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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Holidays, Holy Days and Harvests

Right now it’s the summer holidays, and in many places, the young people are home from school, and families are off doing the holiday thing. Or trying not to kill each other. It’s worth noting however that the origin of the summer holidays has nothing to do with having a good time, and everything to do with needing the young people to help get the harvests in. The norms of our school systems pre-date the combine harvester and other such devices.

You don’t have to be much of an etymologist to spot that ‘holiday’ comes from ‘holy day’ and for many of our Christian ancestors, the holy days were the only days off, if you were lucky. Servants tended to have to work on Sundays and over Christmas etc, but religious celebration has provided our ancestors with much needed opportunities to down tools and socialise. The pilgrimage is the ancestor of the tourist industry, and holy journeys and holidays have a great deal to do with holidays.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Getting connected...

Every space whether it is your back garden, your living room, the city park or the middle of a field it all has its own unique energy and history.  

I live on the edge of a large city in a terraced house.  My house was built in 1920 but before that there was another house on the land and before that and before that.  In fact as I also live near the sea, the city being a port it has attracted dwellings probably since man needed a roof over his head and somewhere nearby to catch food (i.e. the sea).  The first recorded dwellings date back to the late 9th Century and we have apparently had Romans, Normans, Saxons and all and sundry living here.  So the land itself holds a huge amount of memories and echoes from our ancestors, oh the tales it could tell…

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Grandmother Bluebells

I am more naturally conscious of ancestry around Beltain than I am at Samhain. Partly because there are so many traditional songs that start with someone roving out on a bright May morning. Usually to get laid, or to indulge in the kind of voyeurism intrinsic to folk music. And partly because of my grandmother, who loved the bluebells.

My grandmother was a keen walker for much of her life, having grown up with a mother who went walking on Sundays in preference to going to church. In old age, she could no longer climb the hills each spring to go looking for bluebells, and so this time of year became a source of grief to her. I have never driven a car, I was never able to take her out, but others did, and I’m not the only one to think of her when the bluebells are flowering.

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A Tale of Two Sisters, a Daughter and a Niece

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?

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Pagan Trends, Absolute Truths, and Trusting Yourself

Trends change rapidly in the Pagan community. We often see "an indisputable fact" ricochet to its exact opposite within years. These "truths" cause immense discord. How can we navigate these treacherous waters without disavowing our own personal wisdoms? We all find our way of doing it. If I share mine, perhaps that might make finding yours easier. 

So, a story:

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Traditional Witchcraft, Spirituality, and Ethics

Currently, it is a prevalent opinion among Pagans that traditional witchcraft was strictly magical, lacking theology or moral aspects. While I can respect that theory, it is not congruent with my own experiences. I suspect whether traditional witchery had sacred or ethical aspects varied by locale or by family tradition. 

I never argue with anybody's experience, only their theory. Theory is ever-changing. I'd never want to invalidate anyone's experience, including my own. I'll share mine below.

My experiences lead to conclusions that differ from the aforementioned current popular Pagan position. I hope to add to the Pagan dialogue on the topic, and provide support for those who, like me, have an unpopular point of view.

Growing up in a family tradition, I learned magic and a mystical worldview con leche. Therefore magic and mysticism were a given, as much a part of life as the air I was breathing. In the process, a religious and ethical worldview was deeply ingrained in my cells.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • katherine manaan
    katherine manaan says #
    I work and write under the name of katherine manaan. you have me under katherine tupman i have 2 websites one under the name of ka
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Thank you, lovely to get to know you. You sound like you do a lot of different things, very multifaceted. It seems multifaceted pe
  • katherine manaan
    katherine manaan says #
    This is a beautifully written, article; cogent, lucid, heartfelt. You have such a exquisite way of expressing your opinion Frances
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Katherine, You are very kind, making me feel special. Thank you. I feel honored and humbled that you have your students read one
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    The hat is fantastically YOU. I didn't mention before that you've presented a cogent and scholarly treatise on some people's reas

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Return to the Land of Your Soul

“Return again, return again, return to the Land of Your Soul.” 

 

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