Indigenous people frequently and correctly point out that Indigenous place names in North America are based on geographical features or things that happened in that place, whereas settler place names in North America are either named after the first person to settle there, or a place in Britain or Europe. This is true.
What’s more, the place names in Britain and Europe are named after geographical features, things that happened there, Pagan deities, and previous inhabitants’ names for the place. So it makes no sense to transplant them to a place with different geographical features (though I assume people did it for nostalgic reasons).
Reading about hygge, which seems very akin to Pagan ideals of comfort and pleasure, and about the Indigenous sense of humour, gives me hope that one day all of humanity will again see the Earth as sacred. I also reread some Dion Fortune.
Water • September Pagan Challenge # 26
In OBOD Druidry, Autumn Equinox is called Alban Elfed, the Light of the Water. So here are some photos of water and light. I think Alban Elfed is a wonderful name — light and water are a natural pairing and the reflective nature of water does amazing things with light. Water is sacred in most Earth-based traditions, including ancient and modern Pagan traditions, and Indigenous traditions of Turtle Island (North America).
My books are about inclusive Wicca and witchcraft; how to include LGBTQIA people, disabled people, and BIPOC people in ritual and witchcraft; embodied spirituality; and the inner work of ritual.
Happy Autumn Equinox everyone! Time for cooler weather and warm jumpers and scuffing through the autumn leaves.
Green witch • September Pagan Challenge # 18.
Whenever anyone asks “are you a black witch or a white witch?” (thankfully this is an increasingly rare question), I say “neither, I’m a green witch”.
I love walking in the woods and gardening, so I think that makes me a green witch. I also try to be green by doing recycling and using less resources.
“As to you O Moon” by Edward Carpenter • September Pagan Challenge # 17 (New Moon)
Today’s moon phase is actually waxing gibbous.
Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was a gay Pagan vegetarian socialist and one of the founders of the Pagan revival. This poem appears on page 141-142 of his book “Towards Democracy”.
Thanks to James Butler for introducing me to this poem.
Cosy • September Pagan Challenge # 16
The word cosy evokes blankets and cocoa, thick velvet curtains, woolly knitted jumpers, and squishy sofas. It’s slightly chintzier than hyggelig.
The word hyggelig evokes hugs, firelight, candles, warm food, cocoa, mulled wine, rambling conversations, simple rustic pleasures and interiors, and curling up in an inglenook or window seat with a book.
The candle. September Pagan Challenge # 15.
Candles must be the most versatile magical thing there is.
Autumn’s fiery face
shifts and ripples across the woods,
catching and snagging
the lips of Summer
in a blushing kiss.
A tiny patch of red leaves among the green,
scorching and kindling
A rhodochromatic fire.
It starts softly,
Then rages across the land,
Not destroying but creating.
Dropping the leaves quietly on the ground,
Nests for beetles and fungi,
Worms and larvae,
Breaking them down for compost
To feed new life.
© 2021, Yvonne Aburrow