"See the blazing Yule before us..." This is just one of the many ancient British folk songs we all know and love. Other tunes and symbols that tug on our memories have similar historical roots, hearkening back to a shared Pagan past. These dances, songs, and theatrical plays in the English folk tradition are now little known to most of the modern Pagan community. Reviving these vital traditions can bring new life to Renaissance festivals, neopagan rituals, and community events.
Introducing the lively music and homegrown entertainments of times long past, this descriptive how-to is designed for twenty-first-century joviality. The songs, dances, and plays of old are explained in their mythical, seasonal, and historical significance and outlined for easy reenactment. Simple-to-follow instructions detail six dances including the popular Abbots Bromley Horn dance, six full scripts for dramatic performances of Mummer's Plays (folk plays of death and rebirth), and over thirty songs with lyrics and music. Kick up your heels, hold high your skirts, and make merry the year through.
Pagan festival season is almost upon us. Many Pagans spend a portion of each summer enjoying the community, the openness, and the freedom of Pagan festivals. Many others are simply not aware of these events, or are only aware of Pagan gatherings in their own backyard. Some may have heard about large-scale Pagan fests, but have wondered, "Will I fit in? Will others have more knowledge and...
Maypole dancing is community celebration of Beltane, from the youngest to the oldest. However, it is often difficult for little legs to keep up with the adults, and young children tend to tucker out long before they can weave their ribbon around an often ten- or twelve-foot Maypole. What can be done to ensure that kids get as much enjoyment about of the community Beltane celebration of Maypole dancing? Bronwen Forbes, author of Make Merry in Step and Song, details how to make Maypole dances fun for all.
The sands of time cannot erase the ancient ways of the Middle East. Generations of selective history and the destruction of sacred sites cannot destroy them. Elusive, like shimmering heat from a sun-warmed mudbrick, the magic endures. Cast your eyes over the ruins glittering in the golden sun and embrace their foundation. The sun set on the... read this article