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- a collection of essays on Neodruidic Studies
- a journal of Post-Reconstructionist Neopaganism





Saturday, February 4, 2017

The BEGINNING of the END of WINTER !



So then, can I interest any of you in my campaign to re-educate our pagandom regarding this godzawful "Ooooh it's Imbolc, it's SPRINGTIME!!" - stuff? 

When my own astronomically-informed, folk-calendrically obsessive heightened seasonal sensitivity collides with what I perceive as sloppy Pagan scholarship, I literally flinch at every instance of the above that I encounter.

Y'see, there's a thousand years of folk references from Britain, Scotland, and the Continent (and who knows how much from preliterate times,) reinforcing the popularity of the Candlemas weather tradition of this likely being the midpoint in the span of winter's weather.

The old Irish references to Imbolc being the "beginning" of spring stand as an anomaly in relation to this larger body of European lore and IMO it's likely to the fact that the winters are far more mild in Ireland due to it being embraced in the warm waters of the "North Atlantic Drift" (related to the Gulf Stream). And, yes, I understand that American Neopagans find utility in this early spring reckoning since many of them live in the US' south and southwest...

Regardless, the February Crossquarter is neither a strictly Irish property, nor is the old Irish take on winter's run appropriate to the majority of the "Celtic" lands. For most them and most folks folks now, the February Crossquarter is the BEGINNING of the END of Winter and not so much the "beginning of spring".


( check back here later, I may expand this post further...


---------- NOTES:


1.) So, what is Irish weather like? See:
http://www.ireland.com/.../discover.../irelands-weather/

2.) It mostly all started with this quote from the Irish hero tales:

"No man will travel this country," she said,
"who hasn't gone sleepless from
Samain, when the summer goes to it's rest, until
Imbolc, when the ewes are milked at spring's beginning; from Imbolc to
Beltine at the summer's beginning and from Beltine to
Bron Trogain,* earth's sorrowing autumn.”


That’s Emer, reproaching Cu Chulainn, in the Irish tale “Tochmarc Emire” (The wooing of Emer), from a 15th Century text possibly copied from a 10th Century original. This is the the oldest citation known for a fourfold description of the Irish year… / * “Bron Trogain” is generally assumed to be a name for Lughnassadh.

3.) Let's not forget that the cultures that contemporary scholars deem "Celtic" first developing around 1100 BCE, deep in central Europe (Austria and thereabouts,) and expanded westward reaching Celticizing Britain and then finally, reaching Ireland between 600-400 BCE.

4.) So, when "does" a season begin or end ?
See my essay: FUZZY LOGIC and the WHEEL of the YEAR