Today, is April Fool's Day. No one really knows how the day got started. Some blame Chaucer and others say it's simply another New Year celebration. You can read more about it here. I promise, there are no April Fool Tricks in the stew :)
And speaking of the stew, let's get to it, shall we?
In the News'Witch Hunting' on the rise in Assam
Jaipur Law gets twisted to allow men to be tortured as witches
Government takes steps to stop witch hunts
Air Force is an equal pagan opportunity employer
Pagan Easter Breakfast, and the origin of Easter Things
Pagan Lore with Karen Szabo
Happy April Fools' Day! Hope you have yourself a little fun today, but first, here's the Pagan lore for the week!
Sunday, April 1
The month of Venus begins with April Fool's Day (also known as All Fools' Day), an occasion for playing practical jokes on friends, family, and coworkers. This custom dates back to olden times, when inmates of insane asylums were allowed out in the streets for one day each year for the sadistic amusement of those who were (supposedly) normal.
Monday, April 2
The old Pagan custom of "carrying death away" is carried out in certain regions of Germany on this day. In celebration of Winter's demise, special straw dolls are burned in sacred bonfires or "drowned" in sacred wells.
Tuesday, April 3
In Iran, on the thirteenth day of their New Year, special bowls containing sprouted seeds are traditionally cast into the rivers as offerings in the belief that the bad luck of the previous year will be carried away.
The Goddess Persephone's annual return from the Underworld, allowing the Earth to bloom again, was celebrated every year on this date by the ancient Romans.
Wednesday, April 4
The annual festival of Cybele, the Megalesia, was celebrated on this date in ancient Rome. She was a Goddess of fertility whose cult originated in Phrygia. Her male attendants were self-castrated priests and worship of her
was wild and orgiastic.
Thursday, April 5
Festival of Kuan Yin. Every year on this day, Kuan Yin (the powerful Chinese Goddess of healing, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness) is invoked for protection, love, mercy, and wisdom. Offerings of incense and violet-colored candles are placed on her altar, along with rolled-up pieces of rice paper upon which various wishes have been written.
Friday, April 6
In France, a children's springtime festival takes place on this day. Miniature pine boats, each holding a burning candle, are cast into the estuaries of the Moselle River to symbolize the "sea of life" and the happiness of sailing its sacred waves.
Saturday, April 7
The Blajini (or "kindly ones") are celebrated annually on this day in various parts of Rumania. This is a sacred day in which offerings are made to the beneficial spirits of the water and the Underworld.
Hope you have a wonderful week -- see you next time with the next installment of Pagan Lore!
Happy Birthday this week to Tee Yems, Theresa Chase, Sandi Crawford, Lise Silverwolf, Ygraine Spun Weaver Lennox, Rowan Pendragon, Epona Willow, Jo Anne Stone, Michelle D. Gregg, Janice Broda Strother, Magaly Guerrero!! and Charlene Norton. May this next year of your life be filled with joy, happiness, peace and abundance in all good things!
This Week in Astrology
Full Moon on Friday, April 6th, 2012, at 3:19 PM EDT.
"The Full Moon on April 6 2012 is at 17º Libra 23’. It is on a minor fixed star Seginus and widely quincunx Jupiter. So this poor moon is a bit of a bystander as the action is really between ubergoddess Venus, her lover mars and a huge bottle of Neptune"...
For planetary signs through the week and a void-of-course chart, click here.
Weekly Tarot Card: Page of Cups
Key Phrases: Be emotional, Be Intuitive, Be Loving, Be Intimate
The page of cups is a card of happy day-dreams, intuition, emotion and love. This is a card of being.. the state of all the above. It's time to open yourself up to romance (whether that's a person or your dreams or things that bring you joy), mending relationships, sharing intimacy in all forms with someone special, and trusting your intuition.
Allow yourself to be moved or touched this week, and share your feelings openly.
The page is young (or young at heart) and lives with the loving, open free-abandon of childlike wonder. This is the week to be that child :)
Weekly Totem: Swan
The Swan is one of the most powerful and ancient of totems. It is found in nearly every indigenous culture’s totemic line-up.
Swan’s message is about realizing your own true beauty and recognizing your power from within.
A Swan totem heralds a time of altered states of awareness and the development of intuitive abilities.
Swan people have the ability to see the future, and have a great aptitude for ‘going with the flow’.
They can adapt to changes in their lives with grace and dignity.
Those with Swan Totem are extremely intuitive and have strong psychic abilities. They know who is calling when the phone rings.
Swans in Nature
Swans feed in the water and on land. They are almost entirely herbivorous, although they may eat small amounts of aquatic animals.
Swans normally mate for life. The male swan is the only bird in nature known to have a penis. The male is extremely attentive to and protective over his family.
Some swans have a wingspan of nearly 10 feet. Their wings are extremely strong (they could beat a man to death, easily). Swans can fly as fast as 60 mph.
The Mute Swan is actually the most vocal of all species. They have 8 different sounds in their repertoire.
They are not known to be aggressive toward humans, and actually can remember the face of those who have been kind to them in the past.
Swan teaches the mysteries of song, story and poetry, as these are what awaken the child, the beauty and power within us.
Let's Go Wilde
When someone comes along who truly creates a work of art, it should be appreciated. And, this is how I feel about an author with whom I've become friends. He grew up reading pulp genre, and when he became a father, wanted to give that gift to his own child as well as those of his son's generation.
As I've said in past blog posts, I'm not one who really cares for the 'target audience' when it comes to reading, because some books reach out to the child in all of us and touch a spark that ignites the passion for the story itself. Tim Byrd's "Doc Wilde" series of books does just that. But, I'm also thrilled that this is a book I can read to my grandchildren and that they can read on their own. It's adventure at its finest, and Tim has the gift of drawing his readers into the story and making them feel like they are a part of it.
If you aren't familiar with him or his works, you can check him out at tim-byrd.com. He's parted ways with his publisher and is going out on his own through a Kickstarter campaign. I'd like to see great authors be able to make a living at their craft (insert rant/lament on how bards, poets, artists and the like should be given more stature in the community as we live by our stories). He's written some other great works. One of my favorites is Dead Folks.
To join in the kickstarter fun, check out his video and make a pledge here. For as little as $5.00, you get a free e-book and the perks just get better from there. I've pledged, and I hope you will too. This is definitely a project worth supporting, and I'll be posting again on it soon.
That's it for this week's stew. Mull, digest, enjoy :)