The modern Sabbats that many Wiccans and Neo-Pagans now follow are: Imbolc (February 2), Ostara (Spring Equinox), Beltane (May 1), Litha (Summer Solstice), Lammas (August 1), Mabon (Autumn Equinox), Samhain (October 31) and Yule (Winter Solstice). (See also Wheel of the Year)
Despite all the work that needed to be done this week, I still managed to perform two very important ritual commissions: a petition of protection from Hermês as Guide of Travellers and a coming-of-age ritual under the auspices of Artemis as Nurse of the Young (Kourotrophos).
PS: My adventurous friend blogs at the Pagan Murmur. You should check him out!
by A. Giovanni
(This article is reprinted here with the permission of the author, A. Giovanni.)
Most people who have seen the old television comedy “The Beverly Hillbillies” have no idea about some of the little grains of truth in the show. The show’s creator, Paul Henning, was a native Missourian who was clearly very familiar with the area and the people of the Ozark Mountain region. On the show, the Clampetts make visits to such locations as Silver Dollar City, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri.
What most people who have watched the show never guess is that Granny was more than just Elly May’s grandmother. Granny, who once says she comes from Taney County, which is the southwestern Missouri county where Branson is located, is a “granny woman” which is an old Ozark term for conjure woman. The word “medicine” is another word for potion among old-timers.
The term “hillbilly”…
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(I’m reviving a blast from the past here; this post first appeared in 2010.)
As a devotional to the Wild Hunt during this season when They are most active on earth, I will be writing a series of posts retelling some of the different stories of Their origins, leaders, and encounters with humans, as recorded in the surviving folk myths. To begin, I’ll note that Wild Hunt legends and lore are widespread throughout Northern, Western and Central Europe, but they tended to take on a distinctive local character in each region, varying greatly in terms of the identity of the band of hunters (who were variously described as fairies, the dead, demons, or all of the above) as well as Their leader and the object of Their Hunt. Despite the lack of direct mention of the Hunt in the Icelandic Eddas, Odin in His many guises is one of the most…
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We are haunted, all of us.
In a few weeks time, we who honor the old ways will celebrate the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. As the sun sets on October 31st, the dead will walk among us. We will light fires and make sacrifice in their honor. We will ask for their protection, their guidance, and the benefit of their wisdom. We will invite them into our homes, set a place for them at dinner, and share with them the tales of years gone by as well as our hopes for the future.
Our myths and memories and ambitions, they are ghost stories, every one.
The ancient traditions tell us that the way is opened on November 1st, for the ancestors to enter into the land of the living. The celebration of the final harvest marked the beginning of the darkest season of the year. The air was cold…
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