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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Chirping With a Cardinal

Spring is about to bloom this Sunday and all the little critters outside are feeling quite frisky about it. Squirrels are chasing each other scurrying up trees, the first robin hopped into view the other day on my nature hike, and a bright, red cardinal flew across my path to alight on a tree branch directly diagonal from me. Staring at his brilliance a moment as we regarded each other, I decided to try and communicate with him. I attempted a few series of whistles that I remembered being close to a cardinal bird call. After a few tries, he trilled back loud and clear. I answered him, mimicking back the chirp as loudly and accurately as I could muster. We went back and forth like this for a full five minutes, much to my delight. I probably would have stayed on longer, but the park gate was set to close at 3 p.m. and I didn't want to get shut out to the quicker path back to my residence. He continued to trill happily after me, after I bade him goodbye. I gave a few extra return calls over my shoulder in appreciation. When I looked back, I noticed that he had hopped up to a higher branch to see me and stay parallel from me as I left. I know that they say that birds can be souls of departed loved ones come to visit, and I couldn't help but feel that special connection with our exchange. My grandmother's favorite bird was the cardinal, and my birthday is next week. She used to love St. Patrick's Day and celebrating her Irish heritage, so I definitely think something divine was at work, here. Even if it was a male bird, I don't think the spirits worry much about gender. It filled my heart with joy as I walked back home.

Ren Faires and the Spring Equinox

My Spring Equinox guest for "Women Who Howl at the Moon" this month is Melissa Starks. She sometimes goes by the moniker "Mistress Penny" and has even hosted a sauerkraut eating contest at one of the faires! She has had quite an interesting journey as a "road renny," stockbroker, substitute teacher, and chainmail jewelry maker. (Peruse her handmade designs at https://enchanted-chains-jewelry.square.site/) You can hear all about her adventures on my SoundCloud page. Think about the new things you'd like to coax into springing forth on your own journey. What can you make bloom?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Opening Paganicon 2022

 

Paganicon 2022 being held over the Equinox weekend, we'll start off our time together with a grand public offering to the many-named and many-colored Lady of Spring.

As always during sacrifice, people will be making their own personal prayers, but the public prayers will be for the well-being of pagans everywhere, especially those of Ukraine.

Please come and join your prayers to ours. If you won't be joining us at Paganicon, I invite you to act in concert by using these prayers on your own recognizance.

And better it be if you pair them with a gift. Remember: “The offering bears the prayer.”

 

 Now the Green Blade Riseth

Bidding Prayers

 

Ever-young goddess, Lady of Dawn,

we your people stand here before you:

we ask your blessing upon us, and upon our time together.

So may we grow in wisdom and understanding;

may we leave better pagans than when we came.

And let us all say:

So mote it be.

 

Ever-young goddess, Lady of Divinations,

you who shine light upon that which is dark:

we ask for renewal of the Old Ways, wherever they are found.

May what has been lost to us, come once again to light;

and let us all say:

So mote it be.

 

Ever-young goddess, Lady of Spring,

we pray for the well-being of pagans everywhere,

especially the pagans of Ukraine;

may we daily grow in numbers, strength, and confidence.

Shine your light upon our ways, that we may walk in wisdom.

And let us all say:

So mote it be.

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1500 years ago, the English-speaking ancestors worshiped (or at least, knew of) a Goddess of Spring and Dawn Whom they called (depending on which dialect of Old English you spoke) either Éostre or Éastre.

(Their Continental cousins, of course, called Her Ôstara.)

So: let us say that Her worship had continued, unbroken, down to the present day. If Her Name had remained in constant usage and undergone all the usual sound changes, what would we call Her today?

The question is easily answered. We would today call Her Easter.

Personally, I think that we still should.

 

I know, I know, that name has been co-opted and misused by others. For some, Her modern Name is too tainted by association to be taken back.

I don't agree. The Name is Hers, and—as Her people—it's ours to know Her and call Her by. When I hear non-pagans use the term, the sheer irony of it delights me. If only they knew.

It also rather delights me that, around here, we have (in most years) Three Easters (Ôstarûn, the Old Germans would have said): Pagan/Heathen, Catholic/Protestant, and Orthodox.

Guess whose comes first?

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Éostre was not the goddess of spring, that is a modern pagan misconception. The Anglo Saxons recognised two seasons; winter and s

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
For the Love of Succulents

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve never had a green thumb. Not even a green pinky. Now I know that succulents have been quite trendy for a spell, but with good reason. They are incredibly self-sufficient and easy to care for. Their leaves don’t tend to shed or leave little leaflets all over your floor. In fact, their often full, pleasing, rubbery leaves are what retain all the water that you douse them with– often as little as one good soak in the sink a week. Another thing that makes them so fun is they come in a vast array of shapes and sizes: viny, cascading, or growing full and upward like a sturdy little tree. Some flower, aloe and cacti fall into the category, and all seem to have whimsical names.

Choosing and Caring for Your Plants

Most like some sunlight, so you should definitely take that into consideration when looking for the right location for your cheery indoor greenery. Two of my recently acquired succulent plants currently reside in my kitchen. The viny ones do especially well as hanging plants, so kitty can’t get at them to nibble something she shouldn’t. One of the longest lasting indoors succulent that I owned survived three moves over a five-year period was a rope Hoya plant. It almost looked fake, but upon closer inspection, you could feel that these twisty, plump, round leaves were definitely the real deal. I believe it would have even survived longer, had I not accidently toppled it after rewatering one day. My replanting attempts definitely need some work, but that’s a tale for another time. When I visited my neighborhood Stein’s Garden & Home in search of more succulents to brighten up my continued pandemic winter this year, alas they had no ropas. One of the saleswomen referred to it as a “grandma plant” that she hadn’t seen in a while.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

As pagans in the Northern hemisphere prepare to celebrate the feast of the Many-Named Goddess of Dawn and Spring, I would invite us all to contemplate Her many titles.

I've written out some here as an extended litany; the list, of course, could be extended indefinitely.

 

 Litany for the Dawn Goddess

 

Many-Named Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Springtime

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Daily Spring

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Yearly Dawn

Lady of Dawn

Dayspring

Lady of Dawn

Ever-Young Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Undying Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Color

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birds

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birdsong

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Eggs

Lady of Dawn

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In planning my kindred’s Ostara ritual for this year, which we canceled, I ran across an interesting association with similarly named dawn goddesses. The goddess Ostara may be older than we think.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember Deep Space 9 sufficiently to get the analogy.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, glad it was clear!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Aries Spring Equinox: The Ram

Normally, my Spring Equinox post would have a light and airy tone. I'd suggest fun and fanciful ways to welcome spring with friends or solo, and usually some recipes to try. These are certainly challenging times, and Aries the ram, the sun sign under which I was born, usually always rises to a good challenge. Here is mine currently: staying positive in these frightening and uncertain times. A reader that I follow on WaterBaby Tarot recently stated that we should hold on to faith and not give in to fear. She reasoned that when fear wins, we stress out and our immune systems are compromised. This could also lead to more people getting sick. It's a vicious cycle: fear/illness/more fear/more illness. Breaking out of this can be easier said than done. Although I do think it's important to stay informed, periodic breaks from the news and being online are imperative right now. Because once you have the pertinent information of the day, dwelling on things and speculating on where they could possibly go from here are not going to help matters a whole lot.

Fittingly, the Spring Equinox and Ostara is all about balance. As a planet, we need to balance out. We've been leaping forward at warp speed for too long now with industrialization, overpopulation, pollution, and technology that we can't even humanly keep up with anymore. I personally don't feel it's any accident that with the increase of climate change consequences: drought, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires– we're seeing an uptick in disease and outbreaks that we can't control. Mother Nature might just be mightily pissed off at us people, and honestly, can you blame her?

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