Marking the Seasons


A lot of Pagans use the festivals to mark the seasons. The problem I have with this is that they insist that the start of the Summer is Beltane. In Britain where I live Beltane is often cold and wet and we may not see a period of sunshine (I define a period as roughly a week) until June or maybe July, which is not when Summer is supposed to start.

I’ve always felt that Beltane is the end of Spring and celebrate midsummer as the end of the light days and beginning of the dark days, so for me it is really the Summer solstice.

The Irish did at some point mark various points as seasons, but the seasons themselves may have changed.

In Irish myth Imbolc is marked as the start of the light half of the year and Samhain as the dark half. I have calculated out the days and the period Imbolc to Samhain is 273 days, while Samhain to Imbolc is 120 days which makes it roughly Imbolc to Samhain is the light two-thirds of the year while Samhain to Imbolc is the dark one-third of the year.
So instead of marking the seasons at the festivals, I mark the weather.

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Judging Deities


People seem to put deities into two categories : nice and nasty. Nasty ones can include The Morrigan and Loki and nice ones can include Brigit and Flora.

This is because people look at the functions of the deities and apply the morality current at the time. For example, until World War One was used to be thought of as a glorious thing and it was good to die for your country.

The Morrigan has war functions so is often classified as nasty or evil in one graphic novel I read. Brigit has functions of hearth and home so is classified as nice.

People are judging deities on their function and not their personality. I find that The Morrigan is not as nasty or as evil as people believe, will respond fairly to what I have said or done and leaves me more latitude than other deities.

On the other hand I used to have problems with water in properties I rented because I was not responding to Siannon. For some of this time I wasn’t pagan and did not know that she existed, but that did not matter to her.

Viking Exhibition


Last Friday we went to see the Viking exhibition which is on at The British Museum.

It was a good exhibition which gave me a basic understanding of Viking life. It emphasised that they weren’t all raiders and pillagers and informed us of other facets of Viking life such as trading, although it did focus on boat building.

There was an interesting part on spellcasting. It seems that Viking women used staffs that were akin to weaving tools to weave fate.
The only criticism I have is that the objects shown were not numbered which meant that I had to spend a lot of time working out which object the text was talking about.

Kelpies


In Scottish mythology a kelpie is a beautiful fairy horse which entices you to get on its back. Once on its back you will be unable to get off and be dragged down to the bottom of the river or lake which the kelpie inhabits.

Near Falkirk in Scotland they have built a statue of two kelpie’s heads. This statue is very beautiful (as are kelpies) and is structured to look like the heads are flowing water.

However, I am uneasy about these statues because each one is surrounded by water and people have thrown coins into the water. The custom of putting offerings in water is one which goes back centuries and maybe millennia in Britain. Unfortunately this means that people are feeding belief in kelpies and this is one fairy creature I certainly wouldn’t like to see around.

Sympathetic Magic


I would define sympathetic magic as using an object which mimics what you wish to happen in your spell.

An example of this is if you wanted to cleanse a building of unpleasant people you could write the spell and cleanse the building symbolically with water.