Monday, November 17, 2008

Winter has arrived

Winter has arrived. Old Man Winter and The Crone are making themselves known. We’ve had hard frost the past two nights and it is going to be one cold week –an Alberta Clipper is coming through tonight. I sleep more in the winter, partly because of the dark and partly because of the cold. We are just over a month from the winter solstice and then the light will start coming back.

My garden is all tucked in for winter and has been for some time. I have some cleaning up to do, but that is it. Just about everything is taking a well-deserved nap. My greens, however, are not –we can grow certain greens year round here if we get them in the ground soon enough. Spinach, collards, cabbage, mustard, chard, lettuce –all survive our winters just fine. Some of them stop growing for a bit if it gets too cold, but they resume as soon as it warms up. Part of the purpose of getting them in the ground early is so they get big enough for you to keep picking if they hibernate.

Winter is my least favorite time of the year, but still I love it. I love the nippy air, the frost on the windows in the morning. Hot apple cider and hot tea, soup, and pumpkin pie. Time off from my gardening to do other things, cuddling on the couch with all my animals in the evening (who needs heat when you have pets, lol). Parties and festivals, bundling up and the chance for snow.

Last night I made a healthy dinner –baked chicken, mashed potatoes and mixed greens from the garden. Tonight I’ll take some of the leftover chicken and make chicken soup, then I’ll freeze the rest of the meat (sans enough to have leftovers from last night tomorrow) so I have a ready source of cooked meat the next time I decide to make chicken soup or a chicken pot pie.

The funny thing is, winter is here and two of my rose bushes are still blooming. They are on the south side of my house where it is sheltered. Usually they bloom until the first week of December. They are gorgeous, but completely out of season. Oh well.

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Blogger Jacques de Beaufort said...

quick random question:

In the Paganism you follow is there a teleological narrative..i.e. some sort of final redemption, eschatology, or purpose at the end of all creation ? Or is the universe seen as constant flux and chaos ?

Are humans seen as special or just one more piece of the puzzle ?

Is there a conclusion to the story of the Earth ?

Be great to hear some thoughts from a practicing Pagan....even as I realize there are many different variations.

Thanx !

11/17/2008 11:34 AM  
Blogger RAS said...

I can’t speak for all pagans or even most, as there is an incredible diversity of opinions and theologies between the various paths. But I will speak to my own practice and to what few generalities do exist.

I do not know of any modern (meaning non-indigenous) who have an overarching story for the end of the world or end of creation. Nor do most think the universe is in constant flux or chaos. Most pagan traditions focus primarily on what is. As for myself, I don’t have any story regarding the end of the world or the universe –I just believe that I can not possibly know what will happen and regard all the stories I know of (from the Christian version to the scientific version) as just that –stories. They can’t know any better than I do. And I prefer not to think too hard about millions and billions of years. It makes my head hurt. ;-)

Pagans generally have no concept of original sin, so there is not the same concept of redemption that many other faiths have. Most do not believe in Satan. I am one of those, but unlike many pagans, I do believe in evil. I have seen it firsthand. We were given free will and many of us choose evil over good.

Humans are special in the sense that we have more intelligence and more power than most other species. But, that does not make us superior or set us apart; we are still another member of creation and dependent on all the rest. Also, with great power must come great responsibility and therefore we have an obligation to use our power wisely, to not cause any harm if possible. One of the two portions of the creed of my own faith is “do no harm…and try not to allow any to be done”. The ethics of this could go on all day, but basically it means trying not to cause any harm to the earth, your fellow humans, and your fellow creatures. This does not mean not eating meat (as death and flesh eating flesh is natural) but it obligates you to treat meat animals ethically –no factory farming, for example. Self-defense is also allowed, but not aggression.

I believe the earth is sacred, and I believe in the mother goddess, though she is as much metaphor as literal reality. And I believe in the great Wheel –birth, life, death, the Summerland, and rebirth.

Does that answer all of your questions? If not, I’ll be happy to answer any others.

11/17/2008 7:31 PM  
Blogger Jacques de Beaufort said...

that's a pretty good summary....

What are your feelings towards the Sun...?

(Shamash, Aton, Ra, Helios, Apollo)

11/18/2008 7:01 PM  
Blogger RAS said...

Jacques, I see the sun as a star that makes life possible on earth and I celebrate that wheel of the year that is more than partially based on our course around the sun: Solstices and so forth.
But I don't see the sun as a deity and don't worship it in the same way the Egyptians and so forth did. (Though I sometimes get close in the winter -come back sun, come back!)

11/20/2008 7:45 AM  

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