Sunday, January 31, 2010

In honor of Imbolc: The 5th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival

Hosted by Blog o' Gnosis, this poetry festival is intended to celebrate Imbolc and the goddess Brigid who is often associated with this pagan festival. She is the Irish goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft, and so a potent symbol for inspiration and creative endeavor, and very welcome during the dormancy of winer.

Some neopagans celebrate Imbolc as a festival with overtones of its Roman festival that occurs a few days later, Lupercalia. (I discuss this in last year's blog post for this holiday). So Imbolc becomes a time to honor Pan, wild god of the forest and its creatures, who are beginning to stir and ready themselves for spring.

But whether your main deity focus for your rites is Pan or Brigid, both can certainly be said to spark creativity: one via the hearth of the heart, one via the fire of the mind (and other places perhaps).

So, a poem for Imbolc (actually, this is a song I wrote some years ago; it still doesn't feel finished):

Man in Green

Saw him in the forest,
His eyes speak trees and vine
Saw him bless the harvest,
His lips taste songs, sweet acorn wine

Green, green his cloak
green, green his hood
green, green the garments of the man in the wood

Saw him dancing shadows
Misty meadow grey, dew-dropping rain
Watched him waltz with the barley mows
Gold and silver shining, warming grain

Green his hazel wand
Green his oaken shield
Green his ivy-covered mantle, the lord of the field

From his hands sweet berries fall,
To the winter sun standing tall,
Autumn’s circling seedlings he returns,
Springtime’s Beltane branches burn.

Running through the forest,
Hunter, brother, master, the Horned One,
Creatures by the Oak King blessed,
Flee forever poison, crossbow and gun

Green the twilight glows
Green the water gleams
Green, green his secrets, the lord of dreams

Dark the midnight forest,
Shroud of starlight, cup of moonlight in your hand
Singing weary souls to rest
All is silence, all is peace o'er all the land

Green, green the stars
Green, green the fire
Green the whispering glade around us
Green the shade of desire

Green, green my eyes
Green, green my heart
Green my love's dusky shadow
The man in the dark.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! Wassail!

Blessings of the New Year to you all, and may your 2010 be full of joy, abundance, and love. My plans for the new year include finding a new home once our house sells, and finding a place with enough space to plant some heirloom apple trees. I also plan to pursue my new hobby interest of brewing apple wine and cider. This will allow us to develop a tradition of wassailing in the new year: here's to pagan homesteading!

If you haven't purchased a new calendar for 2010, I have designed two different calendars with photos of the wild apple trees of the Brushwood Folklore Center. The photos in this post were taken there with my old Pentax. The calendars have many photos of the trees through the seasons, and are on sale now at for 30% off if you use the code "AFTERXMAS" at checkout. You can check them out here (basic version), and here (deluxe large version): they have slightly different images, and all photos were taken with either my 1967 Pentax Spotmatic, or my Nikon Coolpix.

(The runestead at Brushwood)