Bealtaine

the thorn queen she waxes full in fertile grace queen of quick and fay, she reigns in mantle green and seemly face quelling fear and mortal pains eternal mother, ever maid undying wisdom in her glance deathless weird is on her laid to spin th' unceasing wheel of chance again, she comes in crown of… Continue reading Bealtaine

Saint George and the Dragon

Bernat Martorell, Saint George and the Dragon (1434-1435) Sir George, he went a’questing, as gallant lads will do, to prove his mettle and his fine fettle — a knight both brave and true. He came upon a kingdom wherein misfortune reigned. The dragon blight, a dire plight, a land become blood-stained. The dragon charged the… Continue reading Saint George and the Dragon

Time for the Full Sap Moon!

The fifth moon of my solar year is the Sap Moon. It is new between 24 February and 24 March, full between 10 March and 7 April. This is a period of rapid change. The Sap Moon rarely sees the same weather from year to year. When it’s early in the solar calendar, this month… Continue reading Time for the Full Sap Moon!

Parentalia

As February marks the last month in the ancient Roman calendar, the Romans spent their time setting themselves in accord with the world. The 9-day festival of Parentalia begins on 13 February and culminates in the day of Feralia, which began at sundown on the 21st. Parentalia was a sacred time to commune with the… Continue reading Parentalia

Candlemas: Spring Forecast

If Candlemas be bright and clear there'll be two winters in the year. — traditional adage from Scotland There are many weather marking days throughout the year. Candlemas, falling on 2 February, was the day that our ancestors began to get nervous about the spring. A fine Candlemas portends a bad harvest and winter dearth;… Continue reading Candlemas: Spring Forecast

Chinese New Year!

Snow Moon The fourth moon in the lunar year is the Snow Moon, though I sometimes think it should be called the Hunger Moon. There is not always snow, but there is hunger — in both belly and mind. At this time of year, many of us become restless, wanting to be more, do more.… Continue reading Chinese New Year!

Distaff Day

Distaff Day, or St. Distaff’s Day, is an obscure and faded custom that has rather a bit more weight behind it that one might expect. The day is observed most often on January 7th, the day after Epiphany, the last day of the winter holidays. Less commonly, Distaff Day falls on the first Tuesday after Epiphany, being known as Distaff Tuesday in keeping with Plough Monday.

Sun Stands Still

Green Man in the cold morning light Today, 20 December 2021, the sun appears to stand still at its most southern point. We call this period of slow change, where day length changes incrementally and then not at all, the solstice, the “sun pause”. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the winter solstice, the time… Continue reading Sun Stands Still

Santa Lucia

Before Pope Gregory tweaked the Julian calendar and caused a great deal of confusion, 13 December was celebrated as the winter solstice in Scandinavia. The poem by the late 16th century English writer, John Donne, “A Nocturnal upon St Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day” shows that Protestant countries were still celebrating Midwinter in the… Continue reading Santa Lucia

All Hallows: An Entanglement

It is All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowe’en, the first day of the ancient new year festival called Samhaine, which is usually translated as “end of summer”. This is one of the few clear remnants from at least one of the cultures we now name “Celtic”. The word, Samhaine, shows up in the Late Roman Era luna-solar… Continue reading All Hallows: An Entanglement