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Author Topic: Myths on the Seasons  (Read 4357 times)

Nymree

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Myths on the Seasons
« on: November 17, 2019, 12:26:12 pm »
Hi all,

I've begun a project to make a small totem for my altar to represent each season as it passes (Autumn, Winter etc.) and I was thinking over the different myths in Paganism for the origin/progress of the seasons. I'm only truly familiar with Wiccan seasonal myths - those of the God and Goddess, the dying God on Mabon. I've also recently been trying to distance myself slightly from Wiccan theology due to personal changes in my beliefs (which is not, of course, a statement on value - I have just changed as an individual).

However, I'm not familiar with any myths/narratives from Druidry to explore instead, and couldn't find much by myself. I was wondering if anyone here might be able to point me towards some ideas or resources to read which may help develop some new thoughts on the seasons, that could then inform my totem project. I'm mainly interested in insular Celtic mythology such as Irish, Scottish and Welsh.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings,
Nym

PerditaPickle

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2019, 02:30:45 pm »
I've begun a project to make a small totem for my altar to represent each season as it passes (Autumn, Winter etc.)

Hi Nym,

This sounds a neat project.  I've been meaning to make a piece of art to represent the four seasons for a while.  It'll effectively be a sort of semi 3D collage, in a handmade frame made of scavenged fallen twigs.  But although I've collected some of the materials I've yet to make a proper start.

However, I'm not familiar with any myths/narratives from Druidry to explore instead, and couldn't find much by myself. I was wondering if anyone here might be able to point me towards some ideas or resources to read which may help develop some new thoughts on the seasons, that could then inform my totem project. I'm mainly interested in insular Celtic mythology such as Irish, Scottish and Welsh.

I'll try and check my handful of books & let you know if I come up with anything I think might be useful to you.

Edit to correct typo
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.” – The Buddha
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Nymree

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2019, 03:45:53 pm »
I've been meaning to make a piece of art to represent the four seasons for a while.  It'll effectively be a sort of semi 3D collage, in a handmade frame made of scavenged fallen twigs.  But although I've collected some of the materials I've yet to make a proper start.

I'll try and check my handful of books & let you know if I come up with anything I think might be useful to you.
Edit to correct typo

Wow, that sounds really cool. Good luck with starting -  I find that's always the hardest part. I've had the modelling clay on my dresser for weeks now to start this, and only just found the time.

Thank you!

Anon100

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2019, 04:36:39 pm »
Hi all,

I've begun a project to make a small totem for my altar to represent each season as it passes (Autumn, Winter etc.) and I was thinking over the different myths in Paganism for the origin/progress of the seasons. I'm only truly familiar with Wiccan seasonal myths - those of the God and Goddess, the dying God on Mabon. I've also recently been trying to distance myself slightly from Wiccan theology due to personal changes in my beliefs (which is not, of course, a statement on value - I have just changed as an individual).

However, I'm not familiar with any myths/narratives from Druidry to explore instead, and couldn't find much by myself. I was wondering if anyone here might be able to point me towards some ideas or resources to read which may help develop some new thoughts on the seasons, that could then inform my totem project. I'm mainly interested in insular Celtic mythology such as Irish, Scottish and Welsh.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings,
Nym

Not much help I'm afraid Nym but I had a quick nose on Scrib'd ( honestly I find it has loads of good pagan books on there ). Morgan Daimler's - "Pagan Portals - Irish Paganism: Reconstructing Irish Polytheism" - has a chapter on the seasons with certain traditions. The main setting is in their use for marking the farming cycle rather than an over all season changing practice though. Many of her books are to do with being a Celtic ( Irish ) druid so may be worth reading.
As a side thought I'd be inclined to look at what trees might represent each season. Oak for summer, holly winter etc..

Edit to add.. Just realised I've posted on a SIG site. Apologies if I've over stepped my bounds
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 04:40:57 pm by Anon100 »

Anon100

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2019, 05:01:38 pm »
Morgan Daimler's - "Pagan Portals - Irish Paganism: Reconstructing Irish Polytheism" - has a chapter on the seasons with certain traditions. The main setting is in their use for marking the farming cycle rather than an over all season changing practice though. Many of her books are to do with being a Celtic ( Irish ) druid so may be worth reading.

Adding this as otherwise my conscience will bug me. I'm sure you know all this already  - Morgan is a reconstructionist so I would imagine some respect using the details of her book may be important to not tread on toes??

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2019, 02:51:29 pm »
Edit to add.. Just realised I've posted on a SIG site. Apologies if I've over stepped my bounds

Nope, you're fine! With a couple of exceptions (which might not even be visible to those who aren't members of them), our SIG forums are open for anyone to post to, as long as they don't break the SIG Special Rules (every SIG has its own) - the main requirement is to stay within the SIG's subject area, and you did that even without realizing you were in a SIG (presumably by taking your cues about the thread's topic from earlier posts).

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goblin-queen

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 05:11:10 pm »
I've begun a project to make a small totem for my altar to represent each season as it passes (Autumn, Winter etc.) and I was thinking over the different myths in Paganism for the origin/progress of the seasons. I'm only truly familiar with Wiccan seasonal myths - those of the God and Goddess, the dying God on Mabon. I've also recently been trying to distance myself slightly from Wiccan theology due to personal changes in my beliefs (which is not, of course, a statement on value - I have just changed as an individual).

However, I'm not familiar with any myths/narratives from Druidry to explore instead, and couldn't find much by myself.

Blessings,
Nym

That's a really cool idea, I've been thinking of doing something similar :) There's some really nice gold quartz crystal balls on the Dixi website, was planning to position it on my altar in relation to the position of the Sun.

As for the Druidry stuff, I wish I could be more helpful ^^; but I'm also having a hard time finding info. If I find anything I'll drop it in this thread. :)
“...talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.”

Nymree

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2019, 05:30:23 am »
Hi all,

I've begun a project to make a small totem for my altar to represent each season as it passes (Autumn, Winter etc.) and I was thinking over the different myths in Paganism for the origin/progress of the seasons. I'm only truly familiar with Wiccan seasonal myths - those of the God and Goddess, the dying God on Mabon. I've also recently been trying to distance myself slightly from Wiccan theology due to personal changes in my beliefs (which is not, of course, a statement on value - I have just changed as an individual).

For anyone else using this thread to look into the Celtic seasonal tradition, I recently found this link that may be helpful:

https://www.druidry.org/druid-way/other-paths/druidry-dharma/two-seasons-three-worlds-four-treasures-five-directions-pillars

It only has a very brief mention of the Celtic seasonal calender, however it is a start! The search continues.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2019, 05:28:15 pm »
For anyone else using this thread to look into the Celtic seasonal tradition, I recently found this link that may be helpful:

https://www.druidry.org/druid-way/other-paths/druidry-dharma/two-seasons-three-worlds-four-treasures-five-directions-pillars

It only has a very brief mention of the Celtic seasonal calender, however it is a start! The search continues.

Oh that's interesting about the Danube river being named for the godess Danu - I'm pretty sure I was aware of this (I mean it's right there in the river name) but had forgotten it, but re-reading this made me recall an excerpt which I'd recently seen on the New Order of Druids site:

Quote
'Both the Bardic and Ovate Courses refer to "Danu" (or "Dana") as a "primal mother goddess", but the current consensus in historical sciences now rejects this as an invention of the Renaissance Era. The concept of the "primal mother goddess" is therefore now referred to as "Earth Mother" rather than "Danu" in the courses, along with an added explanation on how we should correctly view the ancient mother-figure of Danu in Irish mythology.'

I'm not sure if it'll be any help in your current search, but this also reminded me (once again) of the N.O.D. course, which might also be of interest to yourself - there is a free of charge version (or, I believe, one can pay for an additional level of mentoring).

I'm stiiiilllllll working on assignment one (it's been in excess of 12 months!) And I don't recall any particular mention of seasonal myths so far, but if I come across anything as (if!) I progress I'll try and remember to come back here with an update (but don't hold your breath, obviously!!)
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PerditaPickle

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2019, 06:53:07 pm »
For anyone else using this thread to look into the Celtic seasonal tradition, I recently found this link that may be helpful:

https://www.druidry.org/druid-way/other-paths/druidry-dharma/two-seasons-three-worlds-four-treasures-five-directions-pillars

It only has a very brief mention of the Celtic seasonal calender, however it is a start! The search continues.

Glad you managed to find the above - I checked my Celtic Mythology book but the index isn't organised in a way I can look up terms such as 'seasons', unfortunately.
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Micheál

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 06:20:28 am »
However, I'm not familiar with any myths/narratives from Druidry to explore instead, and couldn't find much by myself. I was wondering if anyone here might be able to point me towards some ideas or resources to read which may help develop some new thoughts on the seasons, that could then inform my totem project. I'm mainly interested in insular Celtic mythology such as Irish, Scottish and Welsh.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings,
Nym
From an insular perspective (Irish/Scottish specifically)for anyone being connected with Druidry, Reconstructionism, Wiccans and Neopagans that live in Ireland&the UK, etc, the native myths have deities, and a mythology connected to the seasons which can give you much inspiration. There's a lot of death and funeral imagery, coupled with rebirth, and myths that follow the agrarian cycle of the changing of the seasons. Brighid and the Cailleach are two very much associated with Imbolg, for example. Lugh gives his name to the month of August (Lúnasa/Lughnasadh)connected with the death of his foster mother Tailtiu who died clearing the plains of Ireland. The modern names of some of the months themselves reflect this. Meán Fómhair(Mid Autumn/Harvest;September), Deireadh Fómhair(End of Autumn/Harvest; October). There's a lot of important events in the myths that happen around the major two that divide the year of Bealtaine and Samhain (that are still the modern names of the months of May and November)....so if you look at the myths themselves, which most can be found online, you might get some ideas.

Authors from practising pagans like Morgan Daimler mentioned, can be of great help. Books by Lora O'Brien: A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality , Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch(with an upgraded edition currently being written).She has also committed a lot of time in her YouTube channel that can be of great help. Any of the Celtic Pagan groups should have a recommended reading list as well. Some of them, like Gaol Noafa, have their own publications and YouTube channels in addition to recommended scholarly sources.

You could end up with more than a few symbols for your altar ;D

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Re: Myths on the Seasons
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2019, 09:33:19 am »
I was wondering if anyone here might be able to point me towards some ideas or resources to read which may help develop some new thoughts on the seasons, that could then inform my totem project.

This page (actually, the whole site) might help:
http://www.tairis.co.uk/celebrations/

And this one (with the links at the bottom to the other days):
http://www.paganachd.com/faq/ritual.html#samhain

There are also a couple of book series about the holidays. Here's the link to one about Imbolc (aka Candlemas). If you scroll down, it should show you others in the section called "Customers who bought this book also bought..."
Candlemas: Feast of Flames (Holiday Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0738700797/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_GN1cEbADWW6EP

You could also search for books etc using the names of the holidays: Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasa, Samhain. IIRC, we don't have strong evidence for Celtic tribes celebrating the others (solstices and equinoxes, Ostara, Litha, Mabon, Yule), but I could be misremembering that. It's not something I've looked at recently.

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