Column: Coming Home

Pagan Perspectives

Today’s column comes to us from Clio Ajana. Clio is an Archieria for the House of Our Lady of Celestial Fire in the Hellenic Alexandrian Witchcraft & Spiritual Tradition, and she also practices Romuva (Baltic Heathenry). She currently lives in Central Minnesota.  Her interests include divination, eldercare, prison ministry, and death midwifery. 

The Wild Hunt’s weekend section is always open for submissions. Please send queries to eric@wildhunt.org. One of my favorite times lies in the span between the last two sabbats of the calendar year.  Nights lengthen, temperatures cool and bring a hint of snow,  and the ground hardens beneath the fallen leaves.

Happy Autumnal Equinox

September 23nd, 02:29 UT, will mark the Autumnal Equinox (the evening of the 22nd in North America) which signals the beginning of Fall in the northern hemisphere (our friends in the southern hemisphere are celebrating the Spring Equinox). On this day there will be an equal amount of light and darkness, and after this day the nights grow longer and we head towards Winter. In many modern Pagan traditions this is the second of three harvest festivals (the first being Lughnasadh, the third being Samhain). “In the U.S. this equinox comes on September 22 at 10:29 p.m. EDT, 9:29 p.m. CDT, 8:29 p.m. MDT or 7:29 p.m. PDT. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is rising later now, and nightfall comes sooner. This is our autumn equinox, when the days are getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere.

A Merry May Day

This time, right around May 1st, are the traditional dates for many of the major Spring/Summer festivals in modern Paganism (in the northern hemisphere). Beltane, Bealtaine, May Day, Floralia, Protomayia, and Walpurgis Night, to name just a sampling. These festivals herald the coming of summer, a time of merriment, celebration, and bounty, a liminal time when the barriers between our world and the otherworld were thin. In many traditions and cultures it is a time of divine union and fertility. “You start in April and cross to the time of May
One has you as it leaves, one as it comes
Since the edges of these months are yours and defer
To you, either of them suits your praises. The Circus continues and the theatre’s lauded palm,
Let this song, too, join the Circus spectacle.”

A Blessed Spring Equinox

“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Today is the vernal (spring) equinox*. It is the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Wiccans, Heathens, and various modern Pagans celebrate this day as Ostara, Lady Day, Shubun-sai, or simply the spring equinox (autumnal equinox for our Australian friends).

Happy Imbolc

Tonight and tomorrow is when many modern Pagans celebrate the fire festival of Imbolc sacred to the goddess Brigid, patroness of poets, healers, and smiths. Today is also the feast day of Saint Brigid of Ireland patron saint of poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths, healers, cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born babies. In Kildare, Ireland’s town square, a perpetual flame is kept lit and housed in a statue that pays homage to the Pagan and Christian conceptions of Brigid. Festivities for La Feile Bride in Kildare started on January 31st and will continue through February 9th.
Here are a collection of quotes on this holiday.