The land does not belong to us; we belong to the land.

snowyhills

Saturday was the first new moon after the winter solstice: in the Roman calendar, it was the first calends of the year, sacred to Janus. It was a religious festival probably celebrated officially in Eskdalemuir about 1900 years ago, at the fort built where the Rae Burn meets the River Esk.If I were a reconstructionist Pagan, living where I do, based on the past of this land, I'd have a host of Pagan religious traditions to reconstruct from: not only those of the Romans, but of the … [Read more...]

The land is made of stories

"The Coming of Bride" by John Duncan (1917)

Today in the Christian calendar is Epiphany: the official end of the 12 days of Christmas. In the Roman calendar which was adopted by Christianity, the 12 day festival of Saturnalia, beginning on 25th December, was a period out of ordinary time, a time of divination through dream and weather watching of what to expect in the year to come.For all that the period between the winter solstice and Epiphany is a time of rest, review and renewal, it's always a relief to me to be able to put this … [Read more...]

Saying goodbye to home

MidRaeburn

The first time I really had to say goodbye to anywhere I'd called home was when I was 22 years old. It was January of 1993. Although I'd been away at university for three years, I hadn't actually moved out of my parents' home. The emotion I felt, spending my first night all alone in a strange room, cold and bare, in a house with people I'd barely met, shocked me. Of course, that was all just part of growing up, of finally becoming an adult: a necessary rite of passage. As we make our way … [Read more...]

Sacred Space

Stained Glass At Glasgow Cathedral

On this Christmas Day, I'd like to tell you about a place that is sacred to Christians that had a profound impact on me. This is not the only Christian sacred space that has touched me or taught me a lesson. (I'm sure I'll tell you of another come Easter.) But this place is special to me right now because it is right here in Glasgow. But I can't just tell you about the place. I have to tell you the story...Once upon a time, in July of this past year, to be precise, I came to Scotland for the … [Read more...]

Feeding the Sidhe

A full-grown elder tree Photo licensed under creative commons from

Back in 1998, before I moved to Scotland, I was a baby Witch living in Bath. I was reading all the gentle introductory books on Witchcraft I could find, and starting to put their exercises into practice. One of those books, I can't remember which, suggested beginning a relationship with the Sidhe – the beings most people refer to as 'faeries'.It recommended showing respect to elder trees – the dwellings of the Queen of Faery – and leaving silver coins in any hidden green space I could find. S … [Read more...]


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