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New Moon, New Month: Samonios (et al.)

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One of the things I've discovered in doing this, is that many ancient calendars don't really line up. This isn't really something I didn't know before, but it's challenging my assumptions of time keeping by the natural world. For example, the Anglo-Saxon  Blōtmonath,  the month of blood sacrifices, follows  Winterfylleth  (see previous post about this stuff). But,  Ærra Geola means  "the Month before Yule."  If I keep using my "months start at new moon" structure (which I fully admit is my mostly-made-up thing) it will only be  Ærra Geola  for 2 days before Yule begins on 12/20.  I am super interested to see where this goes for the rest of the year. Anyway, here we are now.  This new moon begins the Gaulish month of Samonios, which means "cold month" and it is not hard to see why it has that name.  Even before the month began we were treated to a nice blast of freezing temperatures and snow flurries down here.  The northern part of the

New Year Reading Samhain 2022

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 We had a fantastic trick or treat on Halloween. The house decorations have never looked better: Spooooky! After we took everything down (to save it from possible "tricks" should our neighborhood bribes not have been accepted) and we finally got some dinner, I decided to do a reading for the coming year. The intention was for it to be a very generic, community-in-general based reading, but as with many, I can certainly find some personal insight. Maybe you can too? The reading was with the combined  Druid Animal  and  Plant Oracles . There are probably copywrite issues that won't let me post the picture of each card, but you can do an Internet search for them with your favorite search engine. Keynote:  Horse  (Each) – The Goddess/The land/Travel The "theme" of the year is a time of travel or journeying, either physically or spiritually.  The Goddess brings us the energy from both land and sun for this work.  For community a time to look at where we are going and

Happy New Year

For many Neopagans the new year starts on Samhain on October 31.  Because I'm trying to follow a more lunar calendar, my "new year" is going to arrive at the New Moon on October 25 (at 6:49 in the morning).   Moon and month names My usual caveats apply.  This is my interpretations of what I try to focus on in my life, and I hope it's useful. Even though some names may get connected with other moon phases, I start to work with the energies at the new moon, and go throughout to the next. Your mileage will almost certainly vary, and that is as it should be. The Coligny Calendar of the Gauls (and Three Cranes Grove) identifies this month, and this Druid Moon as "Cantlos."  "Cantlos" translates as "Song Month." We have celebrated this many ways, all having to do with singing. From the Farmer's Almanac, we are also entering Beaver Moon.  According to the  Almanac , this the time when beavers were seen to head into their lodges to take shelt

No wait, maybe Samhain is my favorite...

 ... I mean, it is THE pagan holiday... The first one I ever celebrated WITH people. I think it was 1992, and my roommate and I went to the now-defunct PCCO's "Take Back the Rite" Samhain gathering at what is now Bicentennial Park (maybe it was then?)  The Faith Mission bus was there to pick up homeless since it was cold but decided to attempt to disrupt our rite and then stand in a circle around our circle lobbing prayers at us. Yay. There are probably Neopagans out there that don't like Samhain... But I don't really know them.  I try to explain it to non or new Neopagans as a combination of Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, and New Year's Eve.  In reverse order, the connection with the Celtic New Year and fire festival of the same name has many groups (including one of mine) marking the end/beginning of their liturgical year.  And if you have a hard time with resolutions, this is one of the many cultural new year celebrations that you can get a do-over (if you phr

Imbolc is my favorite

  Okay, you're right. they're all my favorite.  But Imbolc is different! No, I really mean it.  Imbolc holds many memories of awesomeness on my path, as does my relationship with Brigid (or Bridhe or whichever other spelling you want.) When I first embarked on this path, it was because I wanted to be more familiar with the spirituality of my ancestors. my immediate ancestors were varieties of Christian (Evangelical, Catholic, or Methodist) but i wanted to go back further. One branch was Irish and since that was the cool white ethnicity i explored it. The others were varieties of German and English, which in my mind had historical baggage i didn't then want to engage with. So from the beginning, Bridhe was it.  even when I meandered into heathenry later (having made some peace with that ancestry) and even Vodoun for a bit, she was a constant.  I became a  flame keeper  (next shift February 11).  I made sure I had a fire pit at my new home, I have three shrines (two indoors a

Deities Du Jour: Sunday (27)

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 Sunday is for the bringers of light. Many of those who bring the light of knowledge are also healers, so that is also an emphasis here. Photo by  Alina Vilchenko  from  Pexels Lightbringers You who bring the light of knowledge and healing Bridhe, fiery arrow and Angus mac Og, the light in the coldest night Belenos of the starry mantle Baldr the light that shines in the darkness Eir, gentle hands of healing Apollo, encourage us to Know Thyself Lightbringers, I give thanks for the night And ask your blessings, protection, and wisdom for the day

Deities Du Jour: Saturday (26)

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 I wasn't sure I was going to make it through my daily devotional work!  So every day, I single out a different "class" of deities to honor. I'm a bit Jungian in my approach. People everywhere face similar challenges, and thus "deify" things that are important to help them meet those challenges. To me, though, this is not the same as a soft polytheism ("All storm gods are one storm god") in that I think they are different spirits. But we all need to worry about health, crops, warfare, death, and other things so we would all have spirits reflecting the other cultural contexts of wherever we are. Even though my own personal focus is Celtic and Anglo-Saxon, my community honors more than that, and as I sometimes do oracular work, I thought it important to at least have introduced myself in the event that I needed to contact someone from another pantheon. I chose which spirits based upon the names of the days of the week, which are very similar in both