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Introducing…

Seeing as Journey has shared a bit of her story I thought I ought to share some of mine 🙂

My name is Kristie and as I said in my sidebar I am a bibliophile (that’s a book lover…nothing kinky), crazy about craft, and more to the point of this blog, I have recently gone public with my personal religious beliefs. Yes, I’m a Pagan. I think that deep down inside I’ve been one since I first read the myths and stories of the Greek and Roman gods when I was 10 years old. I’m pretty sure that my Mum only bought the book for me because she thought it might amuse me during a long hospital stay…little did she know that she was about to set me on a path that would obsess me for the rest of my life.

I was bought up a Roman Catholic and I always struggled to reconcile what the Church taught with the life I saw around me.  I also found it impossible to believe that anyone who was not a “good Catholic” was going to hell. It made no sense to me what so ever. As I got older my interest in history and religion kept me reading, questioning, and often getting into trouble for my questions. I dabbled in a few different religions over the years, but I never found “IT”, the one that satisfied both my soul and my intellect.

So, prompted by a change in circumstances, I decided to go to university and study religion from an academic perspective. I hoped that by looking at it with my intellect I would be able to reconcile the different sides of my personality and fulfill this amorphous need that I felt inside me. After four and a half years, and a couple of medical issues, I graduated with a first-class honours degree in Studies in Religion (that’s summa cum laude for my American friends, and yes I am bragging!)  In my course I covered every different kind of religion that mankind has ever practiced, from ancient hunter-gatherer societies to modern-day cults, this course looked at it all. I minored in Ancient History and Philosophy, focusing on religion in both subjects, and slowly built up a pretty comprehensive knowledge of what people believe about the divine.

I have always tried to keep a very open mind about other people’s beliefs. I always try to show them respect and courtesy, taking seriously the idea that even if we share the same beliefs, our person religious experiences are always utterly unique to us. What I don’t tolerate though is people who feel that it is permissible to disparage my beliefs (or anyone’s for that matter), without actually knowing anything about them. I am always happy to talk religion…just ask my family (LOL), and if you have any questions or wish to engage in a dialogue, I am here and more than willing to participate.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. I was planning on making this a crafty blog like the previous one, but things have changed a little. I hope to share some craftiness on here for sure, but there will be heaps of other stuff as well. Journey, my bestest friend in the whole world, will be contributing all kinds of interesting things from a spiritual perspective, while I might tend toward a more academic approach…after all, old habits die hard. We’ll be talking about Pagan deities, beliefs and practices…not all of them things that we do or believe, but we want to appeal to a wide range of people and hope that anyone who joins us here will enjoy learning what other people think and believe.

Until next time,

Blessed Be

Kristie )O(

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Lughnasadh/Lammas

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Lughnasadh or Lammas is the name used for one of the eight Sabbats in the Neopagan Wheel of the Year. It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being Mabon and Samhain. In the Northern Hemisphere it takes place around August 1st, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is celebrated around February 1st or 2nd. It is seen as one of the two most auspicious times for handfasting, the other being at Beltane. Some Pagans mark the holiday by baking a figure of the “corn god” in bread, and then symbolically sacrificing and eating it.

Lughnasadh is the name for the ancient Gaelic harvest celebration, which involved a grain offering being made to the deity by bringing it up to a high place and burying it. This was followed by a meal of billberries and the newly harvested food, most often in the form of bread, as well as the sacrifice and consumption of a sacred bull. Lughnasadh celebrations were often held on hilltops and included bonfires and dancing. The god Lugh is honoured at this time, as he is a deity of storms and lightning, especially the storms of late summer. Gentle rain on the day of the festival is seen as his presence and his bestowing of blessings, though I’m fairly sure that last night’s storm couldn’t be considered gentle 😉

Lammas is the Anglo –Saxon version of Lughnasadh and means loaf mass, clearly highlighting Christian influence on a traditional Pagan holiday. This festival celebrates the wheat harvest and traditionally a freshly baked loaf of bread was bought to the church and blessed. Afterwards it was broken into four pieces and placed in the corners of the grain storage facility to protect the harvest.

Although Autumn is not considered to begin until March 1st here in Australia, Lughnasdagh reminds us to enjoy the prosperity of late summer. It is the perfect time to get married (two of my siblings have wedding anniversaries in February), to bless and consecrate your tools, or to just have a party and celebrate the delicious abundance of the season.

Wishing you a successful and abundant harvest,

Kristie )O(