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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why Widdershins

Witches have always been widdershins people.

Down the millennia, we've put up with a certain amount of guff on this account, even back in pagan times.

But everyone needs a little widdershins now and then.

It's applesauce time right now. The thing about apples is, only the whole ones keep. The bruised, the blemished, the ones with broken skins, will never last the winter.

So you cut them up and cook them down with a little salt and cider. Then you run them through the food mill.

Around and around goes the food mill. It's a collar with a screen on the bottom. You turn and turn the handle, always with the Sun; the applesauce trickles out into the bowl beneath, and the screen catches the stems, skins, and seeds.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Nice piece. I love making applesauce, YUM! and the widdershins turnng is good for clearing, like it is supposed to be. Ah, you are

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Do You Say When a Pagan Sneezes?

When someone sneezes, it's considered polite to respond with a blessing or a wish of good health.

So what do you say when a pagan sneezes?

(No aspect of culture is too obscure to merit careful consideration.)

Well, you could say Bless you or Gesundheit like everyone else, but there's nothing distinctively pagan about either. (How Americans came to use the German word for “health" as a sneeze-blessing is a question well worth the asking, but it's one to which I don't know the answer.)

Wiccans might say Blessed be, although I don't think that I've ever heard this phrase—generally reserved for greetings and farewells—used in this way.

But for my pentacles, the Irish have the right of it.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    As I think about it, gesundheit has to be German. German -heit = Yiddish -keit (as in Yiddishkeit, "Jewishness"). Interesting tha
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    Yeah it is interesting. Unlike most other immigrant groups, German ethnicity kind of tended to get pretty heavily subsumed. Certai
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    An interesting theory, Aryos. My Yiddish-English dictionary doesn't list gesundheit; "health" is gezunt. (Tzu gezunt is the sneeze
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    This is just a shot in the dark but perhaps Gesundheit is by way of Yiddish instead of German (even though it's literally German).
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I started using Gesundheit at a young age because I heard Bullwinkle use it. It surprised my dad and occasionally surprises other

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