Tuesday, January 1, 2008


although no one knows for sure, it appears most likely that ancient celts all over europe celebrated a twelve-day or longer midwinter festival, and many historians believe that the spirit of the british new year celebrations still reflect some core element of one of the oldest festivals of our kind. in scotland, the reformation banned the traditional yule activities, and so gradually, over the centuries, the old rituals and customs found themselves edged forward, to january 1. no one knows where the word comes from, but i think its most likely provenance is from the gaelic phrase "oge maidne" which means "new day."

whatever its origins, hogmanay is charged with magical significance. just as the sun is renewed in the depths of the dark, hogmanay offers the opportunity for both closure and renewal, to forgive and forget, to settle and to heal. it is a threshold time, and for the celts, the threshold of anything, including the entrance of a house, was sacred time and space.

considering how sick i was a few days ago, i am feeling remarkably better.

on a whim, i drew a tarot card for the new year.

the card i pulled was the Hanged One, the card of willing sacrifice, the card that signifies that which we willingly lose in order to gain something else. the 12th card in the major arcana, it is the card of surrender and release, of the integration that comes with dissolution.

last night i wrote an email to an old friend, a woman i have not spoken to in over twelve years. our parting was painful, but she emailed me back within ten minutes so i think she was glad to hear from me. i know i was glad she wrote back.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.

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