TWH — This week, many modern Pagans, Heathens and polytheists are observing the summer festival of Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, Lughnassa, and Harvest Home. Typically celebrated on Aug. 1, Lughnasadh is one of the yearly fire festivals and marks the first of three harvest celebrations. It traditionally honors Lugh, the Celtic god of light and many talents, and his foster-mother, Tailtiu. In addition, it’s the time of the Ásatrú festival of first fruits called Freyfaxi.
A few years ago, I attended a bonfire celebration in South Florida for Midsummer, complete with drinks and drumming. It took place close to the beach, so there was a constant breeze, and it was held later in the evening, so the thunderstorms had passed over and the mosquitoes were full and satiated. The air was thick and accented by night-blooming flowers. But it was also bearable. The night takes no toll like the day. That year, a few friends interested in Paganism asked to join. They let the drums lead their bodies and thoughts.
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We have entered the time of the year when many modern Pagans celebrate Samhain. The holiday marks the start of winter and the new year according to the old Celtic calendar.
TWH – Autumn celebrations are often designated as times to “reap what you sow” and for many Pagans, Heathens, and Witches that means harvest time for plants with both magical and medicinal purposes. The Wild Hunt spoke with both amateur and professional herbalists to see what’s their favorite plant to grow and what’s an easy, beneficial plant for a beginner to grow. Medicinal Herbs
Musician Bonnie Hanna-Powers says she grows calendula in her garden. She says it’s easy to grow but does prefer good soil. “This year I grew my plants from transplants, in one garden, and from direct sowing the seeds in another,” says Ms. Hanna-Powers.
TWH – This year, the autumnal equinox falls on Sept. 22 at 20:02 UTC in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the moment that officially signals the start of fall. At this time, there will be an equal amount of light and dark, after which the nights are longer as than days as we head toward winter. Outside of religious life, this season is very well celebrated.