This essay was originally published at Neo-Paganism.com.
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On 23rd October we will celebrate both Lunar Samhain and a partial solar eclipse in Scorpio. Scorpio is the zodiac sign that encapsulates some of the cailleach, or hag's, qualities. Scorpio not only understands shadows, but often prefers shade. Scorpio has a fondness for the occult, deep psychology, sex. The eighth house in a horoscope is ruled by Scorpio, the eighth sign, and is often referred to as the house of sex, regeneration and death. Loss, grief, transformation, these are Scorpio themes. Like the snake that swallows its tail, Scorpio knows how to shed its skin, reinvent itself and reach for infinity. This is also the Cailleach's tale: wisdom/dementia, destruction/rebuilding, beauty/horror, gain/loss, giving/receiving. She is the polarity and the third way.
Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic winter season. After a prolonged warm and summery Equinox, the wind is blustery, stripping all the crimson Virgina creeper from our house's southwest wall. The hag is speaking. She has arrived. We scurry to light the fire during the day to ward off the dampness; the rain hurls itself off the Atlantic. There was thunder at dawn this morning. The Cailleach has come.
There are many reasons for women, slaves, and the poor to rebel against domination and unjust authorities in patriarchal societies. But we should not assume that there are any reasons to rebel against domination where no domination exists or to rebel against unjust authority in societies where there are no unjust authorities.
In response to my popular series of blogs on patriarchy as a system of male dominance created at the intersection of the control of female sexuality, private property, and war (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), I was asked if there is an injustice inherent in matriarchal societies that caused men to rebel and create patriarchy.
The assumption behind this question is that if women are dominated by men in patriarchal societies, then men must have been dominated by women pre-patriarchal societies. Lurking behind the question is the further assumption that there must have been “a good reason” for the development of patriarchy. The idea that there is “no good reason” for patriarchy to exist–if “good” means fair and just–is just too painful for many of us to want to consider it.
Today's #13daysofmagic spell is an anti-confusion spell. You can find this spell in the next volume of Modern Witch Magazine, which will be out this winter.
There were some really great posts on the first day, here are just a few that really stuck out! You can see more by searching #13daysfmagic on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Today was laundry day. And unpacking day. And grocery-shopping day. I returned late yesterday from Festival of Souls near Memphis and it was my second festival in as many weeks. I am grateful to be home to settle into Samhain and wash my socks.
Two weeks ago, I was teaching at the Southeast Wise Women's Conference, which used to be called the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference. It is exactly what it sounds like. In a gorgeous mountain setting--that was the site of the old Black Mountain College....
This autumn children's game, a variant of "tag," comes from the old Hwicce tribal territories in England's southwest Midlands. Like many traditional children's games, it is circular, self-replicating, and orally transmitted. The game's ritual structure and deeply mythic resonances will hardly be lost on anyone likely to be reading this post.
Players gather in a circle, hand-in-hand, around a mound of leaves. (In some versions, they circle.) They chant:
Leaf Man Rise Up Leaf Man Rise Up Leaf Man Rise Up
Forty-two weeks of saving -- that means only ten weeks left! These next ten weeks -- nearly 20% of the time spent raising this energy -- is going to account for $475, or more than a third of the total by year's end. That's kind of like my mortgage, but in reverse. Compound interest, working for the common good. How about that?
It's how compounding works with money: it adds upon itself. When you owe a lot, like my mortgage, the interest I'm paying is based on how much I owe. My monthly payment doesn't change, and when we started paying it was barely over the amount of interest the principle racked up in a month's time, leaving only a tiny bit to pay off the original loan, which is what the principle is. Over time, that amount does go down, let's say by a dollar at first. Next month, when they calculate the interest I owe, it's owed on one dollar less, so maybe I get to pay a penny less in interest, and a penny more in principle. As the principle goes down, the amount of interest I'm paying each month drops faster and faster, until that blessed last payment, which should be pretty much all principle....