A Tarot Look At 2017!

Not since Rod Stewart sang, "Come upstairs to my place and I'll show you my Tarot card," have the cards been calling me to do a reading.  And, instead of doing it for myself alone, I'm doing it for the USA.  Or, in hindsight, I would say, the white witches, good witches, kind souls, liberals, lefties, whatever you choose, for never in our country's history has the evil of bigotry, greed, and racism had so much power.  And they are tying to put us back into the dark ages, but, don't fear for the white light of goodness will win out.  It always does.  Still, in my reading I do see a rough 2017 ahead. 

To being with, when looking at 2017 in the context of numerology, I am a little freaked-out because of the Donald Trump factor.   There is no denying that whatever Donald Trump is doing,  he is doing it for himself.   For his bottom line.  And anyone who gets in his way will be destroyed as weak.  It is his language and view of everything.  And from a numerological standpoint, 2017, when you add them up: 2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 10 and that is distilled down to: 1 + 0 = 1

On its basic level, "1" stands for beginning.  According to Astrology Club1 symbolizes leadership and can get a lot done. At worst, number 1 energy of itself can be aggressive, cruel and even violent due to its pointed, narrow focus and approach....

And there you have what we are facing in the year 2017:   at best, 1 symbolizes the new presidency of Donald Trump and how it will bring leadership to the world, on the other-hand,  it could mean cruel and violent behavior.  Unfortunately, the cards say the latter.   

According to, 2017 will be fine for awhile, but then there will be a market crash in October 2017.   Here at, however, we believe they have this wrong and that the "regrouping" that they see in the stars for October 2017, is actually the impeachment or possible death of Donald Trump, and so any market problems will be temporary.  A day to watch is the 3rd of August 2017, for at that day Uranus goes retrograde at 28°32' Aries.  So, what happens on the 3rd of August 2017 is tres, tres, importante, and will clue us in to the October changes certain to come.

Now, onto the Tarot.  As you will see, the year begins with the Major Arcana cards The High Priestess and Wheel of Fortune.  In any reading, 2 Major Arcana cards mean:  Shut The Fuck Up And Listen.   And, so there is no doubting January and February will be "Hugh."  The 12 month reading always has The Fool and The Devil, so hold on to your saddles.   It is going to be turbulent.  The interesting stream of cards that is running thought the year is Cups, which, is concerned with love and emotions.  So, on one hand we are looking at power, and on the other, love.  I do believe 2017 is going to be the year of Love v. Power, and as in any good Hollywood film, love will win. 

January: II The High Priestess (Reversed)

So, with the reversed High Priestess, I would say, we as a country are expecting things to come too easily and to not give up when they don't.  The impulse is to hide or run, but don't.  We need to stay strong, be out there, be seen, be heard.

We are more than just a voice in the dark.

February: X Wheel of Fortune (Reversed)

Luck isn't on our side right now.  Don't get embroiled in anything we will regret.  Stay constructive.  Stay connected.  As the group Crowed House sang, "Don't Let Them Win."  The dreams not over, although it most certainly will seem so this month. 

March: XIV Temperance

Compromise brings happiness.  All we can do at this point is watch, patiently, don't get upset, let it happen, let it flow.  It is certainly going to feel like the Ides of March, but we will prevail.  Love does prevail.  We must postpone arguments until they open their minds; which is most certain to come soon.


April: IV of Cups (Reversed)

Don't give into political powers on the rise.  Hurt feeling could steer us down the wrong path.  Open to new friendships, maybe even newly evolves who are finally seeing the light.  Stay together, stay strong, we will overcome.

May: Page of Cups

Be open to alternatives and prepared for a change of plans.  The good news is we are starting to see the change coming.  The positive love change which has been screened by the hate and greed that seems to be controlling us.  The veil is fading away, the monster's eyes have been revealed. It's a glorious day in Hollywood.

June: IX of Wands

Although you probably already know this, fight for and hold onto what you believer.  Results from our hard words are finally starting to show.  It is June, the enemy is beginning to change, less boisterous than in months pass; almost, well, lovable.  Enjoy the Jun 21, Solstice, it will mark the change. 

July: XV The Devil (Reversed)

Don't be intimidated.  Allow them to lash out, to say what they will.  The evil power is being released, the white light is coming, but for now it is behind the darkest of clouds.   And, though the worst is not over, the suffering is, for this is truly the month we can say, "Aquarius" has risen.  Rejoice, laugh, have a drink.

August: Zero The Fool

Matters are proceeding as planned.  This is the month is shows, the month the tide turns.   Kill others with kindness and try not to be too happy, for the fight is not over, now the bright light must return to all and we must help carry its message.    The new journey has begun. 

September: IX of Cups

People are being generous to others again.  The light is showing.  Stay away from shop talk and try not to worry about finances.   Enjoy the kindness of strangers, you deserve it.

October: III of Cups (Reversed)

With new leaders comes new problems.   Be kind, be soft, don't let disappointment get in the way of happiness.  Beware of overindulgence and depression, we've come so far and yes, this is all there is to a circus.

November: King of Cups

A break from the problems of the last ten months are here.  Do something nice for yourself, let bygones be bygones, enjoy the now.   Isn't life great again!

December: VI of Swords

But the war's not over, nor will it ever be.  Good will always prevail, but at what means.  Just look at the last year, what a change, but we made it!  Truth made it!  Love made it!   To achieve security and happiness we got to plan our goals now.  Knowing when to say "no" will help us maintain our integrity.

Looks like we made it!


Crom Cruaich, Bad Ogre or Good Guy?

When Saint Patrick came to Ireland with his sick new faith, it is recorded that he set about destroying all of the pagan idols. Chief among these was that of Crom Cruaich. This was a stone idol, encased in gold, surrounded by a circle of twelve other stone idols that stood on the plain of Magh Slecht in County Cavan. It was with Crom Cruaich that Saint Patrick engaged in a theological battle for supremacy. Despite being referred to as the "chief idol" in Ireland, worshipped right up until the coming of Saint Patrick, there is, in fact, little information recorded about this mysterious figure and his cult or his followers.

Certainly he does not appear in any of the legendary sagas. The main references that we have are to be found in Keating's History of Ireland, the Medieval manuscript of the Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick, the Dindsenchus (place lore of Ireland) and Leabhar Laignech, the twelfth century Book of Leinster. None of these sources portray the idol in a very favorable light; in fact, it is quite striking to note the rhetoric used in all cases to describe the horrors of sacrifice that were allegedly carried out in his name:

Here used to be a high idol with many fights which was named the
Crom Cruaichlt made every tribe to be without peace.

To him without glory, they would kill their piteous, wretched offspring
with much wailing and peril to pour their blood around Crom Cruaich

I would like to offer some of my own interpretations as to who Crom Cruaich was, in the hope of clearing away some of the mystery that surrounds Crom, and to ascertain whether he really was the bad ogre he is made out to be!

Some of the most important clues to the identity of this unknown idol are to be found in his name.  He is usually referred to as Crom Cruaich. Crom means bent or crooked; cruaich means a stack, heap or mound of some kind that has been artificially constructed (as opposed to a natural knoll or hill).

D'Arbois suggests an alternative for cruaich as "bloody," derived from the meaning blood. Hence he argues that Crom Cruaich means the "bloody crescent.” I am not convinced of his argument, but 1 do not entirely dismiss it given the nature of Crom;  the word cruaich, might however, have been chosen as a deliberate pun to form an association between this god of the mound and the bloody rites that were supposedly carried out, thus helping to discredit his worship even further.

You may be wondering why this idol is referred to as Crom the Crooked One.  It is said that he got this name after being dealt a magical blow by St Patrick, causing the stone idol to bend over towards the west, as if ready to topple. There is also quite possibly another association here, the misshapen beings of Irish mythology. Here is how the tale is told in the Tripartite Life:

"Thereafter went Patrick over the water to Mag Slecht, a place
wherein was the chief idol of Ireland, to wit, Crom Cruaich, covered
with gold and silver, and twelve other idols about it, covered in brass.
When Patrick saw the idol from the water....he raised his hand to put
Jesus' crazier upon it and did not reach it, but it bowed westwards to
turn on its right side... and the earth swallowed the twelve other images
as far as their heads...."

The symbolism of the earth swallowing up the stones is interesting, and I will be returning to this later.

There is, however, another meaning for crom, which is quite different: It also means a circle, while cromleac means an ancient standing stone. On Magh Slecht there were twelve such cromleacs, three groups of four, arranged in a circle, with the central thirteenth cromleac representing Crom himself.

The meaning of Magh Slecht is also interesting. Magh is a plain. Slecht comes from the Old Irish slechtaim, meaning to prostrate, to go on your knees.

Hence it is referred to as the Plain of Adoration.

The idol is also referred to in the Book of Leinster as crin, or withered: "He was their god, the withered Crom with many mists.” Crin refers to the withering and decay of vegetation at the beginning of winter, and also possibly to the powers of blight, which were greatly feared. It is recorded that tributes were paid to the Fomorians to avert blight on the crops.

The idea of halt, or stooping, also conveys the image of old age, something ancient, something with great knowledge or wisdom perhaps? It is interesting that crin (Old Irish) is very close to crinda meaning wise or prudent.

The Crooked One also reminds me of the folktale of Am Figheadair Crotach (The Hunchbacked Weaver) which is well known throughout both Ireland and Scotland.  It tells of how two hunchbacks each in turn go to the fairy mound, and the first one simply sits down to rest there, hears the faeries singing, and likes it so much that he sings along with than, adding a little of his own at the end.  The faeries are so pleased at this, that they rewarded him by removing the hunch from his back.  Meanwhile, the second hunchback, on hearing this, decided that he too would go to the mound and demand that the faeries do the same for him. However, when he heard their singing he only grew irritated at them, and the ending that he gave the tune displeased the faeries greatly. Instead of removing his hunch, they gave him the one that had been taken off the first.  So, for his lack of due respect, he ended up in a far worse state than before!
Such tales illustrate the duality inherent in the natural world and the elements, the duality of constructive and destructive forces. The powers of growth in the summer give way to the powers of decay in the winter. This duality can be seen in the battle between the Tuatha De Danann and the Fomoire, and in many other Indo-European religious mythologies.

It should come as no surprise to find this same symbolic duality being re-enacted in the battle for supremacy between Crom Cruaich and Saint Patrick, between the pagan and Christian religion. It was easy for the early Christians to see their first saints as engaging war on the 'dark forces'. If the representations of these forces could be portrayed in negative terms, so much the better. It would seem that Crom provided a perfect scapegoat.

Ronald Black notes a game of combat from the Isle of Barra known as Crom an Fhasaich (Crom of the Wilderness) which was printed in Tocher 28.

The game involves a contest of both wit and wrestling between two boys. The first would question 'Crom* saying: "Failt ort fhein a Chrom an Fhasaich, co as 'n do choisich thu an di- ugh?”

(Greetings to you, Crom of the Wilderness, where have you walked from today?).

Crom replies: "Choisich mi bho m' fhonn  bho m* fhearann 's bho m’ fhasaich fhein"

(I have walked from my own territory and land and wilderness)

"De chuir fonn is fearann is fasach agadsa  mise gun fhonn, gun fhearann, gun fhasach?"

(How did you get territory and land and wilderness, when I am without territory, and land and wilderness?)

Crom goes on to say that it was by his own toughness and swiftness and strength that he got it, to which the boy offers a challenge to put it to the test, and the wrestling would start.

Yet Crom also has another name - Ceann Cruaich, meaning the Head or Chief of the mound. Its equivalent in Welsh is Pen Crug (or Penn Cruc, the earlier version). The bead* would seem to be a title denoting authority and leadership and is probably connected with the cult of
mounds and hills as sacred places, associated with the ancestors and with the sidhe. Such
sidhe mounds were regarded as entrances to the Celtic other world lands, magical lands of perpetual youth, feasting and happiness. This is a far cry from the picture we are presented with in the ancient poems of Crom Cruaich.

In Wales, the gorsed was a gathering place on the top of sacred mounds or high places for the giving of judgements. The gorsed of Arberth, in South Wales, is mentioned in the ancient sagas of the Mabinogi. It is said that no-one ever ascended the hill without either
receiving wounds, or seeing a miracle, another reference to the duality of positive and negative found in mythology. The gorsed was held in the open air, around a circle of stones, with a larger stone in the mid- dle. The image of Crom and his stone idols comes to mind once again. This ancient tradition of gathering on hill summits was carried on well into Christian times, with Parliament hills or Law hills to be found all over Scotland. On the Isle of Man the Manx parliament still assembles every midsummer on Tynwald hill, to read out the laws of the land to the people. In Ireland, thousands of pilgrims climb to the summit of Croagh Padraig in Co. Mayo every year, out of respect for their saint.

In the poem from the Book of Leinster, we are told that:

” Since the rule of Herimon, the noble man of graceThere was worshipping
of stones Until the coming of good Patrick of Macha”
Folklore has much to say about this "worshipping of stones" and this
is a huge subject in its own right. Mention is mack in the Brehon
Laws of ‘Ailche Adhartha’ or the Stones of Adoration. What I am
really interested inhere is the mention of Herimon. His name is usually
written as Eremon, and he was one of the first sons of Mil who
came to Ireland, and took the kingship of the land thereafter. The fifth
Milesian king in succession from Eremon was Tigheammas (whose
name means lord' or 'noble*) who, we are told, was responsible for
introducing the worship of Crom Cruaich on Magh SlechL He was
also responsible, according to legend, for the first gold mining in
Ireland - the very metal that the stone idol of Crom was encased in.
Tigheammas is said to have perished along with three quarters of his
people while worshipping this idol at Samhain:

"To him noble Gaels would prostrate themselves...” and later
"...they beat their palms, they pounded their bodies wailing to the
demon who enslaved them they shed falling showers of tears...”

This all sounds rather exaggerated for effect. We are not told how this 'demon' enslaved them, or why these worshippers should undergo such violent acts of self mutilation. What we are told is that it was the 'noble' Gaels that worshipped here, in other words, those with free status, those who held the Nemed under Brehon law, those upper echelons of society who were admitted to the public ceremonies held by the druids. These were no mere peasant farmers, but noblemen and women, and kings along with them. Crom certainly had quite an aristocratic following!

We are also told, in another part of the poem, the reasons for the prostration, and the offering of the first bom as tribute:

"Milk and com They would ask from him speedily in return for one
third of their healthy issue great was the horror and the scare of him."
The Nemedians were forced to offer such a tribute to the Fomorians,
and so too were the De Dananns. This would suggest that the
Fomorian gods were gods of fertility and of agriculture, to whom
appeasement had to be made so that they would continue to provide the
sustenance of the harvesL Popular folk belief still retains the idea of
leaving offerings out to the daoine maith, the good folk or sidhe, to
prevent them stealing the goodness of the milk.  Another poem (4) illustrates 

the more beneficent aspects of Crom Cruaich, as an earth fertility deity:

Mise a chothaxonn an gas, an phreamh A bheathaionn a bhfasann ar
talamh Ormsa ni thagann aon mheath Is mean an dias throm, an gheag
aibidh (It is I who nourish the shoot, the root Who feed all that grows
from the earth I suffer no decay f am the heavy ear of com, the ripe

Another verse points to further links with the earth, somewhat similar to the Dagda or Dis Pater, an ancestral god that dwells deep within the earth:

Nilim guagach, taim seasmhach Chomh leanunach le deilbh na re
Is me bithbhiogadh na talun Ala lonnailhe go doimhin sa chre.

(I do not vacillate, I am steadfast As faithful as the shape of the moon
I am the eternal trembling of the earth Deeply lodged in the clay).

All this points to Crom Cruaich being a Fomorian deity, connected with the earth and worshipped at the mounds of the ancestors. He was also a god of agriculture and fertility, to whom tributes were paid. I find it hard to imagine that this idol would have the following of the people if they had to sacrifice their first bom children. It is more probable that this involved some sacrifice or ritual killing of livestock, for the purposes of a public feast in which everyone would partake.

If Crom Cruaich was, in fact, a Fomorian deity in origin, why was he worshipped by the Milesian nobles? My own theoiy on this is that he was such a popular deity, with such a hold over the pre-Milesian peoples of Ireland, that his worship could not possibly be stamped out
Instead, the Milesians simply absorbed him into their own pantheon, and at the same time usurped his site as their own, with their own druids taking power and control over the ceremonial proceedings.

We can recall that after the battle with Saint Patrick, the twelve stone idols were said to have been swallowed up by the earth, as far as their heads. I feel this is more than simply a poetic description for the site falling into ruin and abandon. There is the connection between the earth and the reverence for sacred mounds as dwelling places of the ancestors, who are themselves guardians of the land, responsible for its fertility and the provision of food.

The symbolism may go even deeper than this. The swearing of an oath would be put to the test by something like: "If I swear false, may the seas rise up, may the sky fall on my head, may the earth swallow me up." Clearly, being swallowed up by the earth was something that filled any Celt with dread. If the earth had swallowed up Crom Cruaich and his idols, that might have been the end of it. And yet, the earth did not cover them completely, but left the heads, the most important part, exposed; the part which denotes authority, rulership, chieftainship - from which Cenn Cruaich, the Head of the Mound, takes his name, ami from which, "by hook or by crook" he will not be forgotten!


Why I say "Happy Holly Days" and not "Merry Christmas."

Yes, it is that beautiful time of year again when we hang holly around the house.   The Christian lore says something about how the holly tree provided the wood for the cross of Christ, and its thorny berries are the drops of His blood.   Yeah, right.  We pagans know it is another Christian lie.  Truth is, the holly leaves and flowers were used as decorations during the Roman Festival called Saturnalia.  The feast was originally held on the 17th of December, but grew in popularity to become the central popular feast of the year and was extended to cover seven days.  During this period all normal social conventions were overthrown; slaves dressed and acted like freemen, no work activities were conducted, and the usual moral and sexual codes were set aside while presents were exchanged and the entire population indulged in feasting, drinking and general merry-making. 

And so, yes, it is why I say, Happy Holly Days!  And ho, ho, ho, at the office Christmas party with a most mischievous grin. 


On Nostradamus's Birthday, I wonder about Trump.

It was on this date in the year 1503 that the famous French prophet and astrologer Michel de Nostradamus was born in Saint Remy de Provence. He experienced many psychic visions during his childhood and later studied the Holy Kabbalah, astrology, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics.  The first collection of his uncannily accurate visions, written in the form of rhymed quatrains, was published in the year 1555.  Three years later, a second and larger collection of his prophecies -- reaching into the year 3797 -- was published.  Nostradamus died on July 1, 1566. 

In Monsieur Nostradamus's writings, there were three great leaders called Anti-Christ.   The first, undoubtedly was Napoleon, and the second, called "Hiser" in the writings, was Adolf Hitler.  The third has yet to come, or... has he?  

I'm just saying.


It sure is starting to look a lot like Christmas.

Good Day for daughters.   I'll say.  December 13th, is not only the very lucky number 13 which is known as the Devil's dozen used by witches as a parody of the 12 disciples of Jesus, but  also, a very special day in Sweden known to some as the Sweden Christmas. 
Saint Lucia's Day; however, has nothing to do with the Santa Christmas.  It is a festival observed throughout Sweden in which the first-born daughter of each family wears a flowing white gown and a crown of candles around her head, obviously in reference to the ancient Pagan symbols of fire and life-giving light.  The daughter traditionally serves her mother and father breakfast in bed.

It sure is starting to look a lot like Christmas.  

Look for vampires today!

Each year on this night (according to ancient legend), vampires in Rumania* are believed to rise up from their graves ater a year-long sleep and walk the Earth in search of human blood.  Garlic and crucifixes are hung on doors and windows for protection.

In ancient Egypt, the Feast of Hathor as Sekhmet was held each year on this day.  It honored the lion-headed goddess of battle, who was also the consort of the moon-god Ptah.

Conversely speaking, Vampires are not always people returning from the dead, but sometimes are merely living sorcerers out for a good time.

*English uses both forms, Rumanian and Romanian, to denote the Romance-speaking population in the South-Eastern Europe north of the Danube, which was traditionally referred as Vlachs (or Wallachians). Both forms were adopted by the mid 19th century when the principalities of Wallachia and Moldova were unified to form a new state, Rumania or Romania. The forms Rumania and Rumanian were prevailing till the second half of the 20th century, when the forms with "o" gradually became more popular.


Are we building a modern day Noah's Ark for the Alt Right?

Are we building a modern day Noah's Ark? And if so, by and who for?

On May 20, 2015, the US military launched the unmanned X-37B plane and it has been circling the Earth on a top-secret mission with no details on when it'll come back to land. This isn't the first time we've launched such a flight according to, there was a mission in 2011 which spent 468 days orbiting the earth.  Then there was another mission that spent 675 days in orbit without so much as a hint to its purpose.  Each mission appears to get longer and longer. 

Why would we want to orbit in space above the earth for years?  One reason of course is space travel.  You know, the two years or so it would take to get to Mars.  And if this is truly the reason, more power to them; however, there is another possibility.  And you won't like it.

The first possibility for long-term flight above the Earth might be to protect the human race from a natural disaster such as an asteroid headed right for us: not too far fetch considering that only last month an asteroid popped out of nowhere and came within a few miles of hitting the earth.  Could happen.

So, what if this X-37B is a safety flight to put humans in space above the earth to rotate the ten or fifteen years it might take for pockets of habitable Earth to open up for a return to begin repopulating our species?   Interesting thought to say the least.  Not a bad idea really, a modern day Noah's ark, but instead of two of every animal, two of every race. That could be a beautiful thing.  Unfortunately, with today's Neo Nazis in the USA and Brexit in England, highly doubtful.  The more alarming possibility is it is a tool to correct the Nazi Problem.  

Much has been written about the new Alt Right.  Which isn't actually new to some of us who believe the Nazi Party never died. And with this Neo Nazi resurgence in the USA, one has to wonder if Putin and Trump know about this outer space escape and are planning to use it to allow a massive extension to take place on Earth only to return to populate the planet with Orange people?

They definitely see things the same way!

Think about it. 


Red Rectangle: a message from god?

An image of star HD 44179, surrounded by an extraordinary structure known as the Red Rectangle.

This image was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA 

The source of the red light emitted by the Red Rectangle baffled scientists for more than 30 years. The same kind of red emission was seen throughout the Milky Way and in other galaxies, but scientists weren't sure what created it. The mystery was finally solved in 2007: The glow comes from strange activity at the molecular level inside clusters of dust.

According to, the star at the center of the Red Rectangle is similar to Earth's sun and is responsible for those evenly spaced lines as it releases gas and other material to create the nebula and its distinctive shape. NASA experts now believe the star is also a close binary (meaning it has a stellar partner), and is surrounded by a dense area of dust, according to the statement.
The star at the center of the Red Rectangle will eventually leave behind a hot white dwarf that will give off brilliant ultraviolet radiation that will cause the surrounding gas to glow.

I'm glad they settled that.  Still looks like an angel message from god to me.

Dr TV Boogie


UFO in the mountains?

A story appeared at the Drudge Report and linked to the Mirror on Thursday suggesting that the Arizona mountains are harboring an unidentified flying object.

So here are the details from that story:

The story says someone who was "flying" around on Google Earth discovered the alleged UFO. The coordinates place it near the Arizona-New Mexico border in a place called Swaggart Springs. The Google Earth screen capture shows some sort of structure and parked next to it is a white SUV. Roads seem to be non-existant in the area, but, that doesn't really mean much. 

So, what could this image depict? It could be a housing structure of some sort. It could be an inflatable of some sort. It could be a UFO. It could be nothing.

Here are the map coordinates for those of you who want to do your own satellite imagery interpretation: 31° 26′ 43″ N 109° 04′ 30″ W


All Fools' Day

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.

And for your Fool's Day enjoyment, a visit to the mental hospital.


Happy beginning of Nowruz

Nowruz, the annual Iranian New Year celebration begins on this date and continues for thirteen days.  Bonfires are lit and sacred rituals involving eggs and mirrors are performed.

A Pagan religious festival was held each year on this day in ancient Mesopotamia to celebrate the sacred union of the God and Goddess, and to give thanks for the creation of the human race.


Get over it: Easter has nothing to do with Christ.

Easter gets its name from a Pagan god, some say Ishtar, but here at Esoteric Daily, we prefer Oestre.  They are the same stories told to different tribes before Christianity stole the festivity in name of their Myth.  Nonetheless, here is the real reason for the season: Spring, rebirth, fertility.  

Yes, the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose name is spelled Oestre or Eastre (the origin of the word "east" comes from various Germanic, Austro-Hungarian words for dawn that share the root for the word "aurora" which means " to shine"). Modern pagans have generally accepted the spelling "Ostara" which honors this goddess as our word for the Vernal Equinox. The 1974 edition of Webster's New World Dictionary defines Easter thus: "orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church; Eastre, dawn goddess; 1. An annual Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21." The Vernal Equinox usually falls somewhere between March 19th and 22nd (note that the dictionary only mentions March 21st, as opposed to the date of the actual Equinox), and depending upon when the first full moon on or after the Equinox occurs, Easter falls sometime between late-March and mid-April.

Because the Equinox and Easter are so close, many Catholics and others who celebrate Easter often see this holiday (which observes Christ's resurrection from the dead after his death on Good Friday) as being synonymous with rebirth and rejuvenation: the symbolic resurrection of Christ is echoed in the awakening of the plant and animal life around us. But if we look more closely at some of these Easter customs, we will see that the origins are surprisingly, well, pagan! Eggs, bunnies, candy, Easter baskets, new clothes, all these "traditions" have their origin in practices which may nothing to do with the Christian holiday.

For example, the traditional coloring and giving of eggs at Easter is a Pagan ritual.  Period.  Eggs are clearly one of the most potent symbols of fertility, and spring is the season when animals begin to mate and flowers and trees pollinate and reproduce. In England and Northern Europe, eggs were often employed in folk magic when women wanted to be blessed with children. There is a great scene in the film The Wicker Man where a woman sits upon a tombstone in the cemetery, holding a child against her bared breasts with one hand, and holding up an egg in the other, rocking back and forth as she stares at the scandalized (and very uptight!) Sargent Howie. Many cultures have a strong tradition of egg coloring; among Greeks, eggs are traditionally dyed dark red and given as gifts.

As for the Easter egg hunt, a fun game for kids, I have heard at least one pagan teacher say that there is a rather scary history to this. As with many elements of our "ancient history, " there is little or no factual documentation to back this up. But the story goes like this: Eggs were decorated and offered as gifts and to bring blessings of prosperity and abundance in the coming year; this was common in Old Europe. As Christianity rose and the ways of the "Old Religion" were shunned, people took to hiding the eggs and having children make a game out of finding them. This would take place with all the children of the village looking at the same time in everyone's gardens and beneath fences and other spots.

Union Busters and Aggressive Dog Owner Meets Passive-Aggressive Bird Watcher.

Okay, so it is May 26th, historically speaking not a good day for working people.  In Dearborn Michigan on this day, labor activists Wal...

Thanks For Being!

Thanks For Being!