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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dawn of the Year

We're getting our dawns back.

At the latitude at which I live—44.9798º N—we lose our dawns during the winter. The Sun goes down; it's dark. The Sun comes up; there's light. But the rich, varied colors of Dawn—the roses, the ambers, the saffrons, the teals—go down into the Dark of the Year.

But now they're returning. Into the colorless world of winter, color comes flooding back.

The Dawn of the Seasons, the Dawn of the Year, approaches. For 6000 years and more, spring has been the special season of Dawn, ever-young goddess, and the many and varied dawn goddesses of the Indo-European-speaking world are known wherever those languages are spoken. In English we call her Easter.

Some have postulated a myth in which, through the dark winter, Dawn is held captive in the Underworld. And now she's coming back to us again, free once more.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Embracing the Spring

There is no set date, no temperature, nor is there a light level at which nature in the Northern hemisphere agrees on spring having arrived. It doesn’t help that freak storms and late frosts are always an option. Do you start early and hope to get ahead or hang on a bit longer in the hopes your precious eggs and shoots aren’t frosted to death?

Tree by tree, bird by bird, each individual makes their own choice about when to push forward into this new cycle of living. The choice to live is the risk of death and failure. At this time of year, there is nothing else. Living is a risky business, but wait too long and the opportunity passes, it is summer already and you have nothing to hatch.

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The Spring Equinox


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Vesta: Fresh Starts & the Sacred Flame

Today is a big day.  It marks one of the oldest, most celebrated and sacred events in the ancient Roman world: the date on which the Vestal priestesses renewed Vesta’s sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta in the heart of Rome.  

This event marked the first day of the Roman new year.  Renewing Vesta’s fire was a major civic and religious event, and a beloved tradition that spanned from the earliest days of the Temple in the  8th or 7th century BCE (when it was still a wooden structure, the first in the Forum) to the 4th century CE when the Temple was forcibly closed during a brutal policy of Christianization. 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Hellenist Pagan rituals are being openly celebrated in Athens. Its time for the Temple of Vesta to be re-opened in Rome.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Nebamun-2.jpgMore than 50 ancient hieroglyphs depict birds: ibis, quail chick, hawk, vulture, duck, plover, goose, swallow, sparrow, cormorant, egret, ostrich, heron, flamingo, lapwing, hoopoe, guinea hen and falcon, plus variations on each of these.  It’s a veritable feast for modern bird lovers; tomb paintings like Nebamun hunting are still more delightful, showing the teeming color of life in the Nile marshes. 

Egyptian cosmology is closely tied to birds, too.  During Sep Tepi (sacred time), a bird of light flies out of the dark waters of Nun and lands on the primordial mound called the benben. This bird was thought to be an early form of Ra, and Herodotus thought the bennu was the phoenix of later Greek myth, the firebird which rises reborn from its own ashes. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Two Priestesses

It seems that N's high priestess was at a festival, going to the evening ritual in a simple white robe.

En route, she runs into—I'm quoting my friend here—a “Laurie Cabot clone,” hair done to the max, made-up to the nines, gown by Elvira, clanking with the weight of all her occult silver. Clearly this woman has worked for hours to make herself look like this.

“Oh honey,” she says to my friend's high priestess, “Aren't you going down to the big ritual tonight?”

“Sure, I'm going there now.”

Not-Laurie looks at her, dismayed. “Oh honey,” she says, “Dressed like that? Don't you want to make yourself beautiful for the Goddess?”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I agree, but there's certainly something to be said for style. Let me add that what I find so appealing about the second woman's
  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    I've always felt what's on the inside of a person counts for a lot more than the packaging.

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