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     It’s time to harvest the grain and cereal crops and show a little love for the sun-god, Lugh.  Click the link to read The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year and discover the origins of this annual August festival.

https://lilywight.com/2013/08/01/lughnasadh-the-beginners-guide-to-the-wheel-of-the-year/

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     You can call it Midsummer, The Longest Day, Litha or The Summer Solstice.  Whichever you prefer just click the link to read all about it in our popular guide to The Wheel of The Year festivals…

https://lilywight.com/2013/06/20/litha-the-summer-solstice-the-beginners-guide-to-the-wheel-of-the-year/

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     How will you celebrate your May Day bank holiday weekend?  You could always get married, jump over a broomstick or get naked and paint yourself red like these folks.

     You can discover the origins and traditions of the Beltane festival by clicking the link below for Lily Wight’s Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year.

Beltane Fire Festival

https://lilywight.com/2013/05/01/beltane-the-beginners-guide-to-the-wheel-of-the-year/

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     Ostara is an Anglo-Germanic fertility festival celebrated at The Spring Equinox.  This year’s festival coincides with a rare solar eclipse on Friday 20th March.  Click the link to read all about it in Lily Wight’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year.

 

https://lilywight.com/2013/03/20/ostara-spring-equinox-the-beginners-guide-to-the-wheel-of-the-year/

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Lily Wight

     Updated 24/06/2014

     The ancient seasonal calendar – known as The Wheel Of The Year – has reached Litha (meaning “wheel”) also known as The Longest Day, Midsummer and The Summer Solstice.

     Litha marks the height of the sun’s powers at the middle of the year before the inevitable shortening of daylight hours.

     Midsummer has been observed since Neolithic times.  It held special significance to the Scandinavian, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon people and is still celebrated throughout The Northern Hemisphere today.

     Litha was a time to urge the growth of crops in the hope of a plentiful harvest.  A wheel would be set on fire and rolled downhill to “warm” the fields, a practice first recorded two thousand years ago.

     Golden-flowered  Midsummer plants, such as Calendula and St. John’s…

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Lily Wight

Updated 06/05/2014

 Pure trash of course but also a fascinating insight into celebrity culture’s evolution throughout the noughties.

     As the founding editor of Heat magazine Frith makes for a flawed and fabulous narrator, jealous of the success of fellow publications, often derogatory about the stars he refers to as “playthings” and covetous of fame.   Frith is also fiercely loyal to his team and dedicated to a refreshing and  worthy ethos to de-bunk celebrity myth.
     Ironically and unfortunately, normalising celebrities created a space for ordinary folk from reality shows to seize the spotlight.  The subsequent rise of savvy PRs has enabled celebs to play the once revelatory magazines at their own game.
   
     It’s a fascinating insight into a unique period of modern history by a smart, flawed guy who was actually there.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 29/04/2014

     Beltane (meaning “bright fire”) or May Day is one of eight festival days marked upon the ancient seasonal calendar known as The Wheel Of The Year.

     Beltane heralds the beginning of Summer as it lies halfway between The Spring Equinox (Ostara) and The Summer Solstice (Litha).  It is a time when daylight hours are long, trees blossom and herding animals are turned out to pasture.

     Beltane was originally observed by the Gaelic people of Ireland, Scotland and The Isle Of Man who performed protective rituals for their crops and livestock whilst The Celtic Tribes of Western Europe and Britain also celebrated mating rituals and male potency.

     Beltane is named for the Celtic Sun God, Bel (Belenos/Belenus) who is associated with West Cornwall, formerly Belerion.  The Romans dubbed him the “British Apollo” and…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 15/03/2014

     Ostara (Old High German) or Ēostre (Old English) falls upon 20th March.  It is one of eight ancient Wheel Of The Year festivals denoting seasonal shifts.

     Ostara marks The Vernal (meaning “youthful”) Equinox: the height of Spring.

     Daylight and darkness are balanced at The Equinox, prior to the lengthening of days: a period sometimes referred to as Lent.  It is a time to celebrate fecundity and growth.

     Ostara is named for an ancient Germanic goddess and the month that bears her name; Ôstarmânoth, now April.

     Ostara is a dawn goddess associated to the Greek Eos and the Roman Aurora.  She represents the resurrection of light following the death of Winter.

     Ostara’s totem animal is the hare: a symbol of fertility dating…

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     Directed by Paul Leeson Taylor in association with FLUXOne20 for South Yorkshire Police, UK.  Featuring young actors from Hull, City of Culture 2017.

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     The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

     Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 50,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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     Greetings Blogsprites!  Its October and autumn is well and truly underway.  This month folk at home, by the Land of Green Ginger, will be looking forward to our annual travelling fair and the usual Halloween celebrations.

     Here, at Lily Wight ~ The Arcade of Arts & Arcana, there’ll be things to make you go “ooh” – cute gifs, Lego art, the latest installment of our Wheel of The Year calendar – and things to make you go “AAAaaaarrrgggggghhhhhhh!!!” – a whole month of grim, gothic and generally spooky vamp things (or vampy spook things if you prefer) including art, books, graphic novels and the odd jack o’ lantern.

     Carved pumpkins won’t be the only form of illumination this month as we’ve also received a lovely Shine On blog award from http://modernoracletarot.com/.  If you enjoy the Tarot posts you find here you’ll enjoy Ronda Snow’s work too.

     Last, but not least, a huge thank you to 7,798 subscribers who read this blog over 9 syndicated sites and helped Lily Wight achieve a daily hits personal best with 3,427 visitors on September 17th.  Keep those comments coming everyone x

Dare you peek into the Macabre?

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     Updated 29/07/2014

     Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-na-sah) is one of eight festivals celebrated on the ancient Wheel Of The Year seasonal calendar.  It marks the midpoint between The Summer Solstice and The Autumn Equinox.  It was once observed when the first sheaf of corn was cut and now, most commonly, on 1st August.

     The First Harvest is named for the Irish Sun God, Lugh, who also lends his name to the Modern Irish name for August.  In Gaelic Mythology Lugh held a funeral and athletic games to honour his foster-mother, Tailtiu who died of exhaustion after clearing the land for agriculture.  Tailtiu represents an earth or harvest deity whose labours feed and nurture the people.

     At Lughnasadh tribal people throughout Western Europe and The Northern Hemisphere gave thanks for their grain and cereal harvest and sought blessings for next year’s crop.  The birth, death and rebirth of the cornfield was symbolic of the eternal cycle of all life.

     The Anglo-Saxons referred to The First Harvest as Hlaef-mass, meaning “loaf mass”.  Loaves would be baked in the shape of a corn god then broken and consumed to represent the blessings of his sacrifice.  The practice was adopted by modern Christians who refer to this festival as Lammas.

     Corn dollies, or spirit cages, are traditionally crafted at Lughnasadh to lure and capture crop spirits.  Combine this with the often misconstrued concept of sacrifice and you have the plot for The Wicker Man!

     It was common in agrarian societies for a god and goddess to marry at Beltane (1st May) and conceive a child to represent the new year and it’s harvest cycle.  In Folklore the father god “John Barleycorn” is “sacrificed” at Lughnasadh to nourish the bountiful goddess, her child and the people.  This is still reenacted today via the burning of a cornstalk effigy (not Edward Woodward).  Sometimes a bull would be sacrificed in the fields for a celebratory feast. 

     Today the people of Ireland still honour Lugh’s prowess by climbing closer to the sun, at the summit of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, to gather bilberries for celebration foods and wine. 

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     A determined family of Yorkshire cyclists conquered rolling hills, slipped chains and a puncture to complete a gruelling 75 mile bike marathon.

1044375_665159336831332_1503137070_n     The Crazy Wheelers team; comprising Gary Stephenson, son Harry (16), brother-in-law Allan Davidson and nephew Lex (13) cycled from London to Brighton to encourage sponsorship and raise awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

     Gary lost his father-in-law, Pat Sullivan to pancreatic cancer last year within weeks of a surprise diagnosis and with survival rates for the disease especially low, at just 3%, the need to fund ongoing research is vital.

936459_665159586831307_600355296_n     The Wheelers journey is even more incredible as their youngest member, Lex Stephenson is already familiar with the devastating effects of cancer having battled leukaemia since the age of 4.  Lex, who is now in remission, continues to receive considerable support from local and national childhood cancer charities and wanted to extend his fundraising to help other organisations.

1002699_665159780164621_1289522462_n     At the time of writing the team have raised over £1,700 of their £2,000 target and are still accepting donations now their challenge is complete.  It is easy and safe to donate online via the following link…      

 http://www.justgiving.com/teams/crazywheelers – you can also support individual team members and find information on how to donate by text.

Read more about The Crazy Wheelers…

https://lilywight.com/2013/06/22/london-to-brighton-pedalling-to-beat-pancreatic-cancer/

http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Lex-13-cycling-marathon-beating-leukaemia/story-19428770-detail/story.html#axzz2Xb4rBeV2

DONATE HERE 🙂

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http://www.justgiving.com/teams/crazywheelers

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2013-05-23-073     A brave and determined Yorkshire schoolboy is set to cycle an astonishing 75 miles to raise funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (registered charity no. 1103253).

     Lex Stephenson, age 13, will be taking part in the Capital To Coast Cycle Challenge on Sunday 30th June 2013, starting at The London Eye and finishing at Brighton Pier.  Lex will be riding as part of a four man team, The Crazy Wheeler’s, with his Dad, his Uncle and his sixteen year old cousin.  The Wheelers were inspired to take part in the fundraising challenge after losing a family member to Pancreatic Cancer suddenly last year.

     Lex hopes his 75 mile journey will raise awareness of the vital need to fund research into cures for all types of cancer.  In 2004, when he was just four years old, Lex was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and underwent a gruelling three years of continual chemotherapy treatment.  Despite great discomfort and long stays in hospital Lex continued to ride his bike regularly and believes that fresh air and exercise helped him to stay fit and keep positive throughout his illness and recuperation.  Lex remains in remission and celebrated the end of his treatment with a Star Wars Fundraising Party for Children With Cancer UK (registered charity no. 298405).

     During the last forty years survival rates for Childhood Leukaemia have risen from few to 80% whilst survival rates for Pancreatic Cancer remain low at just 3%.  Lex is now focusing his continuing fundraising efforts towards helping to beat a deadly disease in need of greater awareness.

     You can read about Lex’s bike ride challenge and support him with an immediate donation via the link below.  If everyone who reads his story shares it and donates £1 Lex will be well on his way to reaching his fundraising target.

Donate here ~ http://www.justgiving.com/Lex-Stephenson

Thank you 🙂

Related Links

Children With Cancer UK ~ Lex’s Story

Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Website

Capital To Coast London To Brighton Charity Bike Ride Website

PLEASE SUPPORT LEX ON HIS CYCLE RIDE  ~ http://www.justgiving.com/Lex-Stephenson

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     Updated 24/06/2014

     The ancient seasonal calendar – known as The Wheel Of The Year – has reached Litha (meaning “wheel”) also known as The Longest Day, Midsummer and The Summer Solstice.

     Litha marks the height of the sun’s powers at the middle of the year before the inevitable shortening of daylight hours.

     Midsummer has been observed since Neolithic times.  It held special significance to the Scandinavian, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon people and is still celebrated throughout The Northern Hemisphere today.

     Litha was a time to urge the growth of crops in the hope of a plentiful harvest.  A wheel would be set on fire and rolled downhill to “warm” the fields, a practice first recorded two thousand years ago.

     Golden-flowered  Midsummer plants, such as Calendula and St. John’s Wort were collected for their healing powers.

     According to ancient polytheist traditions The Antlered God – and his localised variant, The Green Man – reaches the height of his powers at the midpoint of the year whilst his Goddess consort carries the promise of renewal conceived during May’s Beltane celebrations.  This seasonal courtship was adapted by William Shakespeare in his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

     At Midsummer those living in the far Northern Hemisphere experience White Nights or The Midnight Sun as there is little if any darkness.  Families celebrate by heading out into the countryside; staying awake, lighting bonfires, feasting, drinking and enjoying saunas.

     Many stone circles throughout The United Kingdom are aligned to dawn at Midsummer and considered sacred to solar deities such as the Celtic Bel.  Celebrants gather at Stonehenge each year to drum the sun down at dusk and then up at dawn on The Longest Day.

Related Articles

Imbolc ~ The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year

Ostara, The Spring Equinox ~ The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year

Beltane ~ The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year

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     Updated 29/04/2014

     Beltane (meaning “bright fire”) or May Day is one of eight festival days marked upon the ancient seasonal calendar known as The Wheel Of The Year.

     Beltane heralds the beginning of Summer as it lies halfway between The Spring Equinox (Ostara) and The Summer Solstice (Litha).  It is a time when daylight hours are long, trees blossom and herding animals are turned out to pasture.

     Beltane was originally observed by the Gaelic people of Ireland, Scotland and The Isle Of Man who performed protective rituals for their crops and livestock whilst The Celtic Tribes of Western Europe and Britain also celebrated mating rituals and male potency.

     Beltane is named for the Celtic Sun God, Bel (Belenos/Belenus) who is associated with West Cornwall, formerly Belerion.  The Romans dubbed him the “British Apollo” and – like many solar deities – he pulls the sun with his chariot and is associated with inspirational light and healing waters.

     Beltane also celebrates The Spirit Of The Greenwood in the guise of The Green Man; known variously as The Celtic Antlered-God Cernunnos, Herne The Hunter, Jack-In-The-Green and even Robin Hood.  Cernunnos consorts with The Mother Goddess at Beltane to assure the birth of the following Spring from the dead of Winter.

     Collecting May blossoms or “bringing in the May” is a euphemism for this time of sexual licence.  Beltane remains a popular time for marriage ceremonies and traditional handfastings.

     Jumping over a broomstick on May Day symbolises crossing the threshold from Spring to Summer and combines the masculine (handle) with the feminine (brush)… no sniggering at the back please 😉

     Dancing around Maypoles at Beltane is still practiced today throughout Europe, Scandinavia and The British Isles.  The origins of this tradition are lost but Folklorists believe the pole represents the ancient reverence for sacred trees or a phallic symbol!

     Pre-Roman tribes danced and walked themselves and their herds around or between protective Beltane fires.  These bonfire celebrations are enjoying a modern revival attracting fire-eaters and coal-walking.

The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year

Imbolc (birth of Spring)

Ostara (Spring Equinox)

Related articles

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     Updated for 2015

     Imbolc (pronounced i-MOLK meaning “in the belly”) is one of eight seasonal festivals marked on the ancient calendar known as The Wheel Of The Year.  Imbolc is observed on 1st February each year.

     Imbolc heralds the first stirrings of  Spring as it lies halfway between The Winter Solstice (Yule) and The Spring Equinox (Ostara).  It is a time when days lengthen, new buds and shoots appear and the first lambs are born.

     Imbolc was originally observed by the Gaelic (Irish, Scottish and Manx) people as a vital indicator of a new agricultural year.

     The festival was deemed sacred to the Gaelic goddess Brighid (pronounced breed) the midwife of the year and protector of women, children and newborns. 

     Hearthfire celebrations involved the baking of bannocks; the origin of Pancake Day.

     Corn Dollies and Brighid’s crosses would be made from dried stalks, reeds and rushes to bless the coming season.

     Imbolc was a time for weather forecasting.  Watching for snakes or badgers to emerge precedes the North American tradition of Groundhog Day.

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Updated 06/05/2014

 Pure trash of course but also a fascinating insight into celebrity culture’s evolution throughout the noughties.

     As the founding editor of Heat magazine Frith makes for a flawed and fabulous narrator, jealous of the success of fellow publications, often derogatory about the stars he refers to as “playthings” and covetous of fame.   Frith is also fiercely loyal to his team and dedicated to a refreshing and  worthy ethos to de-bunk celebrity myth.
     Ironically and unfortunately, normalising celebrities created a space for ordinary folk from reality shows to seize the spotlight.  The subsequent rise of savvy PRs has enabled celebs to play the once revelatory magazines at their own game.
   
     It’s a fascinating insight into a unique period of modern history by a smart, flawed guy who was actually there.

Read Full Post »

         You can enjoy the elegance and skill of The Royal Ballet at a fraction of the usual ticket price!

     Vue and Odeon are screening Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet live in cinema’s around the UK.    

     Check their websites for availability.

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