As yet another new season comes around, it's time for another new song, this one with a Norse cultural focus. This started from the idea that while modern winters might feel fun as we stay safe and warm inside well-insulated homes celebrating with friends and family, for our ancestors there was always a fear lurking in the back of their minds: What if the world doesn't warm up again? What if next year's crop fails? What if I get caught outside in -20C weather? What if the sun doesn't come back after the long night, as foretold in Vafþrúðnismál? That sense of mortal peril is built into the season just as surely as fir trees and holly berries.
This song originated from two of the purposes of Samhain, at least in my local grove: First, to honor the final harvest of the last few plants before frost arrives, and to honor our beloved dead, especially those who left us in the last year. From there, it was a matter of looking at what last bits of value we can glean from the passing humans, just as we went through the garden looking for the last tubers and roots that we might eat.
A new season, a new song, this one for Stone Creed Grove's Eleusinia rite organized by yours truly. This song was written in honor of the deity most focused on in that ritual, Persephone, who takes her journey from our world to take up her winter role as queen of the Underworld.
This song was written for the recent Stone Creed Grove Lughnassadh celebration, as a way of honoring the standard heroic story that Lugh exemplifies, but this time from a different perspective than the usual one. What has changed here is that the hero is almost passive in his participation in the events, while the powers of the land (e.g. Morrigan) are testing him in various ways to ensure that he is actually worthy of taking on the burdens of rulership.
With the passage of Ohio's H.B. 6, bailing out unprofitable nuclear power plants at the expense of Ohio residents and renewable power subsidies, it seemed time to revive a song from the anti-nuclear movement of the late 1970's and early 1980's. John Hall's "Power" ended up among the best-known songs of the effort, and I'm proud to say that some of the activists I grew up around, including members of my family, were part of preventing further construction of nuclear fission plants by driving up the costs with both legal and illegal protests.