Saturday, November 26, 2016

Seasons, Part 5

     As we continue our journey around the Celtic calendar, the next season to examine is Midsummer, occurring, not coincidentally, on the summer solstice, June 21st.  It celebrates the fullness of summer. 

     It is also considered an auspicious time of year, when things can improve -- or not.  In Cornwall, people would make bonfires around a certain bay and the elders would predict the future based on the number and appearance of the fires they saw. 

     In some villages, people would hold processions in their fields, circling sun-wise, as a prayer for protection for their crops.  They knew that a successful harvest depended on receiving not too much rain, and not too little. 

(photo courtesy of

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
May your day be filled with blessings.

(photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Seasons, Part 4

     In our series about the Celtic calendar, the next festival is Beltane, celebrated on May 1st.  It is the celebration of spring in all its fullness. 

     In the old times, Celtic villagers would create a huge fire and then have their cattle jump over the flames as a symbol of protecting the herd over the coming months.  Some would create a kind of griddle cake called bannock and whoever received the most burned piece would have to jump the flames as the "sacrifice." 

     Some traditions still remain, such as dancing around the Maypole or electing a May queen. 

(photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Seasons, Part 3

     In the Celtic calendar, the next festival following Midwinter falls on February 1st.  It is called Imbolc, or Candlemas, the Feast of Lights.  It is the celebration of the beginning of spring, when the earliest spring flowers start to bloom, when the frozen creeks start to stir, and when the days begin to lengthen. 

     Imbolc also coincides with the feast day of St. Brigid.  In Scotland, girls would dress up a figure and then parade it around the village.  Afterward, they would take the figure of St. Brigid into a house where young men would come and pay homage to her.  Then there would be dancing and singing and at dawn there would be an invocation sung to the saint.

(photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Seasons, Part 2

     In the Celtic calendar, the start of the new year is considered by some to be November 1st, Samhain.  The next festival after Samhain is Midwinter, celebrated on December 21. 

     This is the longest night of the year, in the areas to the far north experience almost complete darkness.  It can be depressing, and we can use the time to feel hopeless, or we can allow the coming days of light to open our hearts. 

     One idea is to sit before a fire or even a candle and envision the flames to burn away old habits or thought-patterns and allow new space to open up within.  In that space will be a seed that will grow and reach toward the coming light.  The calendar wheel keeps turning. 

(photo courtesy of