Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for Feb. 26th – Shrove-Tide

Autumn witch
26 February

Shrove-Tide

Shrove-Tide, first observed in the Middle Ages, was a time of festivity and carnival before Lent started. It was also a festival of the expulsion of Winter, demonstrated by the burning or drowning of an effigy of Winter. Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent commences on Ash Wednesday, takes its name from being a day of confession of sins-“shrive” or confess. It was the last chance for good food and unrestricted fun before the long period of austerity began. Shrove-Tide became second only to Christmas for it frivolity and “Great Gluttony.”

The three days were generally known as Shrove Sunday, Collop Monday, and Shrove Tuesday. Collop Monday takes its name from the habit of eating collops (cuts of fried meat). It only made sense to get rid of all the meat in the house, because it would be banned after Ash Wednesday. Similarly, on Shrove Tuesday, all other perishable foodstuffs were used up.

In Catholic countries, especially France, Shrove-Tide became Fat Tuesday (commonly known as Mardi Gras). This was a time of carnival, with masquerades, singing, and dancing. The festival still continues and has been carried over into America, in particular, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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The Witches Almanac for Tuesday, February 9th

wicca
The Witches Almanac for Tuesday, February 9th

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

Waxing Moon

Moon phase: First Quarter

Moon Sign: Aquarius

Moon enters Pisces 3: 31 am

Incense: Cinnamon

Color: Maroon

Fun and Useless Facts about all those ‘Fat Tuesday’ Traditions

Magic in the woods
Fun and Useless Facts about all those ‘Fat Tuesday’ Traditions

This year’s Mardi Gras, a festival marked by an endless cyclone of feathers, costumes, beads and booze that whips through city streets all over the world, is well underway. It’s been called the wildest fete in the U.S., and for good reason: Every year, droves of partygoers flock to New Orleans to take in the floats, the festivities and the food, and to leave their mark on the Big Easy.

Mardi Gras, meaning “Fat Tuesday” in French, has its origins in medieval Europe. What became a legal holiday in Louisiana in 1875 was once a Christian holiday with roots in ancient Rome. Instead of outright abolishing certain pagan traditions, like the wild Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia, religious leaders decided to incorporate them into the new faith.

What became known as the Carnival season was a kick-off to Lent, a sort of last hurrah before 40 days of penance sandwiched between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Eventually, the celebration spread from Rome across Europe to the colonies of the New World.

Since its early days in New Orleans in the early 18th century, Mardi Gras has grown to colossal proportions and includes several familiar traditions, like bead throwing, mask wearing and coconut painting, that are widely practiced today but whose origins may have been forgotten.
Here are the real meanings of five popular Mardi Gras Traditions.

The Wearing Of Masks
Masks are an integral part of Mardi Gras culture. During early Mardi Gras celebrations hundreds of years ago, masks were a way for their wearers to escape class constraints and social demands. Mask wearers could mingle with people of all different classes and could be whomever they desired, at least for a few days.

In New Orleans, float riders are required by law to have a mask on. On Fat Tuesday, masking is legal for all Mardi Gras attendees – although many storeowners will post signs asking those entering to please remove their masks first.

The Flambeaux Tradition
Flambeaux, meaning flame-torch, was the tradition of people carrying shredded rope soaked in pitch through the streets so that nighttime revelers could enjoy festivities after dark. They were originally carried by slaves and free African Americans trying to earn a little money. Crowds tossed coins at the torch carriers for lighting the way for the floats.

Today, flambeaux carriers have turned the tradition into something of a performance. Torch bearers dance and spin their kerosene lights – something the original parade planners didn’t intend.

The Throwing Of Beads
The tradition of bead throwing starts with their original colors. The color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872. He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The idea was to toss the color to the person who exhibited the color’s meaning.

The beads were originally made of glass, which, as you can imagine, weren’t the best for tossing around. It wasn’t until the beads were made of plastic that throwing them really became a staple of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Rex, The King of Carnival
Every year in New Orleans, a king is crowned. His name is Rex, the king of the Carnival, and he first ascended to the throne in 1872. History has it that the very first Rex was actually the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia who, upon a visit to the U.S., befriended U.S. Army officer George Armstrong Custer during a planned hunting expedition in the Midwest.

The Duke’s visit to Louisiana was organized by New Orleans businessmen looking to lure tourism and business to their city following the devastating American Civil War.
Every year, the Rex Organization chooses a new Rex, always a prominent person in New Orleans. He is given the symbolic Key to the City by the Mayor.

Handing Out Zulu Coconuts
The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club is one of the oldest traditionally black krewes – or parade hosts – in Mardi Gras history. The organization is known for handing out Zulu coconuts, or “golden nuggets.” The earliest reference to these coconuts appears in 1910.

The first coconuts were left in their original hairy state, but years later, Zulu members started painting and decorating them. Getting a Zulu coconut is one of the most sought after traditions during Mardi Gras.

By Philip Ross
International Business Times

The Witches Almanac for Tuesday, February 12th

The Witches Almanac for Tuesday, February 12th

*Tuesday (Mars): Passion, sex, courage, aggression and protection*

Mardi Gras

 

Waxing Moon

*The Waxing Moon is the ideal time for magick to draw things toward you*

Moon Phase: First Quarter

Moon Sign: Pisces

*Pisces: The focus is on dreaming, nostalgia, intuition and psychic impression. A good time for spiritual or philanthropic activities*

Moon enters Aries 8:51 pm

*Aries: Good for starting things, but lacks staying power. Things occur rapidly, but quickly pass. People tend to be argumentative and assertive.*

Incense: Bayberry

Color: Red

 

We are the flow, we are the ebb

We are the weavers (and), we are the web

We are the weavers, we are the web

We are the spiders (and), we are the thread

We are the spiders, we are the thread

We are the flow and, we are the ebb

We are the flow, we are the ebb

She is the weaver, we are the web

She is the weaver, and we are the web.

She is the needle and we are the thread.

Strand By Stand, Hand Over Hand

Thread By Thread, We Weave The Web

She weaves within us from beginning to end,

our great Mother, our Sister, and our Friend.

                                       ——Flow and Ebb

 

February 12th is best for….

Cut Firewood, Cut Hair to Increase Growth, Mow to Increase Growth, Castrate Farm Animals, Dig Holes, Wean, Potty Train, Wax Floors, Get Married, Start Diet to Gain Weight

Gardening Calendar

February 12th – February 13th

Plant Peppers, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and other aboveground crops in Southern Florida, California, and Texas. Extra good for Cucumbers, Peas, Cantaloupes, and other Vine Crops. Set Strawberry Plants.

Fishing Calendar

February 12th  Fishing is Predicted Good for the Evening Hours

The Moon Astrological Place and Its’ Association With the Body

February 12th     Pisces    “Fishes”     In The Feet

 

 

 

 

More Tuesday Comments

Calendar of the Moon for September 10

Calendar of the Moon

Grapevine Month

Colors: Blue and Purple
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of blue and purple set a great pitcher of wine with many cups, four purple candles, and many wreaths of grapevine and baskets of grapes.
Offerings:
Daily Meal: Vegetarian, with wine or grape juice to drink, and of course grapes.

Muin Invocation

Call: Hail the Month of the Grapevine!
Response: Hail the Month of the Vine-Gods!
Call: Hail the month when sour turns to sweet!
Response: Hail the month when labor comes ripe!
Call: Hail the month when our hands come together,
Response: Hail the month when the cup is passed!
Call: This is the time of bonding,
Response: When the fruits of the harvest lay within our grasp.
Call: This is the call of Joy and Merriment,
Response: This is the time of coming together.
Call: For though we may have forgotten laughter beneath our burdens,
Response: Laughter comes for us at last.
Call: And yet we begin to see the year passing to its end,
Response: And our laughter is the light passing into the dark.
Call: May we go to into the dark like the Children of Dionysos,
Response: Embracing the cycle with open arms!
Call: Like the grapevine, we are givers of ecstasy.
Response: Like the grapevine, we are givers of dream.
Call: Like vines, we yield up our fruit.
Response: Like vines, we yield up for the good of all.
Call: Like vines, we twine towards the Light.
Response: Like vines, we twine towards the Spirit.
Call: We hold the line, we keep the Mysteries true,
Response: We hold the line, we keep the Mysteries true,
Call: I am the vine; the branches, you and you.
Response: I am the vine; the branches, you and you.

Chant:
Taste Joy in the Day
Take Joy in the Night
Touch Joy in your face turned
To the fading light
Ay ay ay ay-yi-hey.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

‘Pagan’ Safer Than ‘Wiccan’?

‘Pagan’ Safer Than ‘Wiccan’?

Author: Shadow

So I’m up at the student union at my campus, watching from the sidewalk as our local fundamentalist group is preaching in lieu of Mardi Gras. While I’m there, my friend from high school, Adam, comes up to me. We were never really tight, but still, we were pretty good friends. One thing that he didn’t know about me until that moment was that I was Wiccan (I wasn’t exactly out of the broom closet in high school).

Now on campus, I’m pretty much open about my Wiccan beliefs. Generally, nobody asks, even when they see me wearing my pentacle – it’s simply implied, and nobody cares. This time, however, Adam gave an exasperated sigh and asked what I was wearing. “Um, a pentacle.” I responded. He began to laugh. When he asked why, he said something to the effect of Wicca being a fad. Needless to say, that struck a chord in me.

What’d I say? “Actually, I Pagan.”

He didn’t know what being Pagan entailed, so I explained my beliefs a bit. I did say that my practices and beliefs were influenced by Wicca, but that I dealt more with the Egyptian deities, and I believed that all religions were right in their own way. He took this definition more seriously than Wicca, and moved on.

Unfortunately, now I felt bad, because I felt like I was denying something I felt so passionately about. I love the Wiccan religion, and am glad to be a part of it. Yet when Wicca is put in a bad light by someone I know, I’ve been finding myself reverting to saying I’m just Pagan, instead of defending my choice of faith.

In my experience, this doesn’t just happen with non-Pagans, although those who do find fault with Wicca tend to be more vicious or mean about it than Pagans who look poorly at Wicca. In part this is because of my age – teenagers like me who are serious about Wicca are nonetheless almost always perceived, especially at first impressions, as fluffy bunny, angst-driven teens using Wicca for attention.

But this can be compounded by non-Pagans who don’t think of Wicca as being a real religion. They see the vast number of people who follow this path (in their eyes, predominantly teenagers) as being part of a hippie fad. In most of their eyes, they see Wicca equated with Witchcraft, and since most of them don’t believe Witchcraft to be real, they seem to dismiss Wicca as being a fantasy in and of itself.

When it comes to these people, I do tend to be quieter about my beliefs. As with Adam, I just say I’m Pagan, explain a little bit about what that is, and go about my regular business. And for the most part they tend to accept my being Pagan more than my being Wiccan. Why? In my opinion, it’s because Paganism hasn’t received as much media hype as Wicca has. Wicca has been played up in our modern pop-culture, whereas Paganism is resigned to just being a real religion. Simply put, Paganism sounds more real than Wicca to those who think Wicca is a fad religion.

This problem isn’t resigned to just non-Pagans. I know some Pagans who feel that Wicca has indeed been far too hyped in our culture, having overshadowed other Pagan religions such as Asatru, Reconstructionist religions, Afro-Caribbean religions, etc. In this case, they see new Wiccans as being part of that hype. And the general attitude is that Wicca has indeed become a fad and as such needs to be ignored.

Then there are the elitist and fundamentalist Pagans – yes, such Pagans, and even Wiccans, exist. As with the above groups, I can’t speak accurately for everyone, but the general consensus of this group of Pagans is that most people who call themselves Wiccan are in fact fooling themselves, because most of them are not a part of the original Wiccan traditions, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian. If not this, then it’s because they’re solitary practitioners, or because they’re eclectic in their practices, or, heaven forbid, they’re publicly open about their beliefs. Woe be to the Wiccan who fulfills these criteria, for in the eyes of the elitist, they are regarded with great contempt.

Truthfully, all these negative attitudes towards Wicca, at least in my experience, have been minimal. But when faced with such adversity, is it any wonder I wouldn’t want to say that I’m Wiccan? I know it sounds like a cop-out, but I’m not the kind of person who likes to make waves. I’m a pacifist at heart who looks for ways to avoid conflict. And it is my belief that if someone truly has a problem with my Wiccan beliefs, then it’s none of their business, and they’ll just have to live with what I tell them. In these cases, it’s a matter of peacemaking and protection as opposed to stirring up arguments and hurting feelings.

Still, no matter how much I justify my lying, it doesn’t erase what I feel inside – that I’m not being true to myself. Anybody who lives a life hiding a secret about themselves knows what I’m talking about, and I’m sure many of you in the broom closet know this feeling all too well.

And at times this conflict has made me question my commitment to Wicca. While I’m completely in love with the religion and the philosophy behind it, what does it say about me when I deny loving it? Is it a sign of shame? In the eyes of the above groups, yes, because let’s face it – Wicca holds a stigma about it that other Pagan religions don’t. Otherwise it’s just a matter of safety, in which case I’m not ashamed. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not in a place where I can be proudly open about being Wiccan with everyone.

But it is a growing problem when saying you’re Pagan is more appropriate than saying you’re Wiccan. It’s a sign that we’re willing to let ourselves be ignored, that we’re willing to hide ourselves under the umbrella of Paganism. In short, when we allow this, we’re turning into doormats, letting everyone walk all over us. I for one no longer wish to be a doormat. I’m working very hard to stand firm in my Wiccan beliefs, not just hiding behind being Pagan. I’m careful about who knows, obviously, but I am making a commitment to not be afraid of being Wiccan. After all, those who matter won’t care, and those that care won’t matter, right?

Happy & Blessed Tuesday, dear, dear friends!

Mardi Gras Pictures, Images, Comments, Graphics
How is everyone doing this lovely morning/afternoon? I hope fantastic. I was sitting here in perfect harmony with my own little cosmos. All my familiars had wondered into the bedroom and I was playing some of my Pagan songs. Oh, life is so good! I was singing and chanting. I was holding poor Razzy, swaying back and forth, just singing away. I think this was the first time she had actually heard music come out of my laptop. So she was into it for a while and then said, “the heck with this, she was missing her naptime.” Anything to get her asleep these days, I swear. She has become a handful. She is not like your average run of the mill housecat. It seems like she is up the whole time I am up. I know that can’t be true though, she has to be napping somewhere. Just where? Back to the topic, if singing and chanting each morning before I do my dailys puts her to sleep, I guess I will just have to make the sacrifice, lol!

Anyway, while I was doing my thing, I got to thinking???Is today “Fat Tuesday?” Why I believe it is! Then I got to thinking again, what the heck does “Fat Tuesday” mean anyway? I know, how dumb can you get. Well to keep from being dumb the rest of my life, I went to Wikipedia and looked it up. I thought I would share it with you. I hope you enjoy!

Have a super fabulous day, dearies!

*PS – I knew Mardi Gras was about partying, partying, partying. I just figured Fat Tuesday was were you really partied and got fat off the beer and whiskey, like I said me, dumbass, lol!*

Mardi Gras

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The terms “Mardi Gras” (/ˈmɑrdiɡrɑː/), “Mardi Gras season“, and “Carnival season“, in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday; in English the day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning “confess.” Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc. Similar expressions to Mardi Gras appear in other European languages sharing the Christian tradition. In English, the day is called Shrove Tuesday, associated with the religious requirement for confession before Lent begins.

In many areas, the term “Mardi Gras” has come to mean the whole period of activity related to the celebratory events, beyond just the single day. In some US cities, it is now called “Mardi Gras Day” or “Fat Tuesday”. The festival season varies from city to city, as some traditions consider Mardi Gras the entire period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday. Others treat the final three-day period before Ash Wednesday as the Mardi Gras. In Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras-associated social events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving, then New Year’s Eve, followed by parades and balls in January and February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday. In earlier times parades were held on New Year’s Day. Other cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Barranquilla, Colombia; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Quebec City, Canada; Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico; and New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

Carnival is an important celebration in Anglican and Catholic European nations. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the week before Ash Wednesday is called “shrovetide”, ending on Shrove Tuesday. It has its popular celebratory aspects as well. Pancakes are a traditional food. Pancakes and related fried breads or pastries made with sugar, fat and eggs are also traditionally consumed at this time in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Shrove Tuesday

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is observed mainly in English speaking countries, especially Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States but is also observed in the Philippines and Germany. Shrove Tuesday is linked to Easter, so its date changes on an annual basis.

In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Pancakes are eaten as they are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.

Celebrations Around The World, Feb. 9th

Diabetes Sundays
Man Day
National “DAV” Day
World Marriage Day

Feast of Apollo
Toothache Day
St. Apollonia’s Day (patron of dentists; against toothaches)
Hobert Regatta Day (Tasmania)
National Inventor’s Day
St. Maron’s Day (patron of Maronites)
National Bagels and Lox Day
St. Teilo’s Day
National Hooky Day
Tales of Kelp-Koli begin (Fairy)
Feast of La’Ala’A (Upolu God of Wrestling; Polynesia)

A Bad Day For Priests, according to Mayan chronological estimation.

Gasparilla Day, Tampa, Florida -Spanish pirate defeated by US Navy in 1821.Beginning of week long festival.
Someone playing Gasparilla is crowned Pirate King, given keys to city, etc.

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

 

 

OIMELC – February 2

OIMELC – February 2

Down with Rosemary and so
Down with baies and mistletoe;
Down with Holly, live and all
Wherewith ys drest the Yuletide Hall;
That so the superstitious find
No one least Branch there left behind;
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected there, maids, trust to me,
So many goblins you shall see.
–Robert Herrick

Oimelc – Imbolc in the Saxon – marks the first stirring of life in the earth.
The Yule season originally ended at Oimelc. But with increasing organization and
industrialization, increasing demands for labor and production, the holiday kept
shrinking, first to the two weeks ending at Twelfth Night, then to a single week
ending at New Year’s, then to a single day.

Oimelc begins a season of purification similar to that preceding Yule. It ends
at Ostara. No marriages, initiations or puberty rites should be celebrated
between Oimelc and Ostara.

The candles and torches at Oimelc signify the divine life-force awakening
dormant life to new growth.

THEMES

Growth of roots begin again. Bare branches begin to swell with leaf buds, and
growth appears at the tips of evergreen branches. The tools of agriculture are
being make ready for Spring.

Xian feasts of St. Brigid, and Celtic feast of Brigit, the maiden aspect of the
triple goddess and mother of Dagda. Her symbol is the white swan. A Roman feast
of Bacchus and Ceres. The Lupercalia, a feast of Pan. The Nephelim or Titans,
those offspring of human-divine unions said to have ruled Atlantis.

Grannus, a mysterious Celtic god whom the Romans identified with Apollo.

PURPOSE OF THE RITES

To awaken life in the Earth. Fire tires to strengthen the young Sun, to bring
the fertilizing, purifying, protective and vitalizing influence of fire to the
fields, orchards, domestic animals, and people. To drive away winter. To charm
candles for household use throughout the year.

FOLK CUSTOMS

The three functions of Oimelc – end of Yule, feast of candles or torches, and
beginning of a purificatory season – are divided by the Xian calendar among
Twelfth Night, Candlemas and Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Carnival). The customs
of all three feasts are derived from Oimelc, with at most a thin Xian gloss.

Parades of giant figures (Titans?) in rural towns in France and at Mardi Gras
and Carnival celebrations. A figure representing the Spirit of Winter or Death,
sometime made of straw, sometimes resembling a snowman, is drowned, burnt or in
once case, stuffed with fireworks and exploded. They symbol of Montreal’s Winter
Carnival is the giant figure of Bonhomme di Neige (snowman).

Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year and St. Valentine’s Day customs.

The French provinces are so rich in Oimelc customs they cannot be listed here.
Refer to “The Golden Bough”.

Wassailing the trees: at midnight, carolers carry a bucket of ale, cider or
lamb’s wool in a torchlight procession through the orchards. The leader dips a
piece of toast in the drink and sedges it in the fork of each tree, with the
traditional cheer (variations exist) of: “Hats full, holes full, barrels full,
and the little heap under the stairs!”.

Who finds the bean in the Twelfth Night cake becomes king of the feast; who
finds the pea becomes queen – never mind the gender of the finders. Rag-bag
finery and gilt-paper crowns identify the king and queen. The rulers give
ridiculous orders to the guests, who must obey their every command. They are
waited on obsequiously, and everything they do is remarked and announced
admiringly and importantly: “The King drinks!”, “The Queen sneezes!” and
everyone politely imitates the ruler’s example.

SYMBOLIC DECORATIONS

Snowdrops are picked for vases, but otherwise no special decorative effects are
indicated. Go carnival, balloons and confetti.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Parades, with showers of confetti, gala balls, masks, street dancing, mumming,
winter sports, ice and snow sculpture.

THE RITE

Dress in dark colors with much silver jewelry. Outdoors, after dark on the Even,
have the site arranged with a fire in the cauldron and the altar draped in
white, at the Northeast. The fire may be composed all or in part of Yule greens.

Go in a torchlight procession to the Circle. Include a stamping dance, possibly
beating the ground with sticks, before the Invocation. The invocation may end
with the calling of Hertha, a Teutonic goddess of the earth and the hearth. Call
her name three times and at each call beat on the ground three times with the
palms of both hands.

A figure representing Winter should be burned in the fire. Communion may consist
of Sabbat Cakes or a Twelfth Night cake (there are many traditional recipes) and
cider or wassail. A procession may leave the Circle for a time to wassail a
nearby orchard. Couples may leap the bonfire. Supplies of candles brought by the
coveners are blessed.

Boys puberty rites may be celebrated. These usually include mock plowing by the
boys.

Close the Circle and go indoors for the feast.

Spell Of The Day – First Day of Carnival

Spell Of The Day – First Day of Carnival
January 7th, 2003


Yesterday was the Feast of Epiphany, and by the old system of reckoning today is the second day of Carnival. The final day will fall on the eighth Tuesday from today, which is called Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). As tarot scholar Gertrude Oakley has pointed out, the festivities associated with Carnival are very likely a source for imagery in the tarot. Today is an excellent day for a tarot reading, especially one that prepares us for the events of the upcoming year.
 
By: Robert Place