• Salmon jumping in a river
    Poetry

    Bloodroot

    By Charlotte Hussey   I ride on the back of a salmon, listening to the swish of the overhanging branches. They rush by rustling overhead, to the slap of his tail against water. He slides, rippling between boulders and plunges us upriver. Choppy waves lap the limestone banks, their echoes filled with the susurrations of not-quite-human voices.   I ride on the back of a salmon, breathing in the raw mud smells, the rot of drowned logs and spent amber leaves, the watery scents of floating reeds and grasses, and the pitchy odor of a brush fire on the near bank. Out of its billowy smoke, a figure drifts towards…

  • woman sleeping on a bed of flowers
    Poetry

    Gwydion Makes Leu a Wife

     By Charlotte Hussey At dawn I drop armfuls of leafy plants, buds on slender stalks, frail, scented blossoms, hundreds upon hundreds— into a vat of river water.   I stir from edge to center, chaos to order, watch sunlight reflect off the pin-wheeling liquids, ridged with tiny waves, like crimped, opening petals.   Slowly the vat’s surface settles, gathering to it the colors of field, forest, and pleasure garden to seed some small, fleshy thing, not of father not of mother, in the cooling mash.   The full moon pours down into her creamy folds as into the cobwebbed veils of a mushroom. “Woman, woman I have summoned you here…

  • Featured Articles,  Seasonal Editorials

    Entering the Light Half of the Year

    by Jhenah Telyndru Beltane, known as Calan Mai or Calan Haf to the Welsh,  is a threshold time between the worlds, revered by the ancient Celts as a sacred time which bridged the hardship of winter and the abundance of summer. Thought to exist outside of time, it is said that the veils between the worlds are thinnest at the liminal periods of Beltane and Samhain,  complementary Holy Day standing opposite each other on the Wheel of the Year. For the ancient Celts, there were originally only two seasons – Winter and Summer – and the transition points between each season were times of great power. Marking the boundaries between…

  • Featured Articles,  Pagan Life

    Welsh Winter Traditions: The Hunting of the Wren

    By Jhenah Telyndru Although occurring in the same season as the Mari Lwyd traditions, the Hunting of the Wren -Hela’r Dryw –  is a separate custom which appears to be more straightforward when it comes to revealing its ancient roots. There are two distinct phases of the practice: the hunt itself and the subsequent parading of the wren. While the enactment of these customs often occurred over the course of several days, Owen believes they both originated from a single ceremony that evolved in performance and meaning over time. Although there is no direct evidence which connects the Hunting of the Wren to pagan practices, there is folk wisdom which…

  • Featured Articles,  Seasonal Editorials

    Welsh Winter Traditions: The Mari Lwyd

    By Jhenah Telyndru Two popular Welsh folk customs, the Mari Lwyd and the Hunting of the Wren, are part of winter calendar traditions which were celebrated on varying dates, depending on the time period and region, but encompassing the period of time stretching from Christmas through to Twelfth Night, and occasionally extending through to Candlemas on February 2nd. This season of festivities was one of great revelry in Wales despite, or perhaps because of, the relative isolation of individual households due to the weather. The conviviality of these festivities function to bring together an otherwise disconnected community, thereby reinforcing a sense of social collectivity in the face of winter’s forced…