When we think of the natural world are first instinct is probably to imagine a lush forest or a verdant meadow. If we're thinking outside of the box we might imagine a frozen tundra or semi-arid savannah instead. But the Earth is only just one part of the natural world and a small part at that. That's right: for Earthy Thursday this week we take a look outside of Earth, at the many worlds of our universe beyond! Read about China's plans to visit the Moon, the geography of mars, and the New Horizons mission to Pluto in the distant reaches of our solar system. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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What does it smell like, the Milky Way?
Well, I think I know.
Walking down the sidewalk, unaccountably, I find myself thinking of honey. Then it surfaces, a sweetness almost subliminal. I stop and consciously immerse myself in breath. It's June, and the clover is blooming.
White clover. Trefoil (“three-leaf”). Trifolium repens (“creeping”). That's Anglo-Saxon, French, and Latin, respectively.
Moon clover, Moon honey.
Shamrock's the Irish. (Seamrog, diminutive of seamar, “clover.”) Saint who? Pfft, nonsense. It's Hers, all the way. Waxing, Full, and Waning: Three. (During the Dark, there is no Moon. Then again, maybe that's what makes that fourth leaf special.)
“Think what god it may be."
(Ezra Pound, Religio)
In the Baltics, conversion came late and memory of the Old Gods lingered long. Some of Europe's first New Pagan Movements got their start there during the period of national and cultural efflorescence between the First and Second World Wars known as the Baltic Renaissance. Like ourselves, the pagans of Latvia and Lithuania are new pagans, but they have been so for a generation longer than we have, and their experience has much to teach us.
The small (11½ x 8 x 3½ inches) inlaid wooden box shown above, from Latvia, dates to the 1920s. It is a cash box, with interior compartments for coins, banknotes, and bills. The inlaid pattern on the outside lid represents the phases of the Moon.
The full moon is celebrated and cursed. Those who work in the police, hospital, and so on will tell you that behavior is odder during this time of the month.
The full moon is about completion. It is like a pregnant woman about to give birth. The energy is high and in some cases giddy....
Art by Pascal Campion
My Women’s Sacred Circle has begun a new year with a different plan, and it was a great opportunity for me to jump back in after a busy summer. They split it into two monthly meetings. One is to be similar to what we had been doing, which was like a book club, where we will be reading Caroline Myss’ “Sacred Contracts” (last year it focused on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ “Women Who Run With The Wolves” which is a favorite of mine) and keeping a journal for the work we do in that book. The other meeting will be a moon circle on the night of the full moon, where we will do ritual together and discuss the symbolism of that month’s moon. Last month it was the Hunter’s Moon. :) We will also be keeping a moon journal for this meeting....
The Crone is knocking,
I hear her in the trees...