Walpurgis Night Potpourri


* Since everyone knows what I’m going to post tomorrow, I thought I talk a little bit today about Walpurgis Night. Like many of the Witches and other Pagans I know, I often can’t sleep when the Moon is full. Last night at about 2:00 am, my eyes popped open and I could not, for love or money, get back to sleep. About 4:00 am, when I got up to light incense and sit at my altar (on the theory that if you really can’t get back to sleep, you might as well get up and do something useful), I realized: almost full Moon and almost Beltane. No wonder I can’t sleep. Is it like that for you? What do you do?

The night before Beltane is known as Walpurgisnacht or Walpurga’s Night in Germany and other northern European countries. St. Walpurgia, a Christian missionary, is celebrated on this day. Like so many other traditions, the Christians likely stole a Pagan holiday and converted it to a saint’s day (see, e.g., St. Bridget, derived from the Goddess Bride, celebrated at Imbolc). The older name of the holiday is Hexennacht, meaning the Witches’ Night. If Beltane is all about sweet Spring love and sex, Hexennacht is about the last wild ride of the scary forces of Winter.

Large fires are a traditional means of celebration.

* Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, the Beltane Fire Festival is off to its usual wonderful start. One of these years . . . .

* “Mansplaining” is a really good word. It literally articulated an experience that most women have had, but could never exactly explain. Traditional mansplaining is when a man lectures a woman about a topic about which the woman actually knows far more than the man. She wrote the book on it. He’s skimmed the book, making him an expert, and he lectures her based on the book, all oblivious to the fact that she wrote the book.

But we need another word. We need a word that, as far as I know, doesn’t yet exist. It’s a word that describes this thing that happens when your privilege allows you, all oblivious, to lecture other people about a flaw that you, yourself, possess to an extreme measure. The xian bible talks about taking the log out of your own eye before you remove the splinter in someone else’s eye, and that gets close. But someone needs to come up with this word.

A perfect example was Rand Paul’s recent statement about the reaction to the police murder of a young black man in Baltimore. Mr. Paul said:

“There are so many things we can talk about,” the senator said, “the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society.”

Mr. Paul’s college-age son has been in trouble with the law at least three times in recent months:

The 22-year-old son of Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul is facing a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol following a collision in Kentucky last weekend.

Authorities in Lexington, Ky., said William Hilton Paul crashed a maroon 2006 Honda Ridgeline truck into an unoccupied car at 11:24 a.m. Sunday.

Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said Paul was treated at the University of Kentucky hospital for minor injuries to his face. She said Paul was cited for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and failure to maintain insurance.

A spokesman for Rand Paul’s presidential campaign said it had no comment.

The charges mark the third time that William Paul has had a run-in with the law involving alcohol, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported on its site Kentucky.com.

Paul, a senior majoring in communications at the University of Kentucky, was cited for possession of alcohol by a minor in October 2013 at the Keeneland horse racetrack.

In January of that year, he was arrested at the airport in Charlotte, N.C., and charged with simple assault of a 22-year-old flight attendant, consuming beer or wine underage, disorderly conduct and being intoxicated and disruptive on a US Airways flight.

The Charlotte charges were dismissed later under a deferred prosecution program for first time offenders, after William Paul completed alcohol education classes and 150 hours of community service, the newspaper reported.

Somehow, no one has yet shoved a microphone in Mr. Paul’s face and asked him if his son’s acting out is due to a “lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society.” Somehow, Mr. Paul’s son is not in a Baltimore jail, hasn’t had his neck broken, and likely won’t face much more than some additional community service. And, somehow, his own father never for one moment realized what a hypocrite he is to lecture others about absent fathers when his own son is clearly crying for help.

What IS that word I’m looking for?

* And, I’ll just say that the same word applies to a society that locks black men up (in for-profit prisons) at unimaginable rates, and for generally stupid stuff such as possessing marijuana, and then complains about absent fathers.

* You should be reading Gods and Radicals.

* The blogger has been dealing with some health issues, but the new Buzz Coil is out and it’s full of good stuff.

* Terri Windling gets to close out National Poetry Month.

* Here in the Magical MidAtlantic, the jack-in-the-pulpits are in bloom. I have about half a dozen in my woodland garden and I am mad for them. If I ever win the lottery . . . .

* Byron Ballard has some sensible advice for living in Tower Time.

* Remember to wake up tomorrow and go wash your face with the Beltane morning dew. It will keep you lovely and it's good for your eyes.

Picture found here.


4 responses to “Walpurgis Night Potpourri

  1. Yes,we must go to Edinburgh for the Beltane Fire Festival. I am in.

  2. Re. the word that you’re searching for: I don’t know if it’s an exact fit, but I believe that chutzpah may come close–as might hypocrisy

    And a blessed Beltane to you.

  3. Hypocriticism?

  4. I’m posting this blog on the PaganNewsBeagle’s “Fiery Tuesday” roundup. I’m putting it at the end so that all the accumulated FB forwards will pile up and splash on YOUR post. Hopefully, you’ll see a bump in traffic here. 🙂 Thanks for being who you are.

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