Day 2: Beltane Folklore
|Beltane Folklore |
Did you know that Irish farmers drove their cattle between two great bonfires at Beltane? Or that if you nibble a snack offered by the Fae, you'll be trapped in their magical Realm for seven years? How about the fertility magic of the "birthing stone"? These are just a few of the fascinating legends and folklore that surround Beltane. Beltane Lore
|Who is The Green Man? |
For our ancient ancestors, many spirits and deities were associated with nature, wildlife, and plant growth. After all, if you had just spent the winter starving and freezing, when spring arrived it was certainly time to give thanks to whatever spirits watched over your tribe. The spring season, particularly around Beltane, is typically tied to a number of pre-Christian nature spirits. Many of these are similar in origin and characteristics, but tend to vary based on region and language. In English folklore, few characters stand out -- or are as recognizable -- as the Green Man. Who is the Green Man?
|The May Queen & Queen of Winter |
Much like the masculine battle between the Holly King and the Oak King at Yule and Litha, there is a feminine battle for dominance in Beltane folklore. In some Wiccan traditions, the May Queen arises from her winter's sleep at Beltane, and does battle with the Crone, the Queen of Winter. The May Queen
|The Mysterious Fae |
Beltane is traditionally a time when the veil between our world and that of the Fae is thin. In most European folktales, the Fae kept to themselves unless they wanted something from their human neighbors. It wasn't uncommon for a tale to relate the story of a human being who got too daring with the Fae -- and ultimately paid their price for his or her curiosity! In many stories, there are different types of faeries - learn about who they are, and what they want from us. Faerie Lore
|Welcoming the Birds at Beltane |
Beltane is all about fertility, and what embodies that more than the concept of the birds and their nests? They're laying their eggs, preparing to hatch their young, and generally giving us all sorts of signs that life has returned to the earth once more. You can welcome birds to your yard with a couple of simple techniques, and then sit back and watch to see what they're up to. Welcoming the Birds
|Busy as a Bee |
If we're going to mention birds, certainly we have to talk about the bees as well! Bees have a long and interesting history in folklore and legend, and in many cultures, they are considered a symbol of divinity. Read on to learn about which cultures honored the bees -- and their honey, which was known as the nectar of the gods! Bee Folklore
|The Secret Language of Flowers |
In the Victorian era, it became popular to send people messages told in the language of flowers. There was a fairly standard list, so if you received a bouquet of lemon blossoms, for example, you'd know that someone was promising you fidelity and faithfulness in their love for you. Many of these centuries-old flower meanings translate well into modern Paganism and Wicca -- after all, if magic uses symbolism, we can take this language of flowers and incorporate it into our day-to-day magical living. The Secret Language of Flowers
|Tomorrow: Beltane Around the World |
Tomorrow we'll look at some of the ways the fertile season is celebrated around the world, as well as the deities associated with Beltane.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Day 1: The History of Samhain
|The History of Samhain |
Samhain is celebrated October 31, the same night as Halloween. However, this Sabbat has roots that go back thousands of years to the time of the Celts. Later, it evolved into a Catholic mass, and finally became known as the witch's New Year. Learn about how Samhain developed into the magical celebration we have today.Read More
|When is Samhain 2010? |
If you're not sure what day to celebrate, here's where you'll find information on dates for Samhain, whether you're in the northern hemisphere or below the equator. When is Samhain?
|Decorating Your Samhain Altar |
Samhain is the time of year when many Pagans and Wiccans celebrate the cycle of life and death. This Sabbat is about the the end of the harvest, the calling of the spirits, and the changing aspects of the god and goddess. Try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, space may be a limiting factor for some, but use what calls to you most. Here are soem tips on how to decorate your Samhain altar.
|Samhain Altar Photo Gallery |
Samhain is known as the witch's new year, and it's a time when the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest. It's a season of death and dying and darkness, and hearkens the coming of winter's chill. No matter how you celebrate this Sabbat, chances are good that you've decorated your altar to reflect your views of the season. Check out some of our reader-submitted photos of Samhain altars, and if you like, send yours in to share! Samhain Altar Photos
|Reader FAQ: Pagans and Halloween |
A reader asks, "I was curious if it was anti-Pagan to celebrate Halloween? I'm sort of worried it might seem disrespectful to go out collecting candy while I'm supposed to be honoring the spirits of my dead ancestors. How do Halloween and Samhain relate if at all to one another?" Read the Answer
|Tomorrow: The Spirit World |
At Samhain, the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest... we'll look at how to hold a seance, hosting the Dumb Supper, dealing with spirit guides, and we'll have a special commentary on death and dying from a well-known guest author!
12 Easy Chinese Food Recipes
Wrong! You can make Chinese food at home, and save money and calories. (Or at least know what you're getting, which is more than you can generally say for a restaurant meal.)
|How to Lower the Fat in Chinese Food Cooking |
Even at home, it's easy to go overboard on the fat content. This is because fat is delicious. Still, deliciousness can be achieved without necessitating the purchase of bigger pants directly after dinner.
|12 Easy Chinese New Year Recipes |
The Chinese New Year is almost upon us. Another great reason to pick up some Chinese cooking skills now.
|6 Easy Dessert Recipes |
Now that you're a virtuous, low-fat cooking machine, you can save a little room for dessert. Specifically for steamed pears, which look amazing.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
A couple times a year I get to pick what book my book club reads. I often take that opportunity to read books that are a little older but still... Read more
|Good Books to Read in Winter |
Good books are always a pleasure to read, but some books have a setting or tone that matches a season. These good books to read in winter are ... Read more
|Reading Goals for 2011 |
Do you set personal reading goals for the year or do you just read as often as you're in the mood? I've seen people set goals for a certain number... Read more
|Book Club Discussion Questions |
Lead your book club discussions with ease. Find discussion questions for the bestsellers that your book club is reading here.
Will You Be Celebrating Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, is one of the biggest celebrations in Chinese culture. It is a long celebration that lasts for 15 days. Because... Read more
|Is Your Feng Shui Money Area Missing? |
Is your feng shui money area missing in your home or office? And, do you know what it means when a bagua area is missing, or incomplete? Finding feng shui solutions for specific missing bagua areas will imply a basic... Read more
|What Is Wrong with the Feng Shui of My Money Area? |
When it comes to the right application of feng shui, it is not the amount of work one does in order to bring the desired results. Feng shui is easily misunderstood,... Read more
|Do You Have Good Feng Shui In Your Bedroom? |
A good feng shui bedroom is a bedroom that promotes a harmonious flow of nourishing and sensual energy. A good feng shui bedroom is a bedroom that invites you, lures you in, excites and... Read more
Free Online Advocacy Course for Deaf/HOH
The Minnesota Commission of Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans has a free online course on advocacy. It is signed and captioned. This course teaches how to influence public policy makers.
|Winter Signs |
These days, a warm day is when I can go outside without a hat. The cold weather is very much on people's minds.
|FCC Relay Rules a Potential Security Threat? |
A new comment (#12) has been posted to a very old blog post: Scam Artists Threatening IP Relay Services? This commenter claims to be a former relay service operator.
|DeafBlind and Disabilities |
Many people are both deaf and blind. Syndromes causing deafblindness and individual deafblind people such as Helen Keller.