Hospitality & Current Affairs

The world is in crying need of the ancient value of hospitality, a value that is found in cultures throughout the world, and yet so absent in much of the modern world. In my Celtic tradition it is a core value, and is historically witnessed in the person of the Irish briugu, the hosteller. In medieval Irish society the briugu was usually a prosperous farmer, some of whose prosperity was funneled to a larger good, that is providing hospitality for those who were traveling beyond the abodes of kin. Hostels were also maintained by member of the skilled professions who had received wealth due to their services, wealth some of which then got spread around. One of their most important possessions was their cauldron. The briugu was not part of military obligations and their hostels were places of the exchange of much news and information, thus providing another function important to the rural society. The hostels are an important setting in the lore, unsurprisingly, with tales like Togail Bruidne Dá Derga (The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel)*.

 

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We live in a time when movement of peoples is global in nature, many people are on the roads, and many are those desperately in need of the most basic hospitality, a place to shelter from the storms of war and horror. Perhaps hearts must open before doors can, as many in this land seem to have closed hearts. May we find again the value of hospitality, and find ourselves better off for doing so.

 

 

*They were sometimes seen as being in the Otherworld or at least liminal. Interestingly, in modern Irish the term can refer to a fairy dwelling.

A Time of Lamentation

the storm comes

in blood

battering rams of

hate

breach the gates

Erebus Phobos and Eris

stalk the avenues

ash smeared lamia wait

in streetlight

the storm comes

in the splash of blood

in the opening of

man hole covers where

hungry ghosts congregate

Somewhere a piano plays deep in the night

a song of lamentation drifts

like cigar smoke

in starlight

among the

Sirens

call.

The Holidays

Here are some pictures from the recent holidays.

First is the Antinous (and Company) shrine lit up from the Foundation Day ritual on October 30th. On that date Antinous was deified after drowning in the Nile according to Egyptian tradition, and Hadrian initiated the cultus, and the plans for the new city of Antinoopolis on the site.

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The 31st was dedicated to ancestors. Kind of difficult and bumpy start this year. Couldn’t find various things. At one point tea was made and offered (I’m not a tea drinker myself) as requested back in July at the Matronae rite. I feel a much stronger connection with my maternal line, but there was this push to connect with foremothers on my dad’s side). Raw and deep.

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Sunday the Grove of the Bay celebrated Samhain with a beautiful Druidic fire ritual in Fremont. A couple photos:

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I made an offering to the Cailleagh and asked for storm. It started raining on the way home. It rained all night and the ground is actually wet for the first time in something like 7 months. The air so fresh today and the sky full of towering white clouds. Happy November.