Signs of Beltane Approaching

blackthorn

The land is finally waking, here in the cold north (aka Scotland). Ostara is the balance of day and night, as elsewhere, but the land does not really wake until Beltane -- also known as Beltaine, or Bealtuinn.Spring and summer come upon us all of a piece, here. Here and now, the oyster catchers nest, the swallows arrive, the curlews warble, yet the sycamore is still bare-limbed. Daffodils and celandines and coltsfoot and wood anemones all bloom together.The blossoming … [Read more...]

She cries: Summer Solstice in Scotland

The view from my office window earlier today. Yes, that is a hawthorn covered in 'May' blossom.

Early this morning was the moment of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. Happy Solstice one and all!This past week has held more sunny days than I think we've had all year so far in my neck of the woods. Usually, Oengus shows us his glowing face from mid-April to the summer solstice, off and on. This year, as far as the hawthorns are concerned, it may as well still be Beltaine. Instead of spring, we've had a protracted winter, which is only now warming into something more … [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...]


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