The spirituality of Charles Schulz' Peanuts is explored. Actress Ruth Negga talks about the new TV series Preacher. And surprises abound as Game of Thrones returns for another season. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in popular culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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This continues the story I began last week. Catherina is my 2x great-grandmother; Agnes is my 2x great-aunt; Johanetta is my first cousin, 3x removed, and my step-2x great-grandmother; Henry is my 2x great-grandfather. It is true that Henry had eighteen children with two wives. It is also true that Henry and Johanetta married and had a child soon after Catherina's death. Some of the other details came in waking trance as I allowed the ancestors to tell their stories through me.
Agnes Lattauer Sweitzer: I thought the day Catherina left for America would be the worst day of my life. I did not know I would see Catherina again. I did not know I would outlive my two little sisters and both of my brothers. I did not know what my daughter would do. I read Catherina’s letters from America through my tears. How I wanted to be with her on her wedding day. How I wished she had been with us when we buried our sister Johanetta. My heart nearly burst when Catherina wrote that she longed to take my hand when she gave birth to her first child. My mind contorted itself trying to envision her living in a big city, in a big building, climbing up and down stairs, her feet never touching the earth, her hands never working the soil. What kind of life was that?
As I've often said before, one of the things I appreciate most about The Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr -- and one of the reasons its a key tool in my practice -- is how multicultural it is. I appreciate the inclusion of indigenous Goddesses from around the world alongside the more familiar European Goddesses. And I also appreciate that these Goddesses are never drawn in a stereotypical or fetishized way, and their stories are treated with the appropriate respect and reverence. I have learned so much about Goddesses from traditions with which I was largely or wholly unfamiliar. And while I realize that the cultures these figures hail from might see them as Goddesses in the same sense of the word that I use, I appreciate that they are included alongside all these other powerful female figures.
This week's Goddess is one such Goddess -- Glispa, the Navajo/Dine Goddess of Healing and Transformation. It is said that Glispa undertook a dangerous journey to the land of the Snake People, who taught her the sacred Hozoni healing chant, which she brought back to the Dine. (One lovely version of her story can be found here.) In undertaking her journey and in learning these healing songs with the Snake (or Serpent) People, she represents not only healing but transformation. Just as snakes are constantly shedding their skin and transforming, Glispa reminds us that we can grow, heal, and transform into something new. That when we have outgrown old patterns, old hurts, old beliefs, we can shed them -- not painlessly and not easily, but shed them we can....
The days of warmth and light are here! Located roughly halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, Beltane represents for many Pagans the true start of summer as well as a day of celebrating the Earth’s fertility. In many Pagan circles it’s second only to Samhain—its opposite end—in importance.
In our annual megapost, we’ve gathered for you the full collection of this year’s articles at PaganSquare about Beltane and related subjects. Additionally, we’ve included some more posts we’ve gathered from around the web that we hope you’ll find interesting. May you have a happy summer! Blessed Be!
Sky Woman (Haudenosaunee). Spider Woman (Pueblo). Copper Woman (Pacific Northwestern nations). Selu (Cherokee). To nearly all Indigenous nations of Turtle Island (most of the Americas), the ancient creators of the Earth, her inhabitants and humanity are Women who are complemented by a male either through Her offspring or a partner.
Indigenous Women Creators made life from their bodily fluids, from their thoughts, from their words and actions. Because of Their creative powers, these very things became holy in human women forever after: our menstrual and childbirth blood, our thoughts, our words, and our actions are holy. We are holy. Traditional Indigenous peoples know this, practice this, and to this very day keep the rituals and laws that demonstrate that belief....
Do you know we are all on fire? Life is literally a fire burning in our bodies. Our biology magically takes in energy in tiny increments so we don’t ignite. Still, it’s a wonder more of us don’t just spontaneously burst into flames! Beltane is a traditional time to renew, reawaken our fire—inner fire, hearth fire, community fire, sexual and fertility fire of people, animals, plants, the land.
What about when there’s way too much fire everywhere: in wars, in forests, in collapsed nuclear reactors, even freak fires in the arctic? What about depression—not enough creative fire, soul fire, wemoon fire, to bring balance and healing to offset the devastation? No way to get there from here? Today is our holy moment to quantum jump over the impossible and make love to the Possible. (If your head can’t do it, let your heart try.) Newborns of the body or imagination conceived on Beltane are “Merry Begots,” full of enough aliveness, love, joy, humor to confound the toughest logic and direst doomsday predictions.
Page 35 [Beltane] “is a celebration on the union of soil, water, sun and seed. It is about fertilizing the fields.” Sisters of the Dark Moon by Gail Wood
Growing up on a farm, May was about picking rocks, working long long hours, and falling into bed exhausted. You would think no longer being on a farm, this time would not be missed but I do miss it. We would walk the land, barefoot, picking up rocks and being who we are picking out the best to bring home rather than just dumping them in the rock piles. It was all about the land and preparing for the next crop. There was a sense of urgency and hope. We needed the crops to feed our animals. Our animals kept us in milk, beef, and pork. There was also our own garden which had be put in, tended, and nurtured as the summer came on....