Category: Christian


Merry Christmas!

I made myself a tree…

And then I made *myself* a tree:

And My family knew just what to get me:

makeup

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Happy Yule!

A festive little throwback, from a 2013 performance:

A beautiful poem by Eleanor Farjeon.
Thanks, Elfkat, for posting this!

 

s-stone-brigid

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

Saint Bridget

by Eleanor Farjeon

Part of a series of poems on saint’s lives and because I have been lax in my flamekeeping.

Saint Bridget she was beautiful
In feature and in deed
And she would give the world away
To anyone in need.
It was enough for her to know
Of beggars at her door
That women starved and babes were cold,
And ragged men were poor.

Saint Bridget gave the world away
And cut her golden hair
To dwell beneath the Holy Oak
Men speak of in Kildare.
The stick she put her lips upon
Broke straightway into flower,
The sunbeam in her greenwood cell
Lingered beyond its hour.

Saint Bridget laid her beauty by
That earth might leave her be,
And God bestowed it twice on her
Till angels leaned to see.
‘Look, look! There goes the loveliest one
In Ireland ever known,
Our Bride who gave…

View original post 9 more words

Absolutely amazing post.

"I Said I Don't Know."--and Other Answers to Hard Questions

Church,

I got to go to the Macklemore concert on Friday night. If you want to hear about how that went, ask me, seriously, I want to talk about it until I die. The whole thing was great; but the best part was when Macklemore sang “Same Love.” Augustana’s gym was filled to the ceiling with 5,000 people, mostly aged 18-25, and decked out in thrift store gear (American flag bro-tanks, neon Nikes, MC Hammer pants. My Cowboy boyfriend wore Cowboy boots…not ironically….). The arena was brimming with excitement and adrenaline during every song, but when he started to play “Same Love,” the place about collapsed. Why? While the song is popular everywhere, no one, maybe not even Macklemore, feels its true tension like we do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If you’re not familiar, here’s the song:

Stop–did you watch it? Watch it.

Before the song, Macklemore spoke really…

View original post 976 more words

Happy Easter!

Or whichever spring festival you choose to celebrate.

Though I don’t subscribe to the Christian Eater story, I celebrate with my family because 1) they do and 2) it’s important to me to spend time with Grandma.
She’s still healthy, but she’s not young, and since Grandpa died, it’s starting to show.
I will take every opportunity I can to be around her. She’s an amazing woman, my Grandma. Just amazing.

 

Ostara Approaches

Now that my St. Patrick’s Day festivities have passed, and I can relax a little – and get back to my normal schedule – I can plan ahead for Ostara.
While the Christian religion celebrated the return of the crucified Christ, pagans will celebrate the return of spring.
All will enjoy the pastel and chocolatey goodness that occurs for the holiday. Brightly colored eggs, fuzzy lambs, squee-dorable bunnies… it’s all one holiday, celebrated differently.

Let’s all get along, celebrate a renewal, a revival, a darn good thing. Let’s eat. Let’s mate. Let’s enjoy the warm sunshine and return of above-40 temperatures. 🙂

Also, I really enjoy the chocolate.
And hard-boiled, brightly-decorated eggs.

Yay spring!

Natural egg dyes

Hot-Cross Buns

Fudgy Truffle Eggs

Seed Blessing & Indoor Plant Ritual

Here in the Twin Cities, we started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday the 16th. We can’t hold a Sunday parade downtown – plus our local Catholic diocese told us we shouldn’t have  Sunday parade (what with it being The Lord’s day and all).

A Saturday parade in St. Paul is a BIG deal. Even with the temperature being 28-32 degrees, the sun was out and walking and waiving to the masses kept us warm enough not to notice.
On top of that, my sister and I created this AMAZING steampunk-inspired costume. I had a lot of compliments all day – including during the parade!

 

There was a sad realization, though, that both my husband and I had: Neither one of us enjoys the post-parade pub crawl anymore.
It used to be a ton of fun.

But now there’s drama and such. Plus, we just can’t drink like we used to.
I get all tired and mopey.
He gets cranky.
We don’t enjoy being with ourselves or anyone else when we’re in that state.

So we called it an early night, asked sober-sister to drive us home, and ordered a pizza.
It was a really good decision

Who was St. Patrick of Ireland? (stolen from The History Channel website)

St. Patrick: Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

St. Patrick: Guided By Visions

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God’s—spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission: to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

St. Patrick: Bonfires and Crosses

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick’s life became exaggerated over the centuries—spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

Countless works of art have depicted the bearded saint crushing serpents under his feet, and pointing to the distance with his staff as if to banish them from his sight.
But there is little evidence that snakes were indigenous to the island.

Most folks tend to connect the snakes with the pagans of early Ireland. There are many tales of how St. Patrick wielded the power of God to subdue the pagan magiks. Stories of great [pagan] kings falling – either by conversion to the new Christianity or by death.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is a huge part of my heritage.
My family is from Ireland, and the majority of them are Catholic. I was raised Catholic.
I have a lot of respect for the saints and stories.

But what I could never get behind is the notion of a wrathful God.
Free will? Nope, too bad. You made a wrong choice and must suffer in the worst way possible.
Free will? Only if you follow how I tell you to follow.

This new religion just comes in and says, “Hey guys, I know you’ve been worshiping like that for all these years, but, um, you’re totally wrong. And this new guy is, like, so right. You should follow us. Because, well, just because we say you’re wrong and we’re right. Ours is the only God. And if you don’t follow this new guy, you’ll, like, burn in hell. Oh, you don’t have a concept of hell? Too bad; you’re going there anyway.”

“Also, our God totally loves you, regardless of your tradition of following this other religion. But, um, he’s gonna smite you anyway. Because he loves you.”

God’s a jerk like that sometimes.
He totally loves you, but he’s going to hit you.
And then tell you that he’s only doing it because he loves you.

Seriously.

True Facts About Valentine's Day

For my friends who enjoyed Arrested Development: Happy Early Valentine’s Day

As an extra gift, have a free music download. This is a shortened version of “Duma sa Duma” off Phil Thornton’s Nexus Tribal.

~~~~~
Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.

*Source: History.com

Happy Valentine’s Day!

According to Wikipedia (and other online sources)
“Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-MOLK or i-MOLG ), also called (Saint) Brighid’s Day is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 31 January–1 February, or halfway between the winter solstice and the Spring equinox.

In Christianity, 1 February is observed as the feast day of Saint Brighid, especially in Ireland. There, some of the old customs have survived and it is celebrated as a cultural event by some. Since the 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Imbolc, or something based on Imbolc, as a religious holiday.”

A Christian prayer to St. Brigid
Saint Brigid
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Amen

From “The Unicorn Garden”

“BRIGID
In the Scottish Highlands and Islands the rebirth of nature is celebrated on Candlemas, or St Bride’s Day on 1 February. The tradition has weakened but the same feast has been celebrated since time immemorial. At its height, bonfires were lit on hilltops and there would be a festival with some young maid crowned with candles and honoured in Brigid’s stead. Candles were lit in every window and homes in the Isles were decorated with early flowers and greenery. Bride’s Crosses or Wheels were woven from corn and hung around the house.

Women would also make a crib with a mattress of corn and hay. They called it Bride’s Bed and into it they tucked under a blanket a straw doll representing Bride, and beside her a wooden club. The crib was laid near the door surrounded by glowing candles. Food and drink were laid on the table and a decorated chair set by the hearth. Then just before they went to bed, the women of the house would call out three times: ‘Bride is come, Bride is welcome!’ Or they would go to the door and cry out into the night for Bride to enter their house.

On the morning following Candlemas, everyone would search the ashes of the hearth, hoping to find an impression of Bride’s club. If they did it was the sign that they would have prosperity and a good crop in the coming year. The weather that day was also watched closely because, as the old saying has it:

If Candlemas day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain, Winter is gone and will not come again.”

This, actually, makes me pretty happy. We got a fair amount of snow yesterday. Hopfeully, this means we should have an early spring.

I like to look up prayers to Brigid, both Christian and Pagan. Seeing the devotion of others is comforting to me.
But I have my own little prayer. It makes me feel like I am connecting on another level.

Sweet Brigid,
I light this candle for you.
As the flame burns, so does my devotion.
You are strong, and thus am I.
Through you I shall love as you love,
help those who cannot help themselves
and care for the weak.
I will do good as is right.
Blessed be.

It isn’t always word for word, but the message is always the same – Love on another, show compassion.

This weekend was a BIG deal for me.
Not only was Something Tribal a big production for my troupe but I was recently “promoted” to assistant director of KCDC. So I was representing myself as a dancer and a Sohalia Tribal troupe member, but also as a KCDC troupe member. I danced with my Sohalia troupe AND with Tasha & Wendy at the big Gala show. It was exhilarating and awesome.

Opening Act

KCDC & Wendy Allen