A guest post by Christopher Carnie
We, the Scots who have chosen to leave, do not get a vote in the Referendum. It is the people who live in Scotland who will vote on September 18th. So why speak up? Who are we, the offshore Scots, to talk of the Referendum? Why should our voices join the clamour for Yes?
There will be many of us with our own personal, emotional Scottish love stories (I have one) who will want to speak. But there are at least four more substantial reasons why we should speak up in solidarity with Scotland;
In the Catalan village in which I live there are 1,200 inhabitants. In February around 300 of us, a quarter of the village population, dance Les Gitanes, the traditional Carnival set dances. It’s like dancing the Dashing White Sergeant or Strip the Willow, so when I arrived here sixteen years…
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There was supposed to be a separate posting for Fire Festivals and Solar Festivals but meh…
To be truthful most of the stuff on the 8 holidays has been made up since the 19th century unless you are following the actual folk festival calendar of your heritage and since almost every area had their own traditions for a holiday with the possible exclusion of Samhain and even that had great variation if you read the Silver Bough, ( and I highly recommend it if you can find it) it’s all made up by modern pagans to give them a holiday cycle to follow.
Most early peoples would have celebrated spring when they knew the snow or cold was gone and the harvest when the crops were fully ripe. They knew when the shortest day was and when the shortest night was and probably celebrated that too but mostly, you are on your own for celebrations. I’m betting they were too busy to planting or harvesting to pay attention to the exact moment of the equinox.
Because our Grove is so spread out the things we have had rituals on haven’t been holidays, they’ve been steps on the path and we’ve left the holidays to individual celebrations or TOILA or if the coven if you are in one. The last few years I’ve done Samhain with my sister or last year by myself, at 60 I have a lot of dead to remember and the list is only going to get longer from here on out.
I’m finding I’m not that invested in the holiday cycle anymore. They come around too quickly. I’m more invested in rites of passage and steps celebrating the path such as consecrating a new Bard or Druid or those types of rituals. I celebrate spring by walking in wild places and this summer it was the butterfly tent at the museum. Fall will be a day in the wildlife refuge and a visit to the farm market and a trip to Portland to visit D & M with Di.
I know a lot of Druids, Wiccans and pagans are heavily invested in following the holiday cycle but I’m not so much anymore just like I don’t follow the moon cycle since I got spayed. My body no longer waxes and wanes with the moon and I am thankful. I was never someone who was going to be a “sacred Blood” worshipper because I spent most moon times prone on the bathroom floor bleeding heavily and barfing my guts out. Heaven knows what I would have done in ancient times. Probably died since my hysterectomy was an emergency and my intestines and bladder were within 2 weeks of going necrotic from fibroids strangling them. I would be dead without modern medicine and I have absolutely no regrets about having the surgery no matter how many times I get scolded for not trying “natural methods”. I would be dead without it and I had a wonderful female surgeon who couldn’t believe how bad it was after she got in there. They estimated the surgery beforehand at an hour and it took over 4 with all the reconstruction they had to do. In short I do not miss my “blessed moon time” not one teensy tiny bit. And to the women who told me at a Goddess camp I was no longer a woman, F*** you.
So I’m afraid I have no great advice on celebrating Fire and Solar festivals and I make most of it up just as my coven always has, as I go along.
Across the planet many people honour and worship the Feminine Divine. As well as the established traditions in the East and in indigenous cultures, there has also been a renewed interest in the Goddess via western earth-spiritualities such as Druidry, Wicca and the Goddess Movement. In many belief systems that honour the Divine Feminine, there is an understanding that the Divine resides within each of us – that we are an expression of Divinity; that there is an underlying unity and connection between all life and Goddess/God/Spirit. This approach asks of us that we treat all life-forms with care and kindness and view each as equally important and deserving of respect.
It might be assumed that in honouring the Divine Feminine, nature and women would also be honoured and treated with respect, and yet we only have to look around the world to find an alarming amount of abuse and violence towards…
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The Moon heralds a time of inner transformation, initiation or awareness. This may take the form of a seemingly ran-dom situation based in the emotional or spiritual spheres, but your inner voice may have been whispering for some time and gone unheeded.
Now your soul brings into your physical world the symbolic keys to the collective human subconscious. This may take the form of a desire to explore or study a doctrine, philosophy or esoteric pursuit, or the wish to explore untapped sexual energy and experience a tighter spiritual bond with a partner through honesty and the expression of your hidden desires.
From here you can begin to wrestle with the concept that consciousness is not within you, but you are within the consciousness of the uni-verse.
The Moon in a tarot pack is really concerned with the dark moon, not the waning moon, but the true last phase of the moon, when it cannot be seen at all.