New Website Is Live

Hi everyone,

As promised my new website is live. It is http://www.meadandmistletoe.com.

The first of the #heathenry50 challenge posts will go up in the next few days.

I have also set up social media pages which you can follow to keep updated.

This Nature Is Sacred blog will stay online but will not be updated going forward.

Thanks for following me, and looking forward to continuing our journey together on MeadandMistletoe.com. See you over there soon.

Matty.

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Do Trees Have Rights? Toward an Ecological Politics

This is a brilliant article by John Halstead. One of the best articles on Paganism and Political philosophy that I have ever read. Please give it a read too.

GODS & RADICALS

“[I]t turns out that extending rights to other-than-human beings is much harder for most people to imagine than giving rights to a corporation. The reason is that we’ve all been indoctrinated in a particular theory of rights: classical liberalism.”

from John Halstead

paul-rysz-224232

“The world is full of persons (people if you prefer), but few of them are human.” — Graham Harvey, “An Animist Manifesto”

When I first encountered contemporary animism, it boggled my mind. Animism posits a world full of persons: human persons, yes, but also hedgehog persons, salmon persons, rock persons, mushroom persons…and yes, tree persons. Those whose circle of friends includes many animists, pagans, and polytheists may easily forget just how radical the idea of “tree persons” is.

Hedgehog persons? Salmon persons? Mushroom persons? Even rock persons? When I first heard this, it caused me to wonder what exactly a “person” is. To the animist, a person is…

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Samhain/ Winter Nights and Ritual 2017

On Wednesday it is the great feast known as Samhain or Winter Nights. During my ritual I use the following “statement of purpose”….

Say: “As I stand here on this celebration of Winter Nights, the sacred wheel of the year continues to turn. As my ancestors did in ancient times, so tonight I honour the old ways. The harvest is in from the fields and they lie empty. The livestock has been brought down from the pastures and the people return to their homes for feasting. The leaves have changed colour and are falling from the trees. All is at an end. Summer is gone, winter is coming, the frosts and cold nights wait on the other side. It is the time of rest, of contemplation, of death. It is the time of liminality and transition as tonight the veil between worlds is thinnest. It is the night of the ancestors, a time to remember, honour and feast to those who have died, our loved ones and all life throughout vast history. They are not gone but live on within me and I will remember them. Just as they have become one with the earth againso too will I someday. I thank the earth mother for all she has given me this season and for the abundance of the harvest. I celebrate and look forward to winter, a time of sacred darkness, a time to meditate on the cycle of death and rebirth.”

I also have special element in my ritual devoted to the ancestors and so I say and do the following: –

I stand before the veil on this night when it is thinnest —
I pray that those who have crossed before me hear my words.
As the season turns, as the darkness reigns,
I make my call:
Grandmothers and Grandfathers of Ages past.
Beloved Dead of Blood, Spirit and Place,
I remember and honour you this Winter eve,
And give you thanks for your Wisdom,
Guidance, Protection and Blessings on my life.
I pray that you continue this in the coming year.
You whom I have loved and lost,
You whose blood runs in my veins,
You who sacrificed that I might be here,
I thank you.
You who inspired and influenced my life,
You whose feet trod this sacred land before me,
You who gave your lives that I might eat and live.
I thank you.
Thank you for giving me the gift of existence.
Thank you for the examples of your lives.
Thank you for the love shown
By those of you who shared your life with mine.
On this holy eve of Winter Nights,
I remember and celebrate your lives
and I light a candle now in thanksgiving.
(Light a candle for each relative, stating their name as you do)
In silence I now stand to honour my ancestors.
(Stand in silence for one minute, head bowed)
Wes Hal Mighty Dead,
I pray that you watch over my family, friends and I,
And grant us Health, Wealth and Wisdom in the days to come.
Let me live a life that brings honour to you.
And may my memory of you live ever on.
Know that you remain in my heart this day and always,
Ancestors, accept this offering!

Celebrating the New Moon – for Heathens and Druids

In ancient times, the New Moon was celebrated as the beginning of the month. Nowadays we have adopted the Roman calendar of set days, but in many cultures from ancient Greece to Anglo Saxon England, the new moon would most likely have been used to mark the new month. The ancient Greeks had a particularly interesting set of festivities to mark this time and I think there is a lot we can learn from them in creating new traditions for our modern Anglo-Saxon Paganism.

The ancient Greeks had a three-day festival around the new moon that involved preparations and then offerings to different household deities on particular days. They would celebrate the new moon itself two days after what we now call the new moon, because that is when the first crescent of the moon would be seen again. This timing of the celebration of the new moon is similar across a range of ancient cultures and therefore I think it makes sense to celebrate the new moon (and therefore the new month) on this date – the day when the first crescent of the moon appears in the sky.

But how should we celebrate? Well I think it would be a good idea to take a few ideas from the ancient Greeks. First – on the day before the new moon, as the old month is passing, it is a great times to do preparations, purifications and to put one’s affairs in order. It is a time to clean our altar, our fridge or even our whole house. It is a time to settle outstanding debts and bills. It is a time to evaluate the last month and make plans for the new one. And it is a good opportunity to give something to the less fortunate.

On the following day, the new moon, we should do a special ritual to honour those gods and spirits important to our household – Frige as goddess of the family and household, the Housewight/ Cofgoda, and our Ancestors. It would also make sense to honour Mona, god of the moon on this day too. It is a time to ask for their blessings upon our homes and families for the coming month, and to seek a divination regarding the coming month. It is also good to celebrate with a special meal – perhaps of moon shaped foods, or seaweed (as it’s a time when the seaweed will be plentiful.)

So as we prepare our calendars for the coming year, here are the dates of the New Moon (first crescent) for you to add in and celebrate. (thanks to ealdrice.org for the information)

Æftera Géol beginneth December 31st
Solmónaþ beginneth January 30th
Hréþmónaþ beginneth February 28th
Éastermónaþ beginneth March 30th
Þrimilci beginneth April 28th
Ærre Líða beginneth May 27th
Æftera Líða beginneth June 26th
Þrilíða beginneth July 25th
Weodmónaþ beginneth August 23rd
Háligmónaþ beginneth September 21st
Winterfylleð beginneth October 21st
Blótmónaþ beginneth November 20th
Ærre Géol beginneth December 20th

The Last Temple of the Celts

fascinating

Feral Words

druids The Druids Bringing in the Mistletoe, by Edward Atkinson Hornel & George Henry

The west of Europe used to be full of Celtic temples. In every settlement, every holy grove, every mountain top and ring of stones that held any import for the peoples of old there would have been some structure marked out as holy, a place to connect the people to the spirits who lived alongside of them. There were statues of gold and idols of stone, rings of trees wreathed with cloth, wells encircled by the swirling patterns of the art called La Tene. A vivid, distinct and technically accomplished culture did as all such cultures have done; piled up in its holiest of holies the greatest achievements of its civilisation, to honour the gods that it worshipped.

The afterglow of their achievements still hangs on the horizon. The illuminated gospels of Ireland, the giant carved stones of the Picts…

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