Today’s column comes from your humble Weekend Editor, Eric O. Scott. Eric was raised by witches. He has a PhD in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Missouri and has written for The Wild Hunt since 2012. The Wild Hunt always welcomes submissions for our weekend section. Please send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I live in a place unchallenged by winter. We move between cycles of wet and dry with occasional mild cool weather that flickers through in just a few days. Those of us raised in the tropics understand the trial of winter, but rarely the daily onslaught of cloudy and relentlessly cold days that become shorter through the nearly the end of the calendar year.
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA –At the beginning of this month, when the darkness and cold of winter seemed to be at their darkest and coldest, a group visited a shrine to the goddess Brigid, clearing away blockages to a spring and making offerings of flowers and milk. While that isn’t particularly remarkably in the Pagan community — many northern hemisphere practices include devotional acts at midwinter — it’s a bit more unusual when the practitioners are Christian. Members of the Jubilee! Community Church take “interfaith” to a level that is not commonly seen within an Abrahamic faith. Rather than seeking to understand basic tenets of other religions, they incorporate practices that are seen to tie into their interpretation of Christian faith, including celebrations of quarter and cross-quarter days.
One of the biggest discussions among Australian Pagans is how to celebrate the Wheel of the Year. In the Southern Hemisphere, we are largely working with material crafted in the U.K. and America. Comparatively, there’s been little research, and even less writing, on the subject of the Sabbats in the Southern Hemisphere. Long-time Witch and priestess, Frances Billinghurst is the author of Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats. We sat down to have a chat about the challenges that Aussie Pagans face, and how we can create a unique Wheel that is better suited to Australia.
Your humble author. The sewing machine’s name is Elizabeth. I am borrowing her from my girlfriend’s sister. Her manual, produced on clean white paper with green ink by the Babylock Corporation, refers to her exclusively with feminine pronouns. Elizabeth is a very talented seamstress.