating the first of the three Autumn Festivals. Even though Summer doesn’t officially end for some time, the Harvest season has begun and the days are growing steadily shorter. In its various forms (Lughnasadh, Lughnasa, Lammas, and Lunasa to name a few of its appellations) this Cross-Quarter has been observed in one form or another since time immemorial.

It is a time to give thanks to the spirits and deities for the beginning of the harvest season, and to propitiate them with offerings and prayers so as to encourage a successful outcome for the crops yet to be harvested. Corn or grain are most often served in the form of ceremonial breads, as well as apples, berries, squash and other food items abundant from Summer’s bounty.

The Wiccans see it, along with Beltane, as the most auspicious times for Handfasting. It is the time to make Brooms, as the broom corn is being harvested, and to Jump over the Broom, a pagan wedding ceremony with Welsh roots.

Blessings! Enjoy… 

Beltane–Bright Fire

Beltane~ Fire, Fertility & Abundance

Happy May

As the year speeds by, it is only natural to stop, take a breath and observe the natural cycles and passages as they arrive. Beltane, also related to May Day, Walpurgis Night or Calan Mai, occurs from sunset on April 30th to sunset on May 1st. It is a fire festival, a cross-quarter of the Eight-fold year marking the half way point of the succession from spring to summer.

It is the time of growth and renewal, fertility and abundance. The Goddess, celebrated as May Queen or May Bride, and the Masculine God―the Oak King, Jack-In-The-Green, or the Green Man―fall in love and consummate their marriage, assuring blessings and abundance for the growing season.

Beltane is passionate, sexual and fecund. It is a celebration of the principles of pro-creation, the occasion of the Sacred Marriage (or Heiros Gamos) between god and goddess, earth and sky. Handfasting, a traditional betrothal that lasted for “a year and a day” after which time the couple could either choose to stay together in marriage or part without impediment, very often took place at this celebration.

Traditionally, all of the fires in a community would be put out, a special Beltane Fire lit to use in the ceremonies that followed and to relight the household fires. This was the Need Fire or Teineigen. People would jump the fire to purify and cleanse themselves, and to bring fertility. Couples jumped the fire hand in hand to pledge themselves to each other. Cattle and other livestock were driven through the smoke as a protection from disease and to bring fertility.

On the first of May, it was common in many Celtic and Pagan communities for them to erect a May Pole. This phallic pole was inserted into the Earth and represented the potency of the God. The ring of flowers at the top of the Maypole represented the fertile Goddess. Its many coloured ribbons and the ensuing weaving dance symbolize the spiral of life and the union between Earth and Sky.

Beltane Today

In a world not nearly so agricultural and more technologically inclined, many traditional celebrations have fallen to the wayside. However, Beltane is still observed in many parts of the world, and often in at least symbolic recognition to its roots. In 2019, more than one Beltane Celebration is being used to call attention to the sad plight of our planet and the looming threat of Climate Change. In a world where we, as failed stewards of the land, are largely responsible for the dire straits our home planet is in, it seems apt that we should turn our attention to these problems. Hearkening back to the spiritual underpinnings of nearly lost traditions is a good way to start.

Blessed Beltane to You All…

Beltane~ Fire, Fertility and Abundance

Of Equinoxes and Full Moons

Of Equinoxes and Full Moons...

Ostara

On the Wheel of the Eight-Fold Year as observed by many Pagans, the Spring Equinox (the Second Quarter) is called Ēostre or Ostara. Named for an old Germanic Goddess, Ēostre, and the month called after her (Ēastermōnaþ). This month roughly corresponded with April and is the namesake of our present usage of Easter. It is the celebration of returning life to the land after the death of winter, and often symbolized by hares or rabbits (the hare is associated with goddess Ostara), baby animals like chicks (new life and beginnings) and eggs (fertility and increase).

In Celtic or Druidic observation, the spring equinox (celebrated on March 21st) is called Alban Eiler—the Light of the Earth. The balance of Day and Night has always been seen as a powerful opportunity for magic and transition. It is a time to sow seeds, in both physical and spiritual realms.

And of course, in the present we celebrate Easter, though that date is determined by calculating the occurrence of the paschal full moon (the full moon following March 20th) and it is observed the following Sunday. Since the March full moon is on the 20th this year, Easter will be at its latest, on April 21st. Easter Sunday celebrates the Christian belief of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

Whether we are Christian or not, most of us will follow the customs of feasting, coloring eggs and having hunts for the small children. These customs are derived from the roots of all the above mentioned observances of the arrival of spring.

A New Season of Life!

March Moon

Rarely—usually once every nineteen years— a full moon coincides with the Equinox. The last time the full moon occurred this close (about 4 hours) was in March 2000. The two haven’t occupied the same date since March 20, 1981 however. (From the Old Farmer’s Almanac ) This year the Equinox officially occurs at 5:58 pm EDT and the Full Moon at 9:43 p.m. EDT.

This first moon of spring is called variously, the Full Worm Moon, the Sap Moon, the Crow Moon and the Lenten Moon. This is this year’s third and final Supermoon. The superlative refers to the fact that the moon is at its closest to Earth in its orbit. The actual astronomical designation for a Supermoon is perigee full moon. Not as impressive perhaps. The actual difference (the moon can look 14% larger than at its other extreme on its elliptical orbit) is very slight and barely perceptible. To see the moon look larger or largest, see it just after it rises or before it sets when its proximity to the horizon makes it appear very large.

Celebrate

Why wait till Easter to color eggs? Adorn your home with fresh greenery according to what is available in your area. If snow still covers the ground, use evergreen herb sprigs or store bought spring plants. Use pastel candles, forced bulbs, lichens, etc.

Feast on those things that would have been carried over winter, nuts and squashes. Add bitter greens for their tonic effect after a heavy winter diet. Toast with a robust wine and welcome the season of returning warmth.

Plant a seed or several. Whether for cut flowers, or that herb garden you’ve been meaning to start or add to. Send your blessings out to a world emerging from the dark. Use the balance of this sacred time to bring yourself into same. After all, all things are equal…

Blessings to You All!

PinMe 🙂

Of Equinoxes and Full Moons

Imbolc—February 1st

Imbolc

The pagan holiday Imbolc is celebrated on February 1st. Also called Brigid’s Day (or Saint Brigid’s Day) it is one of four Cross-Quarter days in the Yearly Cycle— the half way point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Celebrated today by Wiccan and other Pagan groups, it was a traditional Celtic Festival with deep roots in the mass consciousness psyche.

As preparations for spring began, lambing season arrived and winter’s hold loosened on the world. The “Quickening of the Year” was greeted with high hopes and the promise of a bountiful year to come. It was a fire or light festival, a celebration of the goddess as she becomes ripe and fertile with possibility, and a time traditionally held for clearing and cleaning both inside and out. It is the traditional time for Spring cleaning to begin. Also a good time to start taking Spring tonics like dandelion greens or tea to cleanse the system of the preserved and often heavy fare of Winter meals. It is a time to reflect on the year past and release negativity or other weighty emotional matters.

Though I do not ascribe to any particular religion or spiritual system, I have always been drawn to Celtic lore and celebration, particularly that of Great Britain and Ireland. Perhaps it is an inclination of DNA, or maybe that Master Merlin has been the most present and consistent of my Spiritual Guides and Teachers through the years, but I resonate with the Eight-Fold Wheel of the Year and am always aware of it.

Love and Light! Blessings to All…