Autumn Rains ~ Donna N Astill

Finally my friend, you have arrived,

None too soon either I see,

We have been waiting for you,

And afraid you wouldn’t show.

Delighted we are to hear you,

Delighted we are to see you,

Delighted we are to smell you,

Delighted I am to feel you.

It has been awhile my lover,

It has been too long,

I had forgotten so many things,

Things that only you can make me feel.

Are you planning on staying,

Are you planning on leaving,

Will you be gone long,

Or have you decided to settle.

Please don’t come on too strong,

Please don’t be too soft,

Show me your power,

But please don’t stop.

Without you there can be no growth,

Without you there can be no life,

When I am near you I feel strong,

When I am near you I feel safe.

Season after season,

Month after month,

You are the relief in December,

You are the dread in June.

Rain down on us,

Rain down on me,

You showed your face,

And you are the Autumn rains.

The beginning of the darkness,

Before the dark becomes the light,

When the Spring time rains return,

To give life again.

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Explain your intentions…

Well it turns out you do need to explain yourself to the universe…

My 2017 words of intention were Disconnect & Expand. Simple enough right? Wrong!

I meant Disconnect from social media not people & I meant Expand my knowledge not my body!

You really do need to explain things so the universe doesn’t twist your words.

This time I wrote a list explaining what my intentions were, in detail.

Please remember there is a difference between resolutions & intentions. Resolutions have an end, Intentions leave room for you to outshine your goals.

I know 2018 will be another rollercoaster year for most but this time you will have more control.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR my Crazies form your one & only, Southern Cross Heathen xxx

Modern Heathenry Around the World Aussie Style

Southern Hemisphere – Australia – Far North Queensland

Before I go on to tell you about Modern Heathenry in Australia’s Far North Queensland, I need to discuss with you about what I see as Modern Heathenry.

Modern heathenry in the 21st century will not and never can be like heathenry in the 7th, 8th or 9th centuries.  To try to recreate it is illogical, in my eyes, and totally an unnecessary waste of time.  Did Odin not wander so as to learn and grow?  Did our ancestors not forge through the years learning new technologies to improve life?  I see heathenry as an ever growing, ever changing, spirituality.  If our ancestors were not able to change & grow with the times they would not have been so successful in trading or merging and assimilating with other tribes e.g. Irish, Scots, Rús etc.

Forget about the Christianised books that tell you how to heathen!  Our ancestors didn’t listen or in fact read them!  Deep down, when you meditate or just sit in quiet contemplation you will be taught how to heathen.  Modernity is an inevitable constant in our lives and so we should embrace it.

notreallythorI can just imagine it now, Thor’s Instagram filled with pictures of Mjolnir, Freya’s YouTube vlogs on how to achieve next seasons look, Nanna’s Etsy store for Oracle & Tarot readings, Loki’s latest book on Amazon on ‘How to Raise Unique Children’, Frigga’s ‘Cooking with Frigga’ T.V. show right after Ullr & Skadi’s ‘Wipeout’ and don’t forget Odin’s latest Periscope from his current world tour.

lokis-kidsGo on, it may sound absurd but I bet you had a good laugh imagining it all.  But is it really so hard to accept that you too could see the Gods in the same light?  Living in the Now!  So we should be doing it too, living in the present not the past.  Utilise what the present has to offer and look forward to what the future has without being stuck in the past.

I know most people would have been expecting some sort of academic piece on Modern Heathenry, but let’s face it, there are already a multitude of articles on the subject, you just have to go to academia.com to find them.  I wanted people to see how I view modern heathenry from a personal perspective.

Now on to the locality issues of being a Modern Heathen in Australia’s Far North Queensland.  Australia is huge, I mean really, really big.  Think North America without Canada or Alaska. Think the entire continent of Europe.  Oh and we have some little neighbours off to the side that you would be familiar with too and no I’m not talking about the Hobbits… just because LOTR was filmed there does not mean there are actual Hobbits running around… It’s New Zealand.aust-size-vs

Well about 2/3 of Australia is uninhabitable, 2/3 of the country is desert and it’s really hot and dusty out there… You can literally fry an egg on your bonnet (car hood), so hot that one desert town actually resides underground… Yes, underground (Coober Pedy)!

 

lamb-loinAnd it is not just the desert that gets hot… Most of the county does during our Summer months.  If you want proof check out this news article:  http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/matt-moran-cooks-lamb-in-a-hot-car-to-show-danger-to-children-locked-inside-20151203-glf7xn.html

Ok so where do I live in the scheme of all things?  Currently I live in the Far North of the country (I am relocating to a southern region in the new year for personal reasons.

queensland_mapvs-texasJust to get an idea here is a picture of Texas compared to the state I currently live in…

Yeah, Texas isn’t so big anymore…

Australia has a very wide spread community and Heathens are not always close by.  My closest fellow Heathen is 326km (202 miles) away unfortunately, so I only converse with this person via Facebook.  The closest Universalist Heathen is well and truly over 1000km (620 miles) away.

distance-between-cities-in-australia-2Distances make it hard so most Australian Heathens are solitary or are members of their local Pagan Community groups.  This is still not the same as having a group of heathens to bounce ideas and discussion off of.  But at least it is community that we can engage with and most Pagan groups are all too happy to share their Celtic holidays with us or to learn more from us and most are inclusive.

Another part of the struggles of being in the Southern Hemisphere is the fact that our holidays are the opposite to most of yours.  We are just coming up on Walpurgisnacht (May Day) whilst most of you will have just had Winter Finding or will be preparing for the Celtic Samhain.  This in itself gets confusing, especially for those new to the path.

Cairns_climate.svg.pngAnother aspect that I find difficult living where I do,
is the seasonal changes.  Where I live there really is only two seasons, the Wet Season (Nov – Apr) and the Dry Season (May – Oct).  There is no real Autumn or Winter here.  Our Summers are wet and humid and our Winters are dry and warm (not cold).  So feeling the change is difficult in the tropical climate.  Yule is a date on the calendar not a feeling of change in the season nor is it the autumnal colour changes that come with Winter’s Night.

xmas-australiaSo as you can see living ‘Down Under’ may seem great but it is hard work when we grew up with the tradition Gregorian Calendar dates that came with our Northern Hemisphere migrating ancestors 200-250 years ago.

I am a solitary heathen living in the far north tropics of Queensland Australia (for a few more months yet) in the Southern Hemisphere on the continent just above Antarctica.

map_australia

So to all my crazies this is your SouthernCrossHeathen signing off…

N.B. All images were sourced from google.

 

Calendar Confusion. I mean Conversion.

For those of us that live in the southern hemisphere, celebrating the seasons can be a very difficult experience, especially for those new to the path.  Winter is Summer, Autumn is Spring and it can all get very confusing.  Even more so for those that live in tropical, desert or polar climates that do not have the typical Summer-Autumn-Winter-Spring format.

Whilst most of you that are reading this blog (well I hope you are reading it), are about to embark on Autumn/Fall and getting ready to celebrate either Winter Finding or Mabon (whichever wheel you prefer) we down here in the southern part of the globe have just come into Spring.

Map-Southern-Hemisphere-2015
http://www.plantsgalore.com/plants/types/maps/00M-Map-Southern-Hemisphere.htm

So here is what most of you would see when looking at a Wheel of the Year.  These are northern hemisphere dates so will be very familiar to most of you.

1024px-Heathen_holidays
Wheel of the common holidays in “Pagan” spirituality. (Heathen Holidays)
pagan-wheel-of-the-year
Wheel of the Year (Celtic Calendar)

Now here is the process that goes in to making them fit with the southern hemisphere seasons.

WorkInProgess

Which then becomes this:

Blot/Sabbat Southern Hemisphere Season Northern Hemisphere
Feast of Thunar July 20th – Aug 18th Winter Jan 20th – Feb 18th
Charming of the Plow Aug 2nd Spring Feb 2nd
Imbolc Aug 1st Spring Feb 1st
Vali Aug 14th Spring Feb 14th
Ostara Sept 19th – 21st Spring March 19th – 21st
Sumarsdag October Spring April
Yggdrasill Day October 22nd Spring April 22nd
Walpurginsnacht Nov 1st Summer May 1st
Beltane Oct 31st – Nov 1st Summer April 30th – May 1st
Midsummer Dec 20th – 21st Summer June 20st – 21st
Litha Dec 21st Summer June 21st
Lughnasadh/Lammas Feb 2nd Autumn August 2ndt
Frey Faxi Feb 28th Autumn August 28th
Winter Finding March 20th – 21st Autumn Sept 20th – 21st
Mabon March 21st Autumn Sept 20th
Winter Night’s April 30th – May 1st Autumn Oct 31st – Nov 1st
Samhain April 30th – May 1st Autumn Oct 31st – Nov 1st
Mother’s Night June 21st or 22nd Winter Dec 21st or 22nd
Yule June 21st Winter Dec 21st
Yule June 21st – July 2nd Winter Dec 21st – Jan 1st

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I am still in the process on trying to create a nice and aesthetically pleasing Southern Hemisphere Heathen Calendar but I do have a Southern Hemisphere Celtic Wheel.

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Found on Pinterest

There are a number of books and websites that I use to help with the conversion of these times and dates.

Dancing the Sacred Wheel – Frances Billinghurst (you can purchase this through either Kindle or Wordery)

Rituals of Celebration – Jane Meredith (Book Depository)

Spheres of LightFrances Billinghurst Blogarchaeoastronomy.comOut of the WinterAn Asatru BlogAsatru AlliancePagan Calendar, Asatru Holidays Wiki, Wheel of the Year Wiki, Odin’s Volk, Wizard Realm.

 

As mentioned in previous posts, I have been involved in researching and writing up some Celtic Wheel of the Year rituals and events for my local pagan community and so am currently focused on that, hence the table above.  I will hope to have something out by December 2016 ready for 2017.  So stay tuned for updates.

So for now my crazies I will leave you with the excitement of either Ostara (yay I love the colours of Spring but hate the pollen & hayfever), Mabon or Winter Finding.

Oh if you find an error or feel that something should be added or rearranged please leave me a comment.