Back in the day, people would send bouquets fraught with meaning. You could buy little handbooks with lists of the language of flowers, so you could anxiously decipher the bouquet sent to you. You’d better hope that you and the sender were using the same system, because some of these meanings are different than the ones on other lists… Thank goodness we have emojis nowadays!Continue reading
It’s the time of year for Wassailing in the apple-growing regions of England (Herefordshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, etc), and places where the weather is warm enough that fruit trees can blossom. (In Ontario, Canada, we wait until February to do the Wassailing.)Continue reading
Yule is a distinct festival, often overshadowed by its younger sibling, Christmas. If you’re a Pagan or have Pagan leanings, the chances are that everything you love about Christmas is actually because it’s a Yule thing. If you love the tree, the holly, the greenery being brought into the house, the feasting, and the reciprocity of thoughtful gift giving (as opposed to obligatory gift giving dictated by social norms), then you love Yule. Yule is not “Christmas with the serial numbers filed off”, and Christmas isn’t “Yule with added Baby Jesus”, Yule is far more exciting and wild and numinous than that.Continue reading
Books I read in September 2022
Giants and gods, saints and heroes. Djinns and dragons. Loss and exile from one’s homeland.Continue reading
Books I read in December 2021
This month has been an odd mixture. I finally finished Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals, which I started in November. And I read Rewards and Fairies which is quite a melancholy book. I also finally got hold of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows in book form, for which I’ve been waiting for a long time, but it’s more of a dipping book. I read Esmond in India and found it a bit depressing. Then I read a collection of interviews with Ursula K Le Guin.Continue reading
Birds • September Pagan Challenge # 14
Autumn is when many birds start to migrate southwards. In Canada, skeins of geese are seen flying overhead; in England, birds start lining up on telegraph wires, ready for their long journey south.Continue reading
Celtic festival names
Some time back I posted a video about cultural appropriation and Lora O’Brien pointed out that the modern Wiccan and Pagan usage of Sabbat names is appropriated from Irish culture and language.
Gerald Gardner and other early Wiccans did not use the Irish names for these festivals — that happened later. Wicca is not a Celtic religion.
It does seem wrong to lift these festivals out of context. There are other old names for these festivals in England and Wales (the Scots Gaelic has similar names to the Irish Gaelic, but pronounced differently).Continue reading
How I discovered the Craft
Zoom Talk on Folk Magic
Yvonne Aburrow and Bob Houghton
- Zoom talk hosted by the Centre for Pagan Studies
- Sunday 12 July 2020
- 19:30 BST (UK) / 14:30 EDT
Register for the talk on the CFPS website
If you enjoyed this post, you might like my books.
My Magical Thing
As mentioned in Notable and Quotable 22, Julian Vayne is doing a series of interviews in which magical practitioners share the story of one of their magical things.
You can view my contribution to the series on YouTube.