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

A Trip through the Solar Year

A key path to reducing your negative impact on the future — and to live and feel better into the bargain — is grounding yourself in the seasonal year. Eating what is fresh in your locality. Exploring your corner of the world. Experiencing the changes from one season to the next. Humans used to live in… Continue reading A Trip through the Solar Year

Lughnasadh

It is nearly Lughnasadh. This is my favorite time of year. Some may love midwinter twinkle; others may love the summer sun. But I live for the autumn blaze. The cooling weather, the increasing darkness, the slowing pace and renewed time for reading and introspection. The color and pageantry of fall. The scents of leaf… Continue reading Lughnasadh

Lugh’s Blessing

It is nearly Lughnasadh, fair season. This is the time of year when we gather together to celebrate and share and boast about our handicrafts. The Irish have a such a deep passion for these crafty clan gatherings, they put a deity in charge. Lugh was the primary god of the Tribe. These days, he… Continue reading Lugh’s Blessing

Lughnasadh 2041

I am engaged in building a future for my kids out of this mess of a present, largely created by my parents' generation. One of the most wearing aspects of this project is not giving in to despair. Merely seeing what might be good — or even survivable — is difficult. So from time to… Continue reading Lughnasadh 2041

Midsummer Strawberry Moon

The eighth moon is the Strawberry Moon and, yes, strawberries are bountiful this month — the first real fruit harvest. (I don’t count that rhubarb stuff… it’s chard, not fruit.) While planting and harvesting both happen all year long, this is the month when there is a shift from predominantly planting activities to mainly harvest… Continue reading Midsummer Strawberry Moon

May Day

the hawthorn 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 wierd is on her laid to spin th' unceasing wheel of chance again, she comes in crown of… Continue reading May Day