Mí na Bealtaine! the Merry Month of May

Uishneach-337

Bealtaine heralds the Light half of the Irish year--and am I ever grateful for its arrival!  In ancient times, the custom was to count from the dark half: days began with sundown, and the year with winter.  This dance of dark and light was woven into the tapestry of culture.  We see it personified by Donn, watery god of the dead, and Fionn, a symbol of light as guardian of the living.  We see it in the two opposing bulls of the Táin, the Donn Cuailgne and the Finnbheannach; and in Don Fírinne and … [Read more...]

Boots Across Ireland: Liosnabroc ringfort {video}

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Liosnabroc (Fort of the Badger - anglicized as Lisnabrock) is a ringfort located in the townland of Templebodan, east Cork.  The ring is found labeled on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map.  Like the majority of ringforts in Ireland, Liosnabroc opens to the NE -- offering a lovely view of the Knockmealdown and Galtee mountain ranges.  I am privileged to live next door to this active and beautiful Lios.Ringforts were constructed mainly from the Iron Age into the early Medieval period (800 BCE  to ~1 … [Read more...]

Appropriate Stories

Elinor has written here about the nature of displacement in modern Paganism. Displacement is one of the factors in cultural change and cultural borrowing. It can also lead to ugly cultural appropriation. For someone who is concerned about cultural appropriation, sometimes it can be hard to know where the line is between borrowing and stealing. Other times, you have no choice but to adopt something as your own because it simply speaks so deeply to your soul. What else could you do? "I wanna show … [Read more...]

Sheep in my front garden: we’re not in Texas anymore

I heard a rumor that Mercury is retrograde this week.  If that is indeed the case, I believe it has taken control of our blog!  :eep:  So, in the spirit of easy communication and plain ole FUN, let me share a story.Tuesday morning, as I lazed in bed, I thought I saw a white blur dart past the window.  This seemed odd, considering I live in a two-story farmhouse and my bedroom is upstairs.  I was reluctant to get out of my warm bed to investigate, so I pulled the comforter up around  my chin. … [Read more...]

What Place is This? Our spaceship among the stars

the pentacle surrounding our planet : video capture "Nova, Earth From Space"

Last week I pondered the geographic specificity with which ancient Irish kingship was based.  Most of us, when thinking of our "place", think in terms of the very specific, whether that be our favorite tree, back garden, neighborhood, county, province, state or country. What we rarely imagine is our place on and within the living organism of our planet, which is itself a spaceship among the stars.I am an initiate in the Faery/Feri tradition of witchcraft.  This tradition works with a d … [Read more...]

Two peoples, one mountain, our tales (Part 2)

Last week I told a creation myth based on this Northern California mountain that comes to us from the Chochenyo Ohlone who lived here before the Spanish arrived. This is another story about the same mountain that was told to me when I was a child. Aside from the fact that both my mother and father knew the story, the exact source of it is unknown to me. I have not been able to find another example of this particular tale. My parents told this as non-Catholics with a twist of irony. In my … [Read more...]

Snakes in the Dark: beginning to remember

Brú na Bóinne : Ireland

My feet are bare as I run through the pasture.  Calluses, built over years of refusal to wear shoes, give them a protective layer all their own.  Long, dark hair billows behind me--a knot of tangle and wave. My mind is full of one thought, one intention: Grandma’s house.I will sit at her feet and help shell peas while she tells me stories.Maybe she will comb my hair and braid it.We will sit quiet together, while the wind rustles the curtains in the breezeway and she twiddles her thu … [Read more...]


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