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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Lilac Bush: Plant Care & Growing Guide


Half a moon to Samhain, and here in Minneapolis the lilacs are blooming.

Anomaly. Anomaly. In the American Midwest, lilacs usually flower around Bealtaine.

What's going on?

I first noticed the phenomenon a few weeks ago at Sweetwood sanctuary down in the Driftless Area of southwestern Witchconsin. I made a few lame-ass jokes about the Glastonbury Thorn—“...but at Sweetwood, the lilacs bloom both at Bealtaine and at Samhain, haha”—but inside I harbored less cheerful suspicions.

Lilacs, like most blooming woody plants, set their blossoms in the fall. An old apple tree will often bloom out of season just before it dies, one final, poignant, display of beauty before the end. Apple trees are the poets of the orchard.

But no, the resident priest assured me that the Sweetwood lilacs had done the same the previous year.

A couple of hundred miles to the north, lilacs were blooming here in Minneapolis just last week. Others, not yet blooming, are leafing out, as in a normal year one would expect to see in late April.

I hear different things from the voices around me. It's normal, it's not normal. It's drought-stress (but Sweetwood hasn't been in drought this summer). It's climate change. It's this autumn's extended warm weather.

Well, omens are notoriously ambivalent in the interpreting. If this is an omen, I for one am uncertain how to read it.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Double Rainbow Guy' Paul Vasquez, a one time MMA fighter, has died - Bloody  Elbow

A double rainbow with horizontal, cloud-to-cloud lightning between the bows.

How's that for an omen?

Sweetwood Temenos in southwestern Wisconsin. The Warlocks of the Driftless have foregathered to raise—finally—the one-ton megalith of pre-Cambrian limestone called the Bull Stone. On the eve of the Raising, we go down to do some site prep.

Thunder has been rumbling continuously in the distance for quite some time: longer non-stop thunder I've never heard before in my life. Clearly, something big is moving in. Well, the rain will be welcome. Here in the Midwest's Driftless Area, as elsewhere, it's been a dry Spring.

Just as we finish our work, the heavens open. Soaked to the skin, we stand there laughing. Some guys strip off. After the prolonged heat and drought, our skin drinks in the cool rain. So does the Land.

Singing a Thunder song, we trudge through the downpour up to the pavilion. The rain drums on the metal roof. We stand, watching and listening.

For a good half hour it pelts down, a good thorough soaking after a long thirst. The Storm rumbles off Eastwards as, nearing its setting, the Sun shines out in the West.

Then the culminating moment of grace when Rainbow spans the East, vast, accompanied by her twin sister.

We stand, marveling. Someone sings a hymn to the Rainbow Goddess, Daughter of Sun and Storm.

Suddenly that final bolt of lightning, brilliant, between the Bows. It's a moment of utter holiness, piercingly beautiful.

“Well, gentlemen, there's our omen,” someone says.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Congratulations!
  • Katie
    Katie says #
    Beautiful! A very good omen indeed.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs