Strangers’ Gate Coven (SGC) was established in 2001 and
is jointly led by Elders Ruthann, Athena, and Nanci.
Blessed Autumn Equinox! Wishing you a bountiful Second Harvest and peaceful balance.
Many Pagans call this sabbat Mabon named after Mabon ap Modron (this translates as “son of the mother”) who may be equated with the Roman god Maponus. There’s little information about Mabon aside from the Welsh tale which I’ll summarize here: Mabon was kidnapped when he was only 3 days old, yet he’s also considered the oldest of Humankind. The hero Kilhwch had to consult with 5 successively ancient creatures — Ousel, Stag, Owl, Eagle, and Salmon — before the Salmon said he knew where Mabon was, and swam up the river with Kilhwch on his back to the place where Mabon was imprisoned. Kilhwch contacted King Arthur who came with his knights to release Mabon.
The story may be old, but the idea of calling this sabbat Mabon is relatively new. Pagan writer Aiden Kelly in the 1970s was creating a calendar and decided Mabon was much easier to say and write than Autumn Equinox, and the name stuck. Here’s Sorita d’Este’s article with the details: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/adamantinemuse/2019/09/did-mabon-steal-the-autumn-equinox/
Happy Lughnasadh/Lunasa/Lammas/First Harvest!
The time around August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere is celebrated by the Celts as Lughnasadh, named after the multitalented Lugh Lamfada. Here’s a photo of Tara, the ancient Irish seat of power where Lugh traveled in hopes of becoming a member of King Nuada’s court (we recommend reading about the Second Battle of Magh Tuired, aka Moytura, which is a tale including many of the Celtic deities). The gatekeeper asks him “What art do you practice? For no one without an art enters Tara”. Lugh replies “Question me, I am a builder”, and the gatekeeper answers they already have a builder and gives a name. Each time Lugh states another of his arts — smith, champion, harper, warrior, poet, historian, sorcerer, and more — the gatekeeper shares the name of someone who fills the post already. Finally, Lugh declares “Ask the king whether he has a man who possesses all these arts; if he has then I will not be able to enter Tara”. The gatekeeper does so, and Lugh is welcomed into Tara.
Blessed Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha!
I wrote this poem several years ago and am happy to share it here: SOLSTICE BLESSINGS (by Nanci, 2013) Longest day and shortest night Celebrate Midsummer's might Litha and Summer Solstice, too -- Pick the name that best suits you Let the sunlight fill your soul The energy will make you whole Fairies dancing through the veil Shimmering o'er hill and dale Hug the world, share smiles for free Let joy be boundless, and Blessed Be! Here's a photo taken at Socrates Sculpture Park, Astoria, NY, after a Midsummer Ritual in 2016:
Happy Pride Month!
SGC supports equal rights/rites for all LGBTQIA+ folx and hopes we may all live in rainbow harmony. We recognize that the Stonewall Riot was a violent catalyst for change, and now we seek to establish social and cultural justice and equanimity via more peaceful methods as the fight continues.
Blessed Beltane! Many Pagans and Wiccans dance the maypole for this May 1st holiday, representing the union of the Goddess (the fertile Earth that embraces the pole) and the God (the phallic pole and sperm-like ribbons). Folks find ribbons that are the color(s) related to what they’d like to manifest in their lives — e.g. red for passion, green for money and growth, pink for good health, blue for calmness, etc. — and weave those intentions to connect them to the deities and make the magic happen.
Floralia is also celebrated at this time of the year, honoring the colorful bounty of verdant Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. Floral garlands can be crafted to wear or decorate your altar.
May 1st is also World Labyrinth Day, and there will be several virtual and real-world labyrinth walks around the globe. Athena of SGC will facilitating some festivities during this marvelous event — get the details at https://www.worldlabyrinthday.org/
Full Moon Blessings!
Tonight (Monday, April 26, 2021) at 11:31 EST there will be a Full Pink Super Moon in Scorpio.
Consider doing some transformational Work, and/or charge your magical tools/stones/water in the wonderful moonlight.
(This image is from the Museum of the Moon exhibit of 2018 with artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram, compiling photos of the moon)
Check back often for information on our future workshops, classes, and public rituals. Blessed Be!
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