Flame & Feather

of the Phoenix

Post-Agrarian Paganism

I’ve been listening to, and mulling over, Episode 10 of The Magical Earth podcast. This is produced by four witches in Ontario who initially complained that the Sabbats didn’t exactly match the seasons they were to celebrate. This is due not only to their Northern location, but to the phenomenon we’re experiencing, often called “Climate Change” or “Global Warming”. Also, as our culture becomes less linked to the Land, as we become more oriented to electronic careers and pasttimes and we feel more concrete and macadam beneath our synthetic soled-shoes, how can we as witches celebrate a cycle that features agriculture and fertility?

It isn’t all about literal sowing, fertility & harvest. The woods behind my home will green every spring whether I scatter seeds or not. Autumn has already begun to spread her warm colors over the trees, but I’ve never harvested a single berry or root. There are those, however, who have engaged in such activities in order to feed me, my family, and the extended family of humanity. There are even those who have striven to keep my food honest and wholesome, whether protesting against genetically-modified foods, or being careful about pesticides and fertilizers used in growing their crops.

I can’t say I can warm up to celebrating the cycle of office projects or creative pursuits. Gratitude for those who support our lives through their own efforts of growing and supplying sustenance can be my focus, as reflected in the Lady’s natural cycles of the woodland I cherish.

Categorized as Spirituality, Neo-Paganism, Spirituality


  1. So much of our society, even for pagan-folk, has drifted away from truly feeling the cycles of the earth-mother.

    As ancient as the traditions may be, fixing sabbath celebrations to a calendar date is really not nature’s way. Our tribal ancestors, after all, didn’t know it was “June 21st” for the summer solstice … they watched the sun and made their plans according to his edict. Likewise with other details of worship and celebration. Just one example: While doing ritual, not that I do so often :-), I always felt the need to adjust the standard symbolism of the directions because my East and West felt “backwards” … the wind comes from the West at my home, and there is water to the East.

    The traditions were created to celebrate the earth … and while traditions are important, and keep us connected to our ancestral roots, is it more important to follow them to the letter, or listen to the heartbeat of the most ancient ancestor of all … the earth herself?

    The cycles have changed. Whether by natural design or pattern, or due to man’s selfish and greedy design, they have changed.

    How does the old saying go? That which does not adapt, dies?

    Well … just the ramble of an addled old mind, in response to your very thoughtful post, my friend.