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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in song

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sumbel at Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day 2018

Last Saturday, Prudence Priest and I conducted an Asatru sumbel ritual at Las Vegas Pagan Pride Day 2018, at the Unitarian Universalist Church. I acted as gythia (priestess, aka gydhja) and Prudence acted as valkyrie (mead woman.) We were in the workshop space, rather than the speaker space, because sumbel is an audience participation ritual where everyone makes a toast. Our ritual was packed, and went very well.

Before beginning the ritual, while waiting for all participants to assemble, I explained the Heathen Visibility Project (see my post with that title) and let participants know where to sit or stand if they wished to be in the photos or to not be in the photos. More photos of this event are available on my Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt pages.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Songs of Samhain

The earth hums beneath our feet. There is an energy present, which we can become aware of in each and every moment.  It helps us to deepen our connection to the earth, to the land, to the ancestors and the spirits of place.  Those who have walked this land before, whose bones and blood, leaves and wood, stones and pebbles make up this land, their energy is contained within.  So too are the energies of wind and rain, of sunlight, starlight and moonlight, shining down on us.  We are hurtling through space at infinite speeds, spinning in an endless cycle of birth and death. In that cosmic dance, there is energy, the push and pull of the planets and our nearest star, the dance of orbiting moons.  Open yourself to this energy, let it wash through your soul and awaken your heart to the wonder of the world.

The energy of the land may differ, depending on where we are in the world. Each land has its own unique signature, yet always contains similarities as well, for we share this planet and, deep at its core, is a heart of fire that is the spark of awen which we can tap into wherever we go.  Right here, right now, in this land of Suffolk, I can feel the energy of the land, feel it beneath my feet, place my hands upon the earth and connect with it. You too can practice this connection wherever you are, seeing how the energies differ, seeing how they are the same at various places.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
For Me and My Pal

For all those guys out there wondering, Should I tell him?, a perennial classic.

Not quite as I learned it from my grandparents.

Shine On, Harvest Moon

(1908)

The night was mighty dark, so you could hardly see,

for the Moon refused to shine;

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn

A Victorian nationalist wrote the lyrics. The king of British folksingers wrote the tune. The father of modern witchcraft made it part of the Book of Shadows. And across the English-speaking world, pagans sing and dance to it every Midsummer's Day.

How good is that?

Poet Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) first published the poem A Tree Song in his childrens' novel Puck of Pook's Hill in 1906. Folk-singer Peter Bellamy (1944-1991) wrote a musical setting for the poem (you can hear it here), retitled Oak and Ash and Thorn; it was released on the album of the same name in 1970.

Meanwhile, some time in the 1950s, Gerald Gardner (1886-1964) had written the last verse of the song into the liturgy for Beltane. How did a Midsummer's song (“Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, me love/all of a Midsummer's morn”) end up at Beltane? Well, the cross-quarters were the original sabbats of Gardner's revived “witch-cult,” as in Murray, and the quarter-days (solstices and equinoxes) didn't come in until later. That explains the truncation of the lyrics in the BoS version as well.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sumer Is Icumen In

It's the oldest surviving song in English to which we have both words and tune, an earthy and exuberant hymn to spring. It's also a delight.

Sumer Is Icumen In

Sumer is icumen in;

lhude sing, cuckoo.

Groweth sede and bloweth mede,

and springth the wode nu;

sing cuckoo.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Next year in Summerisle!
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    Of course, most modern Witches are familiar with the song from the classic holiday movie for Bealtaine, The Wicker Man.
Women's Sacred Circle, Now With Moon Circle

Art by Pascal Campion
(http://pascalcampion.deviantart.com/art/Status-Single-359282986)

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.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Your Very Own Pagan Pride Parade

The more traditional American holidays can leave some of we Wiccans and Pagans feeling a little left out and blue. Here are some ideas for taking pride in ourselves and where we live– as the old Francis Scott Key ditty goes: "the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Get your magical-minded buddies together for an outdoor picnic. For this, I would suggest your friendly, less populated county or state parks. If you are concerned about the forest ranger making the rounds, hold the festivities in your own (or co-host with one of your guests') big back yards instead.

Cook special dishes of significance to you. Cakes and Ale or Cakes and Wine are always an easy crowd-pleaser. Per Patti Wigington, at the about.com website: "The Wiccan ritual known as Cakes and Ale is often celebrated as a way of thanking the gods for their blessings. Cakes are usually just cookies prepared in the shape of crescent moons, and the ale can be alcoholic or it can be apple cider, juice, or even water." Here is her recipe:

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