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Is Spring Here? Or Just Around the Corner?

Merry meet! Today as you might know is Imbolc, also called Oimelc, an ancient Celtic festival celebrating the beginning of spring and the traditional date on which ewes and other farm animals gave birth. You may also be familiar with the festival’s modern equivalents such as Candlemas, Groundhog Day, and St. Brigid’s Day. Whether you mark it as the midpoint of winter or the beginning of spring it’s generally been regarded as the time when the cold begins to thaw and life renews itself.

We’ve gathered all of our relevant articles from the past month as well as a bunch of other interesting stuff from around the web. We hope you have a very pleasant spring!

— Aryós Héngwis

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Imbolc and Goddess Brede's Personal Messages

* An excerpt from: The Goddess Lives, poetry, prose and prayers in her honour. Agnes Toews-Andrews.

It was near the 2004 commencement of the vernal equinox, and I was leading a new moon circle on Quinte Faery Isle, (Prince Edward County) Ontario. The night was translucent and cold. Patches of snow lay in shady corners of the field where we stood. The stars were close. I felt like a part of them, although that winter I had rarely been sleeping outside under the gigantic inexplicable Universe. My journey was progressing though, on my chosen planet, Earth. I had been finding that I was sharing this home with a myriad of curious life forms, aside from those that scientists have agreed on. And goddesses of folklore seemed to materialize in the astral for mysterious reasons. I was also discovering that my inherent genetic lineage was rich, vital, and I was intimately connected with other realities. I had discovered that Earth was home to many keys to the galaxies, and it was more than simply my home.

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Hey y'all! It's Arwen, the Professional Joy Seeker, here with my Witches and Pagans entry into the Imbolc 2019 Tarot Blog Hop. The theme for this edition of the Tarot Blog Hop is “Odd Associations.” I have another post in this hop about a missing baby. But I have a lot more weird stories. In fact, I often whine, "Mooommmmm, the Tarot is DOING IT again."
By that I mean mocking me, teasing me, tripping me up! An association I have with the Chariot Rx is a car accident. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you a story about "this one time as Psychic Phone Line camp...."
It's really not what you are thinking! I had a woman call me for a reading. She didn't really have a question so I did a Celtic Cross layout. Pretty much my go-to spread at that time. I've moved away from that though. During the reading, the Deep Past card (the third card I lay down) was the Chariot reversed (Rx).
I put my fingers on the card. I do that because it helps me center on the card I'm reading. I'm a bit of a ....
When I touched the card, I started first person!
"I want you to know I died of a heart attack. I was not in any pain."
I had to stop myself, y'all. I really wanted to clap my hands over my mouth! But this woman asked me to continue. So I did, but in third person now. I told her that he wanted her to know the car crash came after he died. And that he didn't want her to move the big pots by herself.
It was that last line that had her laughing and crying. I told her I was sorry, then I described the person I suddenly had a memory of. Well, not exactly a memory. More like it was a photograph. He wasn't moving. I didn't see him--I remembered what he looked like. I went on to describe the front of her house and the big picture window. At this time, she gasped. Then she confirmed it was her husband. He'd died on a winding highway in the Ozarks. It was a crash with a semi if I remember correctly. He'd only been gone about six, maybe nine months.
And I'd described him exactly in what he'd died in. Overalls and a white shirt. Things I could not know! But to this day, the Chariot Rx reminds me of that. I will always ask about a car accident if it is a past card or warn my querent to take care if it is a future card.
Then there was the missing baby...but that's another post. In this hop, actually. Have fun as you visit the other posts to find out what my compatriots have to say about their own odd associations. Please take a moment to leave a comment on the blogs. You are the reason we do these hops. So let us know you came by!
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Joy Vernon
    Joy Vernon says #
    Wow! What an incredible story! Very powerful.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Arwen, thank you so much. I have had similar experiences as a psychic, but tend not to reveal them publicly, so it is really nic
  • Aisling
    Aisling says #
    This is amazing, Arwen--and one of the most amazing things about it is that I have had very similar experiences. I love the way Sp

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Journey with Hermes

I was in for some surprises in May of 2006, when I first visited Samos, a Greek island near the border with Turkey, to give a talk at a students’ club. I had been invited by Minas Papageorgiou—a student back then and now a writer, researcher and journalist—to speak about Mary Magdalene. He took me on a journey up a stream named Potami (pron. potámi), the Greek word for river. It turned out to be a magical place as the stream runs through a forest and forms small lakes and waterfalls.

Our journey into the wild started—appropriately—with a strange kind of pilgrimage. Soon after Minas and I started hiking, we saw a sign reading: Ancient Chapel, Transfiguration of the Savior. Standing in the shade of a big rock, it had an eerie feeling about it. The day was warm and bright, but no sunrays touched the 11th-century church, as if Helios, the Sun God, carefully avoided this uncanny place.

We pushed the blue wooden door and were instantly greeted by a pungent smell of candles and incense. With goosebumps crawling up my arms, I tried to resist the feeling of awe inspired by the tall, gray stone walls, which exuded an aura of mystery. “Non-believers aren’t supposed to feel awe in such places,” I carefully admonished myself.

Besides, we were not there to pay homage to the Christian Savior, whose painted image was inspecting us from the door of the sanctuary. We had gone with the purpose of observing the four columns which supported the center of the old building. They were round and smooth, their only decoration being the intricate Corinthian-style column capitals. Were these pre-Christian? Archaeologists believe that they may well be.

Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, a French botanist and writer who visited Samos in the early 18th century, claimed that the columns came from the shrine of Hermes Kharidotes, “Giver of Grace (kharis)” or “Bringer of the Graces (Kharites).” In some places, during his festival, called Hermaea, the social order was temporarily reversed, as strictly defined roles came topsy-turvy. Among his many qualities, Hermes was also the Trickster, the Subversive One.

The foundations of that church were very old, dating probably from the 6th century CE. It was customary at the time to build Christian temples on top of Hellenic ones as the new religion was rapidly devouring the old one. We stared at the columns in silence, in the vain hope they might reveal their secrets. They didn’t, but an unexpected clue manifested as we turned back to walk out of the door. The evidence was there, right under our feet: the marble rectangular stone which formed the doorstep had a big circle carved in its center, which bore two holes. What else could that be but the base of an ancient statue? Similar stones can be seen in a host of Greek archaeological sites.

The name of the church was also telling: the Transfiguration of the Savior. The Greek word for transfiguration is metamorphosis, which is commonly used with the meaning of “transformation.” It rung a bell as Hermes (known to the Romans as Mercurius) is indeed a mercurial figure, a god with diverse roles and many faces, and a mediator between different realms. He was also considered the guide of souls to the underworld; his place of worship could have easily been transformed into that of the Christian Savior of souls…

That rather unorthodox pilgrimage was the beginning of our journey up the potami, a stream flowing into the sea just a few meters away from us. We began to walk uphill and soon reached a grove of olive trees and lemon trees, which seemed to relish the abundant touch of the sun and the presence of the life-giving water.

As our walk through the grove came to an end, Minas and I suddenly entered a different world. I stood gaping at the dreamlike landscape. The interplay of light and shadow created an otherworldly atmosphere. Hermes came to mind again, this time as the god of dreams, magic and alchemy. As a messenger of the gods, he could easily cross from one world to the other, from heaven to earth and into the underworld. I wondered what messages he had in store for us.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Soul Walker

It's the morning of the Eve of Oimelc. I sit on the front porch with our youngest coven kid, waiting for the school bus.

As we wait, we sing songs of spring.

Walker in the silent places,

Walker where no one may go,

our aloneness cries out to you,

Walker in the Snow.

The Arctic cold that has paralyzed the city for days has finally broken. There's even a little moisture in the air. A dusting of snow has fallen overnight; the snow diamonds sparkle.

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Spirit is Everywhere: Capricorn Moon Vibes Jan. 31-Feb.3

Capricorn Moon Spirit Animal: Racoon

Keyword: Friendly
Meaning: A good friend and a warm hug are needed..
Reversed: Being alone builds character but can also be lonely.

“Heart-Bandit (Racoon)“
from The Elfin Ally Oracle Deck

by Kathy Crabbe

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

A time of magic and transformation, sacred to the goddess Brighid, is upon us at the eve of Imbolc,  Lá Fhéile Bríde  as it is known in Irish and Là Fhèill Brìghde as it is known in Scottish Gaelic. Brighid is one of our oldest and most revered of goddesses, Britain and Brittany are both named after Her, she is the sacred guardian of these countries. Her special festival, Imbolc, is one of the oldest Celtic festivals- one of the most famous sacred sites in Ireland, the mound of the hostages at Tara, built around 3350BC is astronomically aligned to the Imbolc sunrise, and there are several others, showing us that this time has been sacred for thousands of years. Thought to mean ‘in the belly’ Imbolc is a time when the ewes are pregnant and the new lambs are born, and when the year ahead is still pregnant with possibility.

There is something so special about this quiet, wintery time, when the first new shoots may be breaking through the soil but winter still continues fierce for a while yet. Today I woke at dawn to frosty world of white and silver, and I cleaned the hearth and kindled the fire in Brighid's name, adapting a traditional Celtic kindling prayer from the Outer-Hebrides.

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