It’s been a good few days celebrating Lá Lúnasa. Normally I’m so busy around this time of year that it’s really hard for me to get into the spirit of the festival. This year was slightly less hectic and so I was able to carve out a few days and have a proper celebration.
The eve before the festivities, I sained my homestead by sprinkling menstruum around the property line. (Menstruum is water that has been mixed with gold, silver, or spit. More on that at Tairis.) Traditionally this is sprinkled using a piece of straw but owing to the fact that I didn’t have straw available—and that I wouldn’t feel right using Timothy hay—I decided to use a piece of juniper instead.
Before the saining, I said a prayer over the menstruum which I had adapted from the The Blessing of the Strūan from the Carmina Gadelica:
Each meal beneath my roof,
They will all be mixed together,
In the name of the Dé ocus Andé
Who gave them growth.
Milk, and eggs, and butter,
The good produce of our own flock,
There shall be no dearth in our land,
Nor in our dwelling.
In name of Lugh,
Who bequeathed to us this festival of the first harvest,
With the blessing of Lugh,
And his foster-mother Tailtiu
Humble us at thy footstool,
Be thine own sanctuary around us,
Ward from us spectre, sprite, oppression,
And preserve us.
Consecrate the produce of our land,
Bestow prosperity and peace,
In the name of Lugh Lámhfhada,
And of the Trí Naomh
In the morning it was off to the local farmers’ market to get some fresh produce. But before we could head out, I had to take some pictures of our unexpected visitors:
I took it as a good sign to wake up to crows in my yard. Lúnasa always reminds me of the how Lugh won the secrets of farming from Bres in the Cath Maige Tuired, and seeing the crows reminded me of the blessing that the Badb gave at the end of the battle: Sith co nem, Nem co doman. Doman fo nim. Nert hi cach… (Speaking of which, Gaol Naofa has recently put out a great video about the Badb’s prophecy.)
We returned from the farmers’ market with quite a haul, and I set to making bread and decorating shrines.
I cleaned off the ancestor shrine that I keep and offered some flowers and drink.
And I erected a temporary shrine outside for Lugh and Tailtiu. I decorated with flowers and offered some of the produce that we had gotten at the farmers’ market which was to later make our harvest dinner.
Fresh corn, homemade bread, and creamy potatoes and peas. Delicious. For dessert, individual blackberry pies made from wild-growing blackberries.
And of course no Lá Lúnasa would be complete without at least a little fire.
 Alexander Carmichael, Carmina Gadelica: Ortha nan Gaidheal: Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1900), 215.
 Whitely Stokes, “The Second Battle of Moytura”, in Revue Celtique, vol. 12 (Paris: F. Vieweg: 1891), 110.
That sounds like a wonderful celebration, thanks for sharing. And those wee pies look SO GOOD!
What a beautiful celebration! The photos are lovely.
Nothing Tra la la
Fairy Tales do not inform children that there is such things as monsters. Children already know that there are monsters. What Fairy Tales really teach is that monsters can be transformed or destroyed.
- Paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton
Valor is a comic anthology of re-imaged fairy tales showcasing the talent of some of the top creators in the field of digital comics. The purpose of this book is to pay homage to the strength, resourcefulness, and cunning of female heroines in fairy tales.
The anthology will be young adult friendly and in color, each story being 4 to 15 pages long.
The anthology is being edited by Isabelle Melançon and Megan Lavey-Heaton, co-creators of Namesake, who are also contributing to the anthology.
Other creators involved in Valor include:
- Angelica Maria Lopez - Creator of Solstoria
- Annie Stoll and Tim Ferrera - Creators of Ode
- Elena “Yamino” Barbarich and Ash “Summerlightning” Barnes - Creators of Sister Claire
- Emily Hann - Composer of backgrounds
- Jayd Ait-Kaci and Alex Singer - The masterminds of Little Foolery (Sfeer Theory, Small Town Witch)
- Joanne Webster - Forger of Words
- Justin Lanjil - Master of colors
- Kadi Fedoruk - Creator of Blindsprings
- Laura Neubert - Creator of the Light-Eaters
- Meaghan Carter - Creator of Take Off
- Megan Kearney - Creator of Beauty and The Beast
- Michelle Krivanek - Creator of Alice and the Nightmare
- Morgan Beem - Ink Wielder Extraordinaire
- Nicole Chartrand - Creator of Fey Winds
- Ran and Cory Brown - Creators of The End
- Sara Goetter - Creator of the short comic Haircut
Stories that they’re working on include retellings of classics such as Prunella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wild Swans, and the Little Mermaid. There’s also brand new fairy tales such as the tale of a badass mom, who’s also a knight and a brave hare seeking the blessing of the seasons. We’ll be letting you take a look at the stories throughout the project!
In addition to the 17 stories in the book, some of our crafty writers are also turning out illustrated prose stories that will be available as DRM-free ebooks alongside the print volume! These include retellings of Finette Cendron and Goldilocks.
You can follow the development of these stories through the Valor Anthology Tumblr page.
This is gonna be so awesome.
Remember that time in the manga when Mamoru took the lead and everybody followed him? Even Venus? Even URANUS? Because he was so done with Nehellenia’s nightmare shenanigans that he broke out of her nightmares all on his own and slapped everyone else until they came to their senses? And until this point he’s been the sick, weak guy hiding in his room while they’ve all been gaining even more powers than they had before, but now he has a place in this fight, because Elysian is HIS kingdom and this is his fight as much as theirs? And while even Usagi wanted everyone else to stay behind, he, who always locked himself away from the others, knows how much stronger they all are when they stick together? Yeah, that was a good time.
I know it’s not August 3 anymore, but as far as I’m concerned, every day is Mamoru day.
"Love me, fear me, do as I say and I will be your slave." He says.
"My power is my own, and you cannot hold it over me." I, immediately, respond. He winces. "But if I were to find benefit to myself in your instruction. Mind you, never relinquishing my power to you…"
"You speak like a Fairy. Or a lawyer."
"Oh my gosh, thank you!" I genuinely believe I have been complimented.
Let me tell you some things.
I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.
First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?
Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?
End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?
You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?
And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)
In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!
Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?
“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.
YES ALL OF THIS.
MANDATORY READING FOR EVERYONE!!!
Anecdotes by medical practitioners"A woman came in for a baby check with her 6-month-old and she had what looked like chocolate milk in the baby’s bottle. So he started explaining to her as kindly as he could that she shouldn’t be giving her baby chocolate milk. At which point she interrupts him and says, ‘Oh that isn’t chocolate milk. It’s coffee! He just loves it!”
"I had a patient come in for an STD check. She was very upset and continued to tell me that she only had one partner. Progressing through my assessment, she further divulged that even if he was sleeping with other people it shouldn’t matter ‘because he uses a condom every time and he makes sure to wash it thoroughly after every use’.”
"Had a lady who measured her baby’s temperature by pre-heating the oven and putting one hand in front of it while the other hand was on the baby’s forehead. She told the nurse her baby’s fever was about 250 degrees.”
"Lady has to have foot amputated and is given waiver forms to sign pre-op. Buddy asks if she needs time to think about it. She’s very nonchalant and doesn’t seem to care much what they do. He gets suspicious and probes a bit as to why she’s not more concerned. She says she gets that they have to operate and it’s OK because the foot will grow back.”
"I had a couple who had been trying to conceive for over two years. I asked all the usual questions, how often do you have sex, any previous pregnancy, etc etc. Something seemed off to me during the consult, so I continued to ask questions. Finally I asked if he ejaculated while inserted into the vagina. Both parties looked confused.Turns out the couple was not having insertional sex at all. I had to awkwardly explain to them how insertional sex works. Diagrams were required.”
"Patient comes in, she’s upset. She’s pregnant, and she doesn’t understand why. She’s on the pill. Upon talking to her at great length, I find out that she only takes the pills on the days that she is sexually active – no other time.”
"Patient comes in with her bf. They are indignant, as if somehow I could’ve prevented [the pregnancy]. The problem? Well, the pills were bothering the girl’s stomach, so, being a gallant bf, he decided to start taking them instead.”
“I was explaining the treatment to the husband of a patient about to be discharged. He kept nodding and agreeing with me, but I knew it was flying over his head. Turned out a fundamental problem was that I was describing the drugs as ‘tablets’ and he had no clue what those were.”
Oh my god… I can’t decide if I should laugh or cry…
Okay but do you realize how many of these could be fixed with proper sex ed? It hurts.
Good grief, what are they teaching at school? Nothing? And their parents? Aaargh…
this is why we need to put more money and intention into our education system.