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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in snow

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Song of the Snow Shovel

Skritch! Skritch! Skriiiiitch!

It's been a dry winter here in Paganistan, so it's almost with a sense of relief that I shoulder the snow shovel and go out to clear the walk.

Minnesota being the Land of Common Sense, there's a logic to shoveling snow. You want to get to it early, before the feet of passers-by tramp it down. The sooner you get to it, the easier the job will be.

On our block, Fatima two houses down is always first. No matter how early I go out to shovel, her walk will already be clear.

Then comes Nick across the street, who shovels snow as a hummingbird hovers: you know that it's happening, but it's too quick to see.

Me, I settle for third.

Minnesota being also the Land of Polite, there are thews (customs, laws) governing how you shovel.

(That you do shovel, of course, is an unstated premise. Not to shovel one's sidewalk is tantamount to a declaration of indifference, unneighborliness, if not of downright sociopathy.)

You always, for instance, shovel your own walk and a little bit of your neighbor's. To shovel only your own walk is regarded as stingy, niggardly. But of course, you've got to be careful. Shovel too much of your neighbor's walk and you're making, as it were, a territorial claim. All things in moderation.

Because of how we see the world, witches, of course, have added incentives for shoveling our walks. Some would call it paranoia, but to us it just seems like common sense.

Why?

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Strange Serenity

The snow has finally arrived here in NW PA. 

It's a mixed blessing for me. I worry about my young drivers, I worry about my husband who drives for a living, I worry about me driving. Icy snowy roads make me nervous, and here I am, living on top of a hill that I have to descend to get anywhere. As well, to get anywhere in this town, you either have to go up or down a hill.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Snow Flower

A philosophical lot, Northrons.

I was out this morning shoveling this winter's first inch. (Up here in the North Country, snow comes progressively: First Flurry, First Laying Snow, First Shoveling Snow.)

Every single person that went past had something to say, a continuing conversation. You could construct an entire philosophy from what they said.

Well, it's here.

Early or late, it always comes.

Sure is beautiful, though.

Northern fatalism? Not really. Fatalism is laying down and letting it cover you. If this is fatalism, it's a fatalism of honor, a fatalism that spurs to action. If we're going to go down, we'll go down fighting, shovels—like swords—in hand.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    So beautiful, these words! We don't get much snow in Texas, perhaps every 3rd or 4th year, but it enchants our scorched landscape
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My own thought was intimately shaped by the rites and mythology of the old Pagan Movement in Britain and Ireland back in the 70s.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    My role playing games set in Japan or with an Anime theme mention the Yuki Onna (Snow Woman).
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    I've heard our winter attitude up here called "Nordic Zen"...you just do winter. It's a waste of energy to get upset if you hate i
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    During the snowy winter of 2011, I attended a Midwinter's Eve rite down at Coldwater Spring at new Moon: dark o' the Sun, dark o'

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Seven Inches of Sacredness

In my religion, snow is sacred.

Try to remember that.

It's late winter. It's been a cold winter, and winter in Minnesota is always too long. The Sun climbs higher in the sky every day, the buds are starting to swell, and the redbirds are singing their spring song (“Pretty bird! Pretty bird!”), but spring is still only a hope on the rose-red dawn horizon. We're coming up on the snowiest time of year.

So it's good to be reminded that snow is a gift.

We call Him Thunder for His Voice, but you could call Him Storm. In summer, He gives His good gift of rain; in winter, snow.

Ah, beautiful snow. Look closely and you'll see that it's actually every color but white. Snow is a wonder, so varied, so full of character: light, heavy, wet, dry, granular, fluffy. “The higher the snow, the higher they grow,” they say, meaning, of course, the crops. It's a true saying, too.

Against winter cold, snow makes the best insulation. That's the paradox of snow: it's cold, but keeps us warm.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Snow & Ice Magic

Snow & Ice Magic

Where I live, we don’t tend to get a lot of snow and if we do it isn’t usually very much and it doesn’t stay long however if you do have snow then you can make all kinds of magic with it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tag and Tow (Jolly Rumble-O)

I always say that I never understood why Mayday is the international distress signal until I moved to Minnesota.

It's months yet to May, but the maypole casts a long shadow.

You may know Hal an Tow (heard here in rocking cover by Oyster Band) as the signature tune of Bealtaine.

Well, here's a winter version from here in Snow Country.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Snow Dance

Och. I've been shoveling so much snow that my butt hurts.

Usually by now I'd have my shoveling muscles well in place, but we've had so little snow this winter that I've gone slack.

Well, the Great Groundhog's Day Blizzard of 2016 put paid to all that. It's time to take up the shovel and show what we're made of.

Here in Snow Country, shoveling is something of an art form. Good shoveling is a dance, a balanced pitting of muscle strength against weight resistance. You want maximum clearance for minimum energy output. You want rhythm, regularity. You want to do as much pushing and as little lifting as possible.

Push and two and push and two and lift and throw and

push and two and push and two and lift and throw and

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