Marriages around the world have a great many traditions. One of my favorites involves The Irish Claddagh Ring, which is one of the most widely known traditions around the world. The ring incorporates a set of hands representing friendship, holding a heart which represents love, and a crown on top of the heart to represent loyalty. It originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old city walls of Galway, now part of Galway City.
According to Irish author Colin Murphy, the way in which a Claddagh ring was worn describes the wearer’s relationship status:
On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is in a relationship.
On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is engaged.
On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is married.
The first records of production put the creation of Claddagh in the 17th Century. But the ring was not named the “Claddagh ring” until after the 1840s. There are several written accounts of the origins of the ring, each associate its creation with a famous Irish jeweler. None of which are particularly romantic and only one that I’d call interesting, but still not romantic. Continue reading →
The Vernal Equinox – The Festival of Ēostre By Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D.🐾
The Spring Equinox festival is based in Germanic Paganism. Ēostre or Ostara (Northumbrian Old English: Ēostre; West Saxon Old English: Ēastre; Old High German: *Ôstara) is a goddess in Germanic paganism who, by way of the Germanic month bears her name.
As a pagan holiday Ostara is one of the more confusing and convoluted festivals in terms of its history. It’s claimed by German neo-Pagans, Norse, Saxon and Celt. Celts admit that holiday is not one of their original observances and therefore it’s accepted to be part of a reconstruction of old Celtic ways.
There is speculation that this holiday owes its roots to the Romans who took their holiday into the invasion of Ireland and even spread into Germanic cultures. However, this does not play out when one reviews Celtic or Germanic mythology and history. Continue reading →
The moon in all it’s phases have long been important and significant to Pagans. Many call the Moon GrandMother Moon who shines over Mother Earth and watches over her during the night. Only giving way to Father Sun during the day. He is seen as Mother Earth’s consort and he watches over her during the day.
Of course GrandMother Moon can show up in daylight hours, to keep an eye on her grand children from time to time as well.
Pagans have honored the full moon in ritual, both private and public for eons. We have acknowledged her influence over our lives each month and used her light for varying reasons and in varying ways. Continue reading →
Once a year here in the west we honor our Mothers and celebrate the sacrifices they have made for us. Many say this is a modern holiday designed by greeting card, flower and chocolate manufacturing companies for the purpose of greed and commerce. I say so what; does that mean we shouldn’t honor the Domestic Goddess in our own homes?
Pagan Metaphysics has long been associated with Goddess ‘worship’ mainly because early pagans celebrated the feminine in matriarchal societies. Figurines such as the ‘Venus of Willendor’ are a perfect example of the early reverence for fertility of a woman and her ability to give new life. This miracle of life was seen just as that, a miracle given to a woman by a deity, or a Goddess specifically. If a woman was extremely fertile she was considered to be favored by the Goddess of the people and her position was elevated within her tribal structure. Often being designated as the priestess or high chieftain of that tribal society.
When the priestess grew older and less fertile, she often chose her successor. But her singular power shifted to that of a wise woman who was always consulted when it came to decisions. Her power never fell out of favor and her contribution was never dismissed. Continue reading →