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Welcome to Mrs Darley's Blog

This blogspot has been created especially for those who wish to share their ideas and thoughts about the natural world as the year turns and the ancient Pagan festivals that were once celebrated by our ancestors.

Poetry, prose craft work, ancient cure craft and general thoughts and feelings on how the change in the weather and seasons makes you feel are all encouraged and welcomed.

Mrs Darley was my once next door neighbour when I lived amongst the wilds of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall back in the early 1990's. Her charismatic ways and unending wisdom lead me on a journey of self discovery as I spiralled ever further into her magical world.

She has since become the central character in the 'Mrs Darley' series of books.

Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers

Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries

Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements

Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A Pagan take on Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent for those who follow the Christian faith and is probably one of the most depressing occasions in the church calender. It was a day upon which the 'Rite of Ashing' took place, where burned ashes (usually obtained from last year's palm crosses) were sprinkled onto the head or forehead in the form of a cross, whilst the body was covered with sack cloth. It was supposed to remind man that from dust he came and to dust he will return.

The custom of ashing however, predates Christian times for an occasion of ashing is described in the Old Testament where Job covers himself in ashes and says, 'I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.'

In 1548 Edward V1 decided to abolish the ritual, but replaced it with what could be described as an even more depressing church ceremony, where the priest would read sentences from the book of Deuteronomy, especially the bit where God curses sinners and states that he will take revenge upon obstinate sinners, such as the unmerciful fornicators, idolators, slanderers, drunkards etc. Following this tirade of abuse everyone was expected to kneel and repeat the psalm, 'Lord have mercy upon me O God.'

It is little wonder that we have trouble loving ourselves if we have been brought up within this regime of self hatred. I jokingly asked my husband what he intended to give up for Lent and his answer was that he intended to give up denying himself pleasure! Now there's a good Pagan soul!

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