Hello everyone, Mysty is here!
Just in time for *cough* Beltane *cough*.
Well, with the title I gave to this post, you’re probably wondering what does Mysty have in store for me today.
Just as we might like to kid ourselves here in the pagan community, no offence meant, but we really love culturally appropriating things, and it really is not our place to do so.
Lughnasadh, Litha, ‘Mabon’ and Imbolc are Celtic or Welsh, Yule and ‘Ostara’ is Germanic, Samhain is Gaelic, and Beltane is just about Wiccan Deities getting funky in the bushes.
So where do we draw the line between appropriation and honestly practicing something?
I’ve just removed absolutely everything and anything from my practices that may or may not have been from an ancient practice. Why? Because even though no one is looking when I do my ceremonies and rituals, I can physically and spiritually feel these ancestors looking at me and frowning.
My ancestors are a heavty bunch. I have a mix of bloods in me and consists of German, Prussian, French, British, Scottish and probably more if I keep researching. But I’ve done some extensive research on my ancestors and they’re a lovely bunch.
I can feel and see their disappointment everytime I open a safari page about what colours, plants scents etc are associated with __ ‘Pagan’ holiday.
So, I’ve stopped and to replace my ‘holidays’ I normally just follow inspiration about what I should work on, focus, enjoy or celebrate at different times of the year.
The physical changes of the seasons, eclipses, equinoxes and solstices I will still enjoy and celebrate because these you can physically witness and these to me are the raw, cycles or the Earth and I will celebrate them with my full heart. But I won’t be calling them weird and totally inappropriate names.
All these wondrous holidays were dreamed up by none other than Robert Graves and Gerald Gardener, with the ludicrous names as well. Accompanied by Doreen Valiente.
In the introductory paragraph I did put some quotation marks around some holidays there. Why I did this was to explain briefly that the names we give to such ‘important’ times of the year are highly specific, Gods/ Characters or Deities which the average Pagan has never heard of before.
Mabon is from the lovely Mabon Ap Modren, the Hercules type figure of the Welsh pantheon. Who, in essence, leads a hunt, which leads to an important marriage, and he is only mentioned a few times in Welsh mythology. (He has literally 2 lines).
Ostara, has barely any records at all. She’s the Deity who turns a bird into a rabbit to keep it alive and going, but the poor thing still lays eggs. Which is probably canon for the Easter Bunny today.
So, don’t you see. These ideas have been slapped together on a page, fed to us, and then we as Pagans can either leave behind these ideas or blindly adopt them. We have the choice.
Some of these names are appropriate, don’t get me wrong. In a sense, even Ostara is an appropriate name for Easter time celebrations and the Spring Equinox, but there’s a time and place, and I think the Gerald Gardener and crew didn’t quite hit the mark there. You can’t just slap a Deity name on a holiday that no one has barely any information about, and then make everyone call it that name. That’s the definition of retarded.
I would understand if it’s to bring light to these feint characters in our history to bring them to life again somehow, to name something in their honour, but where in the hell would we know them from a bar of soap? Yeah?
Why couldn’t you just call it Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice and Autumn Equinox. Is it really that difficult to pronounce? It took me forever to learn the proper way to pronounce Lughnasadh anyhow?
People on Lughnasadh are probably not worshiping Lugh! I mean come on, give the man a break, it’s His holiday, not for Pagans, unless they’re actually worshiping and celebrating Lugh’s victories and his life giving light.
So, I hope today, you can go and maybe consider what you call your holidays. Maybe even do some research about the different holidays and why they were practiced and for what purposes.
May our wisdom always shine through our words and actions so we may be a light to others and gift ourselves love and joy so we may bring compassion and peace to others.
Thank you for reading as always.
For Beltane, I’ll just be sitting under a tree, meditating, and not muttering the word Beltane.