The Highest Compliment You Can Give Is Censorship

Yes, I’m still alive.  Yes, I’m still publishing salacious material that most countries would ban.  In case you cared (which knowing you, you probably didn’t), my Lammas to Mabon hiatus was due to being tied up in a corn field somewhere in the deep South watching all the sexy dove hunters sashay around in their camo, with their big guns and dead little birds.

This is Banned Book Week, probably my favorite week of the year.  If you’ve never heard of Banned Book Week, you’re the reason why it was created.

Chances are, whether you’ve done so consciously or not, you’ve probably read a banned book–especially if you read metaphysical/Pagan books.  If you’ve never checked out the Banned Book Week website, I encourage you to do so:   http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/.

Today we are also starting something fun, Woodman Wednesdays!  I think Francesca Woodman took some really provocative images, so each Wednesday I’ll share some.  It’ll be fun.

These folks read banned books (and some have even written them!):

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Come visit, shop, and order your Yule presents from Mystic Artisans at Piedmont Pagan Pride Day, Sept. 28, 2013, Charlotte, NC.  http://piedmontpaganpride.com/

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com  Check out Devouring Milo, Tonia’s newest work: http://www.amazon.com/Devouring-Milo-ebook/dp/B00DWZYWKO

 

Eating wrens and other small birds

While there’s much speculation about the origins and meanings behind “The Cutty Wren,” for our purposes, we’re going assume that like everything, it has a hidden Pagan origin that has been corrupted over the years.  The wren, in unverified European lore, corresponds to the Holly King that rules from Midsummer to Midwinter.  The cock robin corresponds to the Oak King (sometimes called the Ivy King) that rules from Midwinter to Midsummer.  Twice a year they battle to see who will rule for the next half of the year.

It’s been speculated that this tradition stems from the Celtic (and other groups’) sacrifice of a “Year King”, which fits perfectly with the theme of the
“Cutty Wren” and the season of Yule.

In more modern times, the wren is symbolically hunted on the day after Christmas (St. Stephen’s Day), a dummy wren is attached to a pole, and a dance follows.  During the triumphant post-hunt procession of the wren, a monetary collection is taken up by the hunters or “wren boys.”

The tradition of the cutty wren can easily be incorporated into modern Pagan practice during the Yule season.  The easiest way is to take a cue from the wren boys and make a monetary contribution to a cause.  Since the wren hunt is all about sacrifice, taking a monetary present that someone has given you and passing it along would be extremely fitting.  Another easy way to remember the wren is to eat a small game bird.  While modern Americans are no longer legally suppose to eat small song birds, it was not uncommon for our colonial forefathers to enjoy savory pies stuffed full of sparrows, wrens, robins, and other backyard visitors.  However, doves are still legal, and farm-raised pigeons (which are really doves) can be obtained at some of the fancier food markets.  If you want the “real” experience, consider killing and dressing the bird yourself.  Eating the wren or its representative is tasty way to internalize its magical significance.

Can’t find a dove?  Roosters are another bird representative of the Yule season since they symbolize the rising Sun.  Live roosters are available at many flea markets and small animal auctions.

If you want an even more primal experience, you can cut the rooster’s head off with a knife while you hold him tucked under your arm.  This method makes it easier to collect his blood for magical use.  For a healthier (and less messy) plucking alternative, consider pulling the skin off the carcass once your bird has been beheaded.  It’s a lot easier than plucking and scalding.  Rooster meat can be really tough and it needs to be cooked (or pre-cooked) in either a crock pot or a pressure cooker.  Brining the meat before use also aids in tenderizing it.

The wren hunt, like all hunts, can be sexually charged.  Sometimes the best sacrifices are of ourselves in bed.  Who will be wren and who will be the robin?

http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/music-medium-ruth-ewan-cutty-wren

Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Sparrow,
with my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.
Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly,
with my little eye,
I saw him die.
Who caught his blood?
I, said the Fish,
with my little dish,
I caught his blood.
Who’ll make the shroud?
I, said the Beetle,
with my thread and needle,
I’ll make the shroud.
Who’ll dig his grave?
I, said the Owl,
with my pick and shovel,
I’ll dig his grave.
Who’ll be the parson?
I, said the Rook,
with my little book,
I’ll be the parson.
Who’ll be the clerk?
I, said the Lark,
if it’s not in the dark,
I’ll be the clerk.
Who’ll carry the link?
I, said the Linnet,
I’ll fetch it in a minute,
I’ll carry the link.
Who’ll be chief mourner?
I, said the Dove,
I mourn for my love,
I’ll be chief mourner.
Who’ll carry the coffin?
I, said the Kite,
if it’s not through the night,
I’ll carry the coffin.
Who’ll bear the pall?
We, said the Wren,
both the cock and the hen,
We’ll bear the pall.
Who’ll sing a psalm?
I, said the Thrush,
as she sat on a bush,
I’ll sing a psalm.
Who’ll toll the bell?
I said the Bull,
because I can pull,
I’ll toll the bell.
All the birds of the air
fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
when they heard the bell toll
for poor Cock Robin.

 

These folks wish you all the best during the Yule season:

Mystic Artisans: https://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com