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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in winter

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
On Long Nights and Scarcity

Last week I traveled up to Northern California for work. On the day of my early meeting--8:30 a.m.!--I woke up in my hotel room at 6 and saw a pitch-black sky.

It wasn't a huge surprise (although I'd come from the south, where the nights were still a bit shorter). As I showered and got ready, though, and the clock ticked from 6:30 to 7 to 7:30 and the sky remained black, I had one of those random, strange thoughts that sometimes pop into your head. I thought, what if the sun just doesn't rise today?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
9th-Century Irish Samhain Poem


I have news 

stag calls

winter snow

summer's gone

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Preparing for Spring

Rituals for Spiritual Revitalization

It starts for me just after Imbolc, I get that itch. That twinge of restlessness and that eager feeling every time the sun peeks through the clouds. Spring is near! Mentally I exclaim, “There’s only about 6 more weeks of frigid temps, coupled with mountains of ice and snow! Hooray!”

When the feeling begins to take hold of me, I need to make myself busy. I need to begin planning my spring activities right away. There is so much to do, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed and perplexed. However, it isn’t a bad kind of overwhelm, instead it is fun and exhilarating to consider the possibilities.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leandra Witchwood
    Leandra Witchwood says #
    It seems there is plenty of time to ponder. We are about to get hit with another 10" of snow, so planning and thinking exactly wha
  • Courtney
    Courtney says #
    Nice post! It gives me some things to ponder.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Anyone who has ever lived in the North can tell you about it: snowlight. Waking from an afternoon nap I knew immediately, by the light alone, that snow was falling. Snowlight.

What's most surprising is just how bright it is. Some years back at a Midwinter's Eve bonfire down at Coldwater Spring, the ritualists went on and on about how this night, being the solstice, was the darkest night. Unconscious irony is my favorite kind. While they talked darkness, we all stood there in a night striking for its brightness. We'd had so much snow that year that one could practically have read a newspaper by the ambient light from the drifts and sky. Snowlight.

In quality and color it more nearly resembles moonlight than anything else: like the Moon's, snow's light is reflected light. But moonlight comes from a source, and snowlight is ambient. In snowlight, one immerses.

Snowlight has a certain thickness, a nearly tangible quality to it. One thinks of snow as silent, unlike rain. But the Northern ear knows that you can indeed hear snow. It's a high, crystalline ringing, all those snowflakes chiming together as they fall, in which even familiar sounds echo strangely. The same is true of the light, as it bounces wildly back and forth from flake to falling flake. Snowlight.

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A Celebration of Spring and Renewal!

Merry meet, fellow Witches and Pagans!

Another few months pass and another festival graces our lives. This time, it's Imbolc (or Imbolg/Oimelc), a festival of spring and renewal with its origins among the ancient Celts (unless you're in the southern hemisphere, in which cases it's Lughnasadh!). In celebration of the holiday, we've gathered all of our Imbolc-related posts and put them in one big pile for your easy reading. I realize this is a bit late, but hopefully you'll still find something to appreciate in it!

May your spring be warm and bright and the remaining winter be easy in its passing!

-Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Many years ago, from some long forgotten source, I read that the goddess Hecate's sacred festival was celebrated on January 31. Although I have never been able to find the source or corroborate this information (Stewart and Janet Farrar's classic “The Witches' Goddess” mentions August 13 for her annual festival as well as the night of the Full moon), I have celebrated this feast every year, in preparation for Imbolc and as an entry into the coldest (but not darkest) part of the Winter.

My experience of Hecate is as a seasonal Goddess. I sense her presence in October, as the frost bitten garden finally dies back, as the light deepens into honey and amber, in the first tantalizing days of Hallowstide, the first days of the thinning Veil. She is present in the Descent, and in the Underworld, and in the solemn, silent movements of our beloved dead. She is present in the rapidly darkening year, and she helps to midwife in the promise of the sacred Child, reborn as the Sun at the Winter Solstice.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leisa Reynolds
    Leisa Reynolds says #
    My mother passed 21 years ago this Jan 31 and every year since her passing I have gotten up and taken a deep breath and thought to
  • Leni Hester
    Leni Hester says #
    Thanks for sharing this, Leisa! My mom and gramma have died in the past 2 years, and the loss is so present with me, at this time
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    I love this :-)
  • Leni Hester
    Leni Hester says #
    Thanks, Deborah! signed, squeeing fangirl of your work!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Visible Gods

So I'm standing there naked in the kitchen.

Mind you, this isn't something I make a point of doing. It's the end of January, and this is Minnesota. Early in the morning, the kitchen is just as cold as the rest of the house, no place to stand around naked.

You have to understand that at this time of year, the North becomes a desert. Our intense cold wrings every trace of moisture from the air. If you don't slather on moisturizer, you turn into an ice-mummy. Fortunately, there's no need to resort to bear-grease, like in the old days.

So, I'd just toweled off from the shower and rubbed down with body-lotion. Waiting for my skin to absorb it, I ran downstairs to plug in the waffle iron.

That's when it happened.

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