Pagan Community Notes: EarthSpirit Community, Florida senate race, solar eclipse and more

BOSTON — The weekend’s scheduled “Free Speech Rally” was overshadowed by thousands of counter-protesters. According to reports, there were only a “few dozen” rally attendees, who were eventually escorted out of the area to the sound of the crowd cheering. The event’s organizers have claimed that the rally was not related to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, but protesters were unconvinced and showed up in force. Among the crowds were a number of people from the Pagan community. Specifically, members of the EarthSpirit Community, which is based in Massachusetts, were on hand with their own signs.

A blessed first harvest

TWH — This weekend and next, 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, the weekend brings the Ásatrú festival of first fruits called Freyfaxi. Both celebrations are celebrated with feasting, songs, games, thanksgiving, and the reaping of the first fruits and grains of the season.

A Blessed Spring Equinox

Today is the vernal (spring) equinox. It is the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Wiccans, Heathens, Polytheists and various modern Pagans celebrate this day as Ostara, Lady Day, Shubun-sai, or simply the spring equinox (autumnal equinox for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere.) Other Spring festivals and holidays, include Holi or the Hindu festival of color, Higan in Japan, Nowruz or New Year on the Persian calendar, the Christian Easter and Jewish Passover. And there are many others. This year’s vernal equinox, which will occur today at 6:45 pm (EDT), will coincide with two other astronomical events: a solar eclipse and a supermoon.