Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you all a safe and Happy 4th of July
Enjoy your day, have fun and stay safe.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice

Living in an area where we often lose power during some of the summer rain storms there is always candles on hand, packing them with a few candle holders was a great idea during the move and makes a quick summer altar.
Taking a break from unpacking boxes to welcome the Summer Solstice.

May the longest day of the year light your way to wonderful moments this summer.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Beltane Days

 May I make my fond excuses for the lateness of the hour,
but we accept your invitation, and we bring you Beltane's flower.
For the May Day is the great day, sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley will heed the song that calls them back.

Pass the word and pass the lady, pass the plate to all who hunger.
Pass the wit of ancient wisdom, pass the cup of crimson wonder.
Ask the green man where he comes from, ask the cup that fills with red.
Ask the old grey standing stones that show the sun its way to bed.
Question all as to their ways, and learn the secrets that they hold.
Walk the lines of nature's palm crossed with silver and with gold.
Join in black December's sadness, lie in August's welcome corn.
Stir the cup that's ever-filling with the blood of all that's born.
But the May Day is the great day, sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley will heed this song that calls them back.
~ Ian Anderson

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Easter Witch

Did you know that witches and trick or treating are part of Scandinavian Easter traditions, which are still celebrated in parts of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries? On the Saturday or Thursday before Easter, young children dress up as witches or Påskkärringar (the kindly, apple-cheeked, headscarf wearing kind, similar to Italy's La Befana, the Christmas Witch and go door-to-door asking for candy or other treats. How neat is it to have Halloween-like traditions in springtime?!

This tradition stems from the old belief that witches were a their most powerful during Easter week and that they would travel to Blåkulla (Blue Mountain) via broom (or even ride stolen livestock like cows, goats, sheep, or even cats - see image below) to cavort with the devil on Maundy Thursday through Saturday. 

To honor this old belief, Scandinavian children dress up as witches and go trick-or-treating, like Halloween! In some parts of Scandinavia children leave Easter cards or a small token of thanks to the houses they visit. Many of these cards feature images of påskkärringar, or Easter witches.

I love how you can find traditions similar to Halloween throughout the year for many different holidays. I love the Scandinavian tradition of Easter witches and it is fun to learn about different holiday traditions from around the world that relate to Halloween. A point of interest no peaked hats or black capes Easter witches are often depicted with a coffee pot, broom and a cat much like the Easter Witch ornament below.

One of my favorite illustrator Inge Look's version of the Easter Witch.
Glad påsk (Happy Easter)!