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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in castle of the roses

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Rose in Winter

It's the Eve of Russian Christmas. Perfumed with incense, the church is dark, lit only by candlelight.

I stand with the other worshipers, savoring the chewy Slavonic chant. For me, it is Midwinter's Eve all over again: we gather together in cavernous darkness, awaiting the Momentous.

After the service, we file forward. Wielding, with practiced deftness, a delicate little paintbrush, the priest anoints us, one by one.

As the bristles brush my brow, my nostrils fill with the ghostly fragrance of roses. In the heart of Midwinter, the voluptuous scent of Midsummer.

I think of Her who is called Rosa Mundi, Rose of the World, Mother of Witches.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Winter Peach

Don't get me wrong: I love apples.

But when's the last time that you bit into an apple and had juice run down your forearm and drip from your elbow?

A good pear is truly a full-body experience.

Pears. I just ate my first one of the season. OMGs.

The Witch Goddess's sacred flower is, of course, the Rose, but the Rose family is a large one. Apples are roses. So are pears. Cut one with the stem. Like an apple, it will show forth the Flower of Life. And cut across the stem, behold: the Fivefold Star of Rebirth.

We've been eating pears for a long time: since, apparently, the Neolithic, if not before. They ate them in the Lake Villages of Stone Age Switzerland. They're mentioned in Linear B inscriptions from Mycenaean Greece. The name pear comes ultimately from Latin, which got it from Greek, which got it from the Phoenicians (p'ri = “fruit”).

And every pear's a little goddess. Hold one in your hand. It's like one of those big-hipped Mamas that the ancestors made to make the garden grow. It irks me when people say that a situation has gone “pear-shaped” to mean that it's gone wrong. Is the implication really that perfection = round? Round things roll away and break. Low centers of gravity mean stability.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    I'm currently visiting family in Switzerland. More and better pear varieties than in the Southern US where I live. I am in pear h
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I've long been struck by the absence--that annoying partridge aside--of pears in mythology/the Received Tradition. As my friend V
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I clipped a recipe from the newspaper for apple kielbasa bake. The last three times I've made it I used pears instead of apples.
  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    Unlike the proliferation of commercial apple varieties here in the US, you will find few varieties of pears at your local grocer.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Quest of the Rose

See that hedge of roses, now?

(Beautiful, isn't it: Rose Moon nearly upon us, and the flowers at their opening.)

They say that there's a goddess in there, sleeping.


Centuries she's slept, now. Maybe longer.

Why, you ask? Well, now.

Some say it was a curse. Perhaps.

Or maybe some inner call, deep within? The inner life of goddesses, who can know?

But sleeping her hundred-years' sleep she is, and waiting for one to wake her.

And maybe it's you that she waits for.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Fierce beauty.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Sleeping Beauty, huh? Freya likes roses.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Visit to the Castle of the Roses

This post in honor of the Rose Moon, now upon us.

In Old Craft lore, the Seat of the Lady is said to be the Castle of the Roses.

Robert Cochrane, father of the modern Old Craft movement, used to describe it as a castle on a hill on an island to the west. (It's where our dead go, they say.) He clearly saw it as a classic, high medieval castle: moat, drawbridge, curtain wall with four gates (it's also called the Castle of the Winds), a castle-keep with three towers, and Herself the Lady of the Castle enthroned within. It's called Castle of the Roses because the outer wall is girded with a thick hedge of rose-briars. The hedge is starred with white roses that turn red when one of Ours enters.

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