From my allotment at Imbolc.
Me and Dumbledore hadn’t even got out of the car and we were still debating about stereotypes enforced on spirituality and people idealised to be something different than what they actually are or were (in this case, the stereotype that all Native Americans are deep, profound, stoic warriors and shamans, when they were just like the rest of us and had their own beliefs as well as their own scepticism).
Last Tuesday’s meeting (11th) was going to be a long one… and yes it was.
A very big thank you to Danceswithweasels who, with her other half, kindly allowed us to have our meeting at their house, providing us with pasta, garlic bread and bock (sic?).
We even got to meet Sir Reginald Claw who is a delightful black cat. He found us strange and disappeared at some point.
It was well into the evening and I was doing so well… holding off my talk as we discussed recreationist battles, especially if we consider Sci-Fi fans, could they be classed as ‘Future Recreationists’? Then it was onto rubber weaponry and live action roleplaying. This topic went onto how certain types of Pagans actually went into a form of this: playing at being ‘pagan’ and buying things to prove how ‘pagan’ they are…
Did zombie apocalypse enthusiasts count as ‘Future Recreationists’? It went back full circle, y’see?
We even discussed how the workplace can dominate your sense of time as well as oppress you from any trace of individuality.
I saw a gap and decided to call time and crack on with the self elected topic, I blame River, it was her idea. We didn’t really have a subject for this month, I asked if anyone fancied having a go, River said: “You should talk about your book” and I fell into the trap… remind me to never challenge her to a game of poker…
Yes, you read right, I am writing a book, the first draft is done, I am in the process of correcting grammar and making sure all quotes are referenced and that I got my facts correct. It is called ‘The Wheel of the Year: a study into the eight modern pagan seasonal celebrations.‘ It has been a project of mine for a few years now and seeks to compare the celebrations of today with classical accounts besides British and Irish folklore to see if they make sense, if there’s any correlation or is it all just twaddle?
I began with talking about Robert Graves in his book ‘The White Goddess’ being the source of something in Modern Paganism often taken as gospel: The Oak and Holly Kings, he was actually categorising certain deities into those of the waxing and waning parts of the year.
We then brought up the “Celtic Tree Calendar” and ripped it apart… it was never referred to in the past and seemed a good way of making the Ogham text… well, cool.
Back to the ‘Big Eight’ as I like to call them, here is a brief summary of each… if I went into too much detail that’d give my book away wouldn’t it?
Yule: Comes from the word ‘Giuli’ and ‘yuletide’ described December to January. A time of celebration of the return to lighter nights, often with dressing up as beasts, dancing and making merry.
Imbolc: Brigid’s feast day. First mention about it ever is in the Cuchulainn tale ‘The Wooing of Emer’.
Apart from being the beginning of the agricultural calendar, it is in honour of ones own livestock. Brighid of course became the model for the Christian St. Brigit.
Ostara: The Venerable Bede wrote about The Church renaming Paschal Month back to the name of a now forgotten goddess. Jacob Grimm wanted there to be a Germanic goddess of the dawn so much, he made one up…
Beltane: Pre-Roman fire festival marking the end of winter and beginning of summer. Less to do with fertility and ritual sex and more to do with preserving one’s cattle and expelling evil from destroying one’s crops. First feast for marriages.
And- that’s all folks!
We ran out of time, but if we ever have an opening for another meeting and I use the rest, you’ll see it here… or buy my book… if it ever gets finished.