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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Common Evening Primrose  Oenothera biennis  25 seeds R image 1 

'Maiden in the Moor Lay'


Who is the mysterious 'maiden' of the '14th' century Middle English carol 'Maiden in the Mor Lay?'

(A carol was originally, not a song, but a round dance performed to sung, rather than instrumental, accompaniment. Witches still use the term this way.)

Is she some enticing witchly daughter?

Is she, perhaps, some woman of Faerie?

Or is she the witches' Goddess herself, Maiden Earth in her Springtime?

In the interest of readability, I have rendered the original Middle English lyrics directly into their Modern English equivalents. The reader will note a certain amount of semantic 'slippage' in the course of the six intervening centuries.

To my eye, this only adds to the carol's charm.


Maiden in the Moor Lay

(English, '14th' Century)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Jeez, block's really parked up tonight.

Yeah, it's the Witches.


Yeah, first day of Spring today. One of their big shindigs, first day of Spring.

It is?

Yeah, it's like this every year, first day of Spring. That's what they do, I guess: make the seasons change, and stuff.

Sure wish they'd got around to it sooner, then. Been a bitch of a Winter.

Tell me about it. Swear I just about wore out the snow shovel this year.

You and me both. Witches, hunh? Who'd a thunk.

Yeah. Well, see ya round. Hey, happy Spring.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Spring is risen. Indeed She is risen!

This exchange, in various languages, and with deities culturally-pertaining thereunto, is a long-standing tradition of our coven Ostara.

(Yes, it's a steal from the Church. Call it reparations.)

Through the course of the evening, the greeting, like a golden ball, is tossed back and forth in various languages, call-and-response style, a playful ritual game. Sometimes only one or two voices reply. Sometimes everyone calls out together. No matter where you go, or what language you speak, we're all glad to see Spring.

Every year, we try to add a language or two. (Greek: Korê anéstê. Alithôs anéstê! Akkadian: Ishtar tebîtum. Kînish tebîtum!) We try to include all languages spoken by coven members. (Dutch: Ostern is opgestaan. Echt, zij is opgestaan! Arabic: 'Ástarût qámat. áqqan qámat!) Recently, we've been incorporating ancestral languages as well. This is, after all, paganism: the ancestors are not only important, but axial.

For some of us, this means Yiddish, the Jews of northern Europe having been, for the most part, Yiddish-speaking. So come along with me on a fantasy journey into the depths of time.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

May we nourish seeds
of possibility and joy.
May we tend to seeds of connection
and seeds of ideas.
May we nurture seeds of genius
and sparks of change.
May we gather up
what we’ve created
and hold it lovingly
and then open our hands
and let go.
May we plant what we can,
savor what we can,
harvest what we need to thrive,
and love where we are now,
hearts alive
and hopes extended.
May we be as full of promise
as a nestled seed,
lying in darkness
at the fiercest edge
of cracking open,
ready to see what grows.

Ostara blessings to all! May you nurture tender seeds of possibility.
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 A certification label for the sustainable management of hedgerows | The  European Network for Rural Development (ENRD)

Darling, don't be naive.

Two gay guys, walking down the hall at Paganicon, holding hands? Everyone saw us.

Believe me, we're already an item.

I know we're not an item. You know we're not an item.

But trust me: according to the hedge telegraph, we're an item. Just wait. You'll see.

Oh, come on, you're not that new to the community. It's the pagan equivalent of what my Indigenous friends call the rez telegraph: that uncanny, simultaneous ability of everyone in your entire community to know every single detail of your most intimate personal life. Never, ever underestimate the power of the hedge telegraph.

How it actually operates is one of the Greater Mysteries, for sure. Which isn't to say that it always gets things right, of course.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Egypt Civilization - Min, God of Fertility, Min -Egyptian mnw- is an  ancient Egyptian god whose cult originated in the predynastic period - 4th  millennium BCE- He was represented in many different

The “Tantra” of Temple Worship


Hey, do me a favor, would you? When you finally manage to perfect that spell for summoning the dead that you've been working on, would you let me know?

Oh, nobody in particular. Pretty much any ancient Egyptian priest would do, I should think.

Well, yeah...I do have a question about...ah, temple protocol, you could call it, that I'd like to ask him. You know, offerings and such?

Say: you've got a home temple, don't you? Do you pray and make offerings there on a daily basis?

Just off and on, eh? Hmm. Well...let me ask you anyway.

So...when you make the prayers and offerings, do you ever find yourself getting...well, physically aroused?

OK, whew. So it's not just me. I mean, it makes perfect sense: serpent power and all. Every temple offering's a Great Rite, right?

Still, I mean, we're witches, serving witch gods. I mean: Old Hornie, “lord of the skull and the phallus”, right? He pretty much is Arousal, right? Like god, like priest?

But does it depend on which god you're serving, maybe? I mean, Min, sure, but Amun? Or Thoth? That's what I want to know.

Yeah, f*ck, that's the bitch of it. Witchery, sure, that's never gone away, but witch temples now, our tribal sanctuaries? We haven't had those for years and years.

So much lost, so much.


Back when, there would have been a senior priest to ask, but now...we just have to figure it out as we go, and try not to blow anything up in the meantime.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Flute (Medieval) – Early Music Instrument Database

Here playeth the temple orchestra.

Call it an unwritten rubric.

In the old days, of course, every endowed temple would have had its own orchestra: professional musicians whose sacred playing accompanied the daily rites.

There are offerings, and there are enhanced offerings.

Alas, in these benighted days, when temples go largely unfunded, whether by community or by generous patron, temple-keeping is largely an act of private love and devotion, with the resident priest or priestess  themselves providing most of the candles, incense, and offerings. As I say, an act of love.

But sometimes vistas of the future open suddenly before our eyes.

For the last few days my friend and colleague Frater Barrabbas has been, in advance of Paganicon 2023, guesting here at Temple of the Moon. He's a gifted guy (just wait 'til you see his forthcoming book on the inner mechanics of the Personifying priesthood: it's a stunner), and (inter alia) plays a mean flute, the throaty silver tones of which can literally lure the Horned from the woods. (I've seen it myself.)

Usually when making the morning and evening offerings before the altar, I sing, or hum, or make what composers call vocalise, and the Irish mouth music.

Now, one flute does not a temple orchestra make. Oh, but it sure beats humming.

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