Celebrating Imbolc Quietly

Welsh snowdrops by Gerallt Pennant via Wikimedia Commons.

When I was living in Wales I felt the seasons shift at Imbolc. Snow drops raised their cheery heads from cold earth. The sheep in the pastures across from my house began their lambing. The light grew demonstrably stronger. Occasionally the daffodils would poke up, bright yellow promises of sunlight to come.Here in the Pacific Northwest I also feel the growing light in my bones. It's still cold and wet and grey - reminding me that we are still in winter's clutch. I don't see any snow … [Read more...]

Herbalism and the Craft

Witches, midwives and herbal healers all have some history in common. Throughout history many midwives were also healers, shamans were healers, and many women who worked as midwives or healers might also have been considered witches. Their histories are often woven together.In modern times, people who are attracted to witchcraft, in my experience, tend be rather independent and willing to learn about anything that attracts their fancy and/or will advance their craft. I never had an interest … [Read more...]

Harvest in the Pacific Northwest

At the beginning of August many of my Pagan friends celebrated the first harvest, commonly known as Lammas or Lughnasadh (from the Celtic calendar system). That observance has never meant much to me. I am not a farmer, and have spent precious little time in places where early August means first fruits of any kind. Now in Washington, it means the height of summer, and I spend my summer time waiting for the days to cool.As August passed I began to have half-formed thoughts of salmon. Had my … [Read more...]

Maxim Monday: Listen to everybody

The older I get the more I see the wisdom in this maxim. Listen to everyone. Don't just smile and nod, but listen.As some one who is a very quick learner, I spent countless hours itching to get started on assignments or tests, having read the instructions myself, but forced to wait while the teacher spent 15 minutes on directions and trouble shooting tips for the rest of the class. That attitude has carried over into other aspects of my life and I hate to admit it, but I'm often chomping at … [Read more...]

Imbolc

Tomorrow, or maybe the day after, or sometime in the next week to ten days, depending on how you follow these sorts of things, is Imbolc, cross quarter Sabbat of Celtic origin and propagated via Wicca and various witchcraft traditions.I have tended not to observe this holiday very much. I resonate a lot with all things Celtic, but I admit I've been intimidated by the heavy academic bent to much of Celtic Reconstruction practice. Now, I'd like to expand my practice and start incorporating … [Read more...]

One year ago, Wales

Today, if the world hasn't ended, marks one year since my family packed up and drove away from Lampeter. We pulled out of the driveway before dawn. We watched the sun rise on the incomparable Teifi Valley. Our car was headed for Cornwall to spend Christmas with friends before heading back to the United States. (I linked to my last real post in Wales over on today's A Sense of Place.)I find Washington to be far more wild than Wales. It makes sense: it's not been as cultivated for as long … [Read more...]

Land as Lover

Inspired by The Spell of the Sensuous I want to explore┬ámore personally what Land and Place mean to me.David Abram talks about geography as a container. More than just mountains that enclose or fields that spread out, land shapes our views of the world, our experiences with future places, how we perceive time and seasons, how communities function, and how we relate the non-human world. I see this so clearly from my own upbringing in Juneau, Alaska. It has so profoundly shaped me that, even … [Read more...]


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