Vestalia & Needful Religion

In the last few years I’ve seen a wide variety of people arrive at the conclusion that what we need as a society to avert self-destruction — self and everything else, that is — is a new religion. I’ve encountered novelists and sociologists (who might be predisposed), economists (who probably are not), celebrity chefs and… Continue reading Vestalia & Needful Religion

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

Penny Loaf Day

March 11th is Penny Loaf Day, though it is also traditional to set the observance to the Sunday closest to 11 March. This is an obscure holiday that I’d like to revive. Because first of all, it involves bread (so, duh, of course!), and second it celebrates generosity that has endured for nearly four centuries.… Continue reading Penny Loaf Day

Of Hearts and Wolves

Like many people, I find the American version of Valentine’s Day and the saccharine and monochromatic view of love it promotes to be repulsive. In my younger days I assumed the whole farce was invented by the greeting card and gifting industry, along with the rise of all manner of fake holidays intended to get… Continue reading Of Hearts and Wolves

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!

Imbolg: Beginning of Beginning

February 1st is Imbolg or St Brigid’s Feast Day. Imbolg is an ancient and somewhat forgotten holiday that falls midway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Hence it is the first of the four cross quarter days, the days marking the half way points between the solar quarter days (solstices and equinoctes). The… Continue reading Imbolg: Beginning of Beginning

Brigid: Saint of Ireland, Once and Future Goddess

The Feast of St Brigid, or Imbolg, is an ancient holiday that falls on 1 February, midway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Brigid’s Feast Day is said to be set to this date at her request so that her day would precede the Marian Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, or… Continue reading Brigid: Saint of Ireland, Once and Future Goddess

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.