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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

The Divine Whore

Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in the public imagination.  And that recognition of sacred whoredom is far more important than any official designation by any organization.

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Summer Solstice 2016

Mother Isis by Emily Balivet (2012)
The apparent path of the sun reached its northernmost point at 22:34 UTC last night; this is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest in the Southern. Happy Litha, dear readers, and Blessed Be!

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May Day 2016

Gaea

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May Eve 2016

Chernabog

Though most outside the Germanc & Scandinavian countries have forgotten, May Eve (AKA Walpurgisnacht) was once considered the springtime counterpart to Halloween.  In fact, Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” describes a legendary occurrence on May Eve, the demon-king Chernobog’s summoning the spirits of the dead to dance for him.  This legend is of course the basis for the last sequence in Disney’s Fantasia, but since Disney pursues “unauthorized” videos fairly aggressively I prefer not to deal with it; besides, I’m not really fond of the fade into an excerpt from Schubert’s “Ave Maria” at the end.  So I’m just going to share some concept art from Fantasia with a recording of the unedited “Night on Bald Mountain” below.  If you’d like to celebrate with some other creepy stuff, take a look at last year’s “Tricks and Treats“, my most recent thanatopsis “A Necessary End“, and the horror tales I’ve penned in the meantime, last month’s “Windows of the Soul” and  this month’s “Knock, Knock, Knock“.  And if you’ve never seen The Wicker Man (1973) or would like to rewatch it, now’s the time; it’s also set in the days leading up to May Day.

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Easter 2016

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts

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Vernal Equinox 2016

Ostara
The apparent path of the sun crossed the equator moving northward at 4:30 UTC today, which means today is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of autumn in the Southern.  Enjoy the milder weather to come, and Blessed Be!

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Valentine’s Day 2016


Most Valentine’s Day pinups aren’t much better than most valentine cards, but this Gil Elvgren piece from 50 years ago is a notable exception.  The only other thing I’d like to say, I already said last year: “I don’t care much for Valentine’s Day…I like the classical Roman Lupercalia much better; dudes running around naked and hitting women with whips seems to me a much more exciting way to celebrate than being given a box of chocolates I can’t eat without worrying about my waistline.

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