musings, thoughts, and writings of Barbara W. Klaser


February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

Some of our holidays have quite a lot of history behind them, and Groundhog Day is one of my favorites in this regard. I probed the pagan history of Yule a few years ago, so now I think it’s only fair to peer briefly into the past of Groundhog Day, earlier known as Candlemas or St. Brigid’s Day, and before that as Imbolc, which comes to us from the ancient Celts. The name Brigid has its roots in Celtic paganism, with the Goddess Brigid, also known as Bride. As a goddess she had three faces, each having to do with fire, according to the web page, Brigid: Goddess or Saint?

  • Brigid, the ‘Fire of the Hearth’, was the goddess of fertility, family, childbirth and healing.
  • Brigid, the ‘”Fire of the Forge’, was like the Greek goddess Athena, a patroness of the crafts (especially weaving, embroidery, and metalsmithing), and a goddess who was concerned with justice and law and order.
  • Brigid, the ‘Fire of Inspiration’, was the muse of poetry, song history and the protector of all cultural learning.

(read more at Brigid: Goddess or Saint?)

According to Wikipedia, Imbolc:

“is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day. A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:

Thig an nathair as an toll
La donn Bride,
Ged robh tri traighean dh’ an t-sneachd
Air leachd an lair.

“The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.”

“Fire and purification are an important aspect of this festival.”
(read Wikipedia article)

The verse quoted above, and in the Wikipedia article, is from Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations, Ortha Nan Gaidheal, Volume I by Alexander Carmichael (1900), and can be found on line at Sacred Texts Archive, where you can read even more about Bride.

Then there’s the perfect non-religious Groundhog Day celebration for our times, which is simply to enjoy the Bill Murray comedy by that title. That’s how I like to celebrate it.

— Barbara @ rudimentary 10:30 am PST, 02/02/08

January 14, 2006

Truth and fiction

Everyone’s blogging about James Frey, whose book I haven’t read. The Smoking Gun calls it A Million Little Lies. I found my favorite comments on the subject over at Duane Swierczynski’s Secret Dead Blog, in An Open Letter to James Frey. They’re my favorite because Duane made me laugh, and I wish I could dismiss the whole subject as laughable. But as Lee Goldberg pointed out in his post, Lies are the new Truth, we seem to live in a world that devalues truth.

Is that the way you like it? (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 4:18 pm PST, 01/14/06

December 31, 2005

Happy New Year 2006

This is the time of year we like to make resolutions, basically promises to ourselves about how we’ll live the year to come. For some of us it’s goals, like losing weight, spending more time with family, making more money. For some it’s measured in productivity, or in making the most of the finite amount of time we’re given each year.

I’ve had mixed success with resolutions. Some I’ve succeeded with, some have been failures. I try these days to come up with no-fail things, like getting more in touch with my true desires, what’s really important to me. That was my resolution last year. This is also the time I like to review what I’ve done over the past year. (more…)

— Barbara @ rudimentary 2:23 pm PST, 12/31/05


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