Dàir na Coille

Quietly, we stand outside and feel the darkness of the season around us. We have to use our imaginations a bit, because we're in a townhouse complex in the middle of the city, but it is dark enough and what snow remains is an insulating blanket pushing us to draw within. We hang the gifts... Continue Reading →

Solstice Tide, Day Eight

We're both working today - and on opposite shifts - so we're unable to do my activity of choice for this day, which is visit the birdfeeder trail at a local conservation area. I'll have to be satisfied by watching the park squirrels through the window at work. Honouring the nature spirits is more than... Continue Reading →

Solstice Tide, Day Seven

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds On Solstice Day was caught in the furze Although she is little, her honour is great Jump up, O children, and give her a treat! Tonight we feast upon the body of the wren, so that we, too, may have the strength of a King!

Solstice Tide, Day Six

Christmas morning is a quiet time for the cat and I, as my husband is on night shift. I don't particularly feel the magic of this morning this year; we've chosen not to exchange presents and opt instead for seeing some Jays games next summer, though there are a few small things tucked away in... Continue Reading →

Solstice Tide, Day Five

Tonight we honour our Ancestors, and we do this following Ukrainian custom. Unfortunately, my brother and his girlfriend are sick and cannot join us, so gorging on cabbage rolls won't happen until next week. (I'm preparing the cabbage rolls anyway, and one or two might not make it into the freezer.) Instead, the two of... Continue Reading →

Solstice Tide, Day Four

Brighid, hear my praise: you are the daughter of the Dagda, the poet, smith, and healer, you are the fire on my hearth, the centre of my home, you are the Dove among birds, Vine among trees, Sun among stars. Tonight, I honour Brighid, of hearth and holy flame. May She burn ever bright in... Continue Reading →

Solstice Tide, Day Three

Tonight, we offer to An Cailleach, the goddess of winter and the name we call the spirit who resides atop the Oak Ridges Moraine, the northernmost feature of our watershed. She reigns in this place from Samhain through to the Vernal Equinox, and her presence is felt in the chill air and frozen land. She... Continue Reading →

Solstice Tide, Day One

Tonight, our evening will start by celebrating Dair na Coille, which we do on the first night of the Cold Moon according to our lunar reckoning. We will visit a wooded area nearby and leave small, wildlife-friendly and biodegradable offerings for the new souls returning to this world this year on the west wind, from... Continue Reading →

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