It is told that in the days when the world was young Beira saw land where there is now water and water where there is now land. Once a wizard spoke to her and said: ‘Tell me your age, O sharp old woman.’ Beira answered: ‘I have long ceased to count the years. But I… Continue reading An Cailleach in Appalachia
An ageless forest spirit. A whole ass Virginian mountain witch. You can also call me Heidi. Animism, polytheism, folklore, spirit work, & witchcraft. She/her.
Brigantia of the Rushing Waters
I stepped down onto the rocky bank of the creek and looked down the flow of it, and I knew I was in a sacred place. It was striking, with the mountains arcing upward from the creek itself, trees lining either side, boulders jutting up from the bed of the stone-laden creek. The water rushed… Continue reading Brigantia of the Rushing Waters
Some Thoughts on Witchcraft
My friend Snow of Cibear Fhoraois Sneachta recently sent this YouTube video from Cabra Woodwell of Steel City Witch to me. Snow and I have had conversations in the past about what qualifies as witchcraft, both historically and currently. It’s a slippery word, and Woodwell pins down precisely why: 1) the definition is founded on… Continue reading Some Thoughts on Witchcraft
A Fall Holiday Procession in South-Central Appalachia
I’d have loved to celebrate Lùnastal last week, but the corn harvest doesn’t start until September down here. Right now, it’s still high summer and the idea of a “first harvest” totally conflicts with the character of the season. The better first harvest holiday date for me would be on Labor Day weekend: corn is… Continue reading A Fall Holiday Procession in South-Central Appalachia
Community, Culture, and Identity in Western Polytheism
I believe in using the gifts of our ancestors – our familial, cultural, and local ancestors – to honor them, our Gods, and other spirits. These gifts are our cultural heritage that ought to be treasured and preserved, even as we make necessary changes in the present to create better futures.
The last frost date marks the final battle between the frost spirits and the goose women. The latter fly through the air on their wild hunt, chasing the frost spirits underground.
Rosmerta of Roanoke: Our Lady of the Valley
Roanoke is a liminal place, a place of travel, crossroads, and temporary rest and sustenance along a much greater journey. The Mother of Roanoke seems to me a liminal Goddess of journeys and crossroads as well as hospitality.
Homes Within the Earth: Death, the Afterlife, and the Soul
Gravesites deserve to be cared for, frequented, and enjoyed. They should be places that inspire warmth, love, and feelings of interconnection, while also allowing for the very natural feelings of grief that come with all transitions.
Bad Ancestors: Folklore, Ritual, and Responsibility
Our ancestors — regardless of their characters and actions — can teach us and help us make the world better than it has been.
The Light in the Underworld: “The Moon” by the Brothers Grimm
Perhaps the spirit of the moon still passes between the worlds, waking the dead from their dark sleep for brief periods. Perhaps we can more easily speak to the dead on new moon nights, when they rise under its pale silver light.