• Seasonal Editorials

    Darkness in a Time of Light

    Darkness in a Time of Light By Susan Morgaine This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year, is it not? We have the Winter Solstice, the longest night, celebrating the re-birth of the Sun; Christmas, the birth of the Christ child, bringing light into the world; Hanukkah, the Hebrew Festival of Lights, lasting eight nights, celebrating the rededication of the Holy Temple, and Kwanzaa, the African American Light Festival lasting for seven nights. celebrating the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Ironically, it is the Dark Half of the Year, a time for hunkering down, hibernating, sinking deep into yourself, descending into the Cauldron. It is a…

  • 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…