Spent the night driving around delivering papers at the Country Club while blasting Celtic music. The thinning veil was heady and I couldn’t stop giggling. Came home and cleaned half my room, including taking down all my Christmas cards. Oops! Hope to finish cleaning in the next day or two as well as digging up a barn owl skull I have buried in the yard. I guess I’m a wee bit behind on my spring cleaning but the weather feels more like February most days rather than May. That’s my excuse! I also want to go hiking but I have almost nothing that fits. Which is a good thing since everything is to big, but I’ll need to make the time to go shopping at Target. It has been on my to-do list for months but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I started my period on the 30th. I think starting on a fertility festival is likely a sign I need to stay single for a while yet. I’ve been separated from my husband and living with my mom for the last year. It has been very challenging. But I keep going, just trying to get by day by day.
Halloween is approaching, and this means that Arcturus, the star sparkling low in the west-northwest in twilight, is taking on its role as “the Ghost of Summer Suns.” What does this mean? For several days centered on October 29th every year, Arcturus occupies a special place in the sky above your local landscape. It closely marks the spot there where the Sun stood at exactly the same time (by your clock) during warm June and July — in broad daylight, of course! So, in the last days of October each year, you can think of Arcturus as the chilly Halloween ghost of the departed summer Sun.
Winter’s shadow has come once again and with it comes the harvest season. I pause to give thanks, expressing gratitude for all that I have. In celebration I served homemade chili and cornbread with a chocolate cake for dessert. Upon the altar rests an offering to the spirits; handpicked apples from my next-door neighbors yard, a cornbread muffin drizzled with local honey, and a glass of blackberry brandy.
In addition to the harvest celebration, I completed the funeral for a little friend who blessed me on her path. I spoon-fed and sheltered her, but she was to become a victim of Colony Collapse. I honored her passing as it was the only thing I could do for her in the end. I offered to her a bowl of honey and fresh flowers, laid her body among rose petals and lavender buds, then scattered tobacco and mugwort over her. I will keep her with me, maybe in the future she will bless me once more as an ally.I give thanks for the gifts I have been given in my life, I also give thanks to the bees for their gifts to the world and feel sorrow as I also give thanks for their sacrifice. I send my prayers out to the bees this season, may they find strength and prosperity.
When our civilization has ended and another civilization is digging up our fossils and ancient relics, this is what they will think of Christmas…
That we decorate our homes and erect a sacred tree to our God to celebrate his birthday. He comes down from Heaven, located at the North Pole, to see if we have been bad or good. If we are good, he puts us on a list so that we may go to Heaven where we will become elves. If we are bad he will be displeased and set us on fire. God flies through the sky pulled by a host of magical animals and lands on our rooftops directed by blinking lights. He visits our houses to collect his birthday presents and in return leaves us milk and cookies, which are his blood and body, that we eat to remember his death. If this God is pleased with our tree, effigies, lights, and presents he will leave us his socks and a feast will be prepared to celebrate Jesus Claus’ birthday.
This is what happens when I am tired!
There are many ways Pagans determine when to perform rituals for sabbats and lunar rites. Some Pagans celebrate on the closest weekend, some celebrate the sabbats on the nearest full or new moon, some celebrate the day of while others will celebrate the eve of, some will use local conditions, and others use popular timing as determined by astronomy. This article will focus on this last method of popular astronomy.
The greater sabbat dates are fixed, which mean they don’t change. Generally, the are celebrated on the first of the corresponding month. Although another method is to use the date when a sabbat is at fifteen degrees of its fixed sign (Samhain – Scorpio, Imbolc – Aquarius, Beltane – Taurus, Lughnasadh – Leo). Now on to the lesser sabbats; the solstices and equinoxes. Although popular culture will have you believe that the equinoxes are the dates of equal daylight and nighttime, this is not exactly true. An equinox is actually determined by the date the sun intersects the equator. The time of equal lightness and darkness for your area would be determined by local sunrise and sunset information. As for the solstices, these occur specifically when the axis of the earth is tilted farthest from the Sun or nearest to the Sun. So solstices might not be the longest day or night, but are one of them. The lesser sabbats also correspond to zero degrees of its cardinal sign (Yule – Capricorn, Ostara – Aries, Litha – Cancer, Mabon – Libra), however the dates associated with the festivals no longer correspond to these constellations.