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
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
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.
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.
Magical Animals in European Folk Tales and Lore: Chickens
When we look closely at European folk tales and medieval lore, we see that chickens very much had a significant place in European folk magic.
River Magic: Interview with Druid and Author M.A. Phillips
Author M.A. Phillips is a practicing druid in upstate New York, and I was eager to learn how her own practices and beliefs, as well as the stories and traditions of Ireland, inspired River Magic.