Religious Holidays: Imbolc / Candlemas 2021

Imbolc, in the Celtic seasonal calendar, signals the beginning of Spring and the stirrings of new life and marks the beginning of the lambing season. It is Feile Brighde, the ‘quickening of the year.’ The original word Imbolg means ‘in the belly.’ All is pregnant and expectant. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of earth awakening and life-force stirring. Imbolc 2021 in Ireland will begin in the evening of Monday, February 1 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, February 2. A lesser known pagan holiday, Imbolc falls exactly halfway between the Winter Solstice (Yule) and the Spring Equinox (Ostara). Daylight is increasing and spring is the air.

Imbolc is traditionally the festival honoring the Goddess Brigid (Brighid, Bride, Brigit), so loved as a pagan deity that her worship was woven into the Christian church as St Bridget. As Christianity spread from Rome to northern Europe and the British Isles Imbolc was adopted as Candlemass, still celebrated on February 2. Brigid is a Goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft and also a of Fire, of the Sun, and the Hearth. She brings fertility to the land and its people and is closely connected to midwives and new-born babies. Also referred to as the Feast of Pan, Feast of Torches, Feast of Waxing Lights, and Oimele (“ewes milk”).

It is time to let go of the past and to look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. This can be done in numerous ways, from spring cleaning your home to clearing the mind and heart to allow inspiration to enter for the new cycle. It’s a good time for wish-making or making a dedication.

WAYS TO CELEBRATE IMBOLC
Eat your dinner by candlelight
Create meals with intention for what you want to accomplish in the coming year
Create authentic medieval fare such as roasted meats, hearty breads and old fashion desserts
Have a romantic dinner or for a few of your favorite people
Decorate your favorite room with candles in the evening
Take time to meditate or journal in your candlelit room
Weather permitting, take some time to go outside and enjoy the lengthening days and increased sunlight. Take a walk to appreciate this period of rest for the earth and nature.

According to the author Patti Wigington, “Although traditionally Imbolc is associated with Brighid, the Irish goddess of hearth and home, there are a number of other deities who are represented at this time of year.”

Some of these are…. Continue reading

IT’S FURRY FRIDAY; Celebrating Yule, the Winter Solstice!

Season’s Greetings and Solstice Blessings to You All!


This coming Monday—December 21st—is Yule, the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It is a festival historically connected to ancient celebrations of the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht. Yule predates the Christmas holiday by thousands of years, and is in fact, one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.

Some Neo-Pagans consider this the day the Holly King and the Oak King meet once again in battle—the last time was the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year—and it is on Yule that the Holly King falls in battle and the Oak King takes up the crown. And this action will, bit by bit, allow the days to grow longer and bring Summer back once again.

Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this, they had a great reverence for, and even worshipped, the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that some believe the word Yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories, and drank sweet ale.

The Winter Solstice was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids—Celtic priests—would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.

It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the Yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits, and bring luck for the coming year. Many of these customs are still followed today and have been incorporated into the Christian and secular celebrations of Christmas.

Today’s Furry Friday ends our celebration of the Eight Neo-Pagan holidays and features bearded men that we feel represent this very important day. We hope you enjoy the men we found and present to you here. Check them out, and please don’t forget to vote!

May the light of the Sun shine on in your life and in your heart and in the coming year!
BG “Ben” Thomas
Noah Willoughby

See the Men by Clicking Here

Update On My Shoulder Surgery

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With a lifetime, I’ve learned a lot, and right thereat the top is not to worry about things I have no control over, especially if what I’m worried about is in the future. Yesterday does not exist. Tomorrow does not exist. There is only this moment. And between now and tat future moment I choose to worry about? Experience has taught me time and time and time again that … anything can happen. Worrying accomplishes nothing except add onto the potential problem. Because then I have that only “potential” problem, and all the awful convoluted troublesome stress of worrying about it as well.

I am not getting surgery the day after Thanksgiving. Continue reading

Ganesh Chaturthi Blessings To All!


Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day long Hindu festival celebrated to honor the elephant-headed God Ganesha’s birthday who is believed to be the lord of beginnings and the remover of obstacles. It marks also his arrival on earth with his mother, the Goddess Parvati. And finally also marks the day when Lord Shiva declared Ganesha to be above all Hindu Gods.

According to Hindu mythology, the Goddess Parvati created Lord Ganesha from the dirt on her body, and told him to guard the door while she was having a bath because her husband was want to stroll right in on her, no matter how many times she had asked him to knock first. It was one thing for him to see her naked, he was her husband and Lord of the Universe. But she thought he should at least knock! Common courtesy!

In the story, one day Lord Shiva returned to their residence, Ganesha stopped him from entering. He had a god’s strength after all and it was quite a battle. But in the end Continue reading

FURRY FRIDAY! MAGICKAL MEN!

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When I realized that the eve of first holiday celebrating the Turning of Wheel of 2020 fell on a Friday, I asked Noah if he’d mind me stepping in a bit! February 1st is known by many names. Candlemas, Imbolc or Imbolg, Brigantia and St Brigid’s Day (the Christian version of the holiday), and it celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days and the early signs of Spring. It has been traditionally tied in with the first lambs, but also (as a fire festival) the hearth and the blacksmith. And more! Also bards and I was pleasantly surprised to discover, the bear (the bear was one of the earliest forms of the goddess, perhaps because this is when they begin to awaken). Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, and while traditionally honoring the goddess Brigid, I thought it would be a fun little twist to share the “furry” or “bearded” side as well. So without further ado…here are the men doing honor to this day. Enjoy! And don’t forget to vote!!  Continue reading

Happy Autumn, Peaceful Autumnal Equinox, and Bright Mabon Blessings

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”
~~ Oscar Wilde

It’s a lovely time of year and what I will focus on. It is a time of change, and change can be good. I’m calling on the good and I pray for it for you as well. I don’t like the cold. But I like cuddling and autumn colors.

My Pagan friends celebrate this day as Mabon, and the Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we can all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark and give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year’s crops. According to “The Celtic Connection,” the Druids call this celebration, Mea’n Fo’mhair, and honor the Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.

Did you know that Fall leaf colors actually exist all year long? Leaves come in all different colors including yellow and orange and purple and red, but we normally see they as green most of the year because chlorophyll is produced more in the summer months. As the Earth tilts, they get less sunlight and therefor the chlorophyll production goes down and the natural colors of the leaves comes through!

Did you know Fall isn’t caused by the Earth’s distance from the sun? That’s right. Fall, like all of the seasons, is caused by the Earth’s tilt in relation to the sun. It gets warmer in each hemisphere when that hemisphere tilts toward the sun and colder when it leans away.

Fall is only “Fall” to Americans, even though the term was coined in Britain. The word “harvest” was used until the 1300’s, but sometime after, poets coined the phrase “the fall of leaves” — shortened to “Fall” in the 1600s. The word “autumn” still remained popular throughout England’s period of colonizing the world. The lack of consistent communication between the English and the people in the American colonies led to differences in the language. By the mid-1800s, the word “fall” had firmly rooted itself in America.

I suspect one day soon I’ll be running around taking lots of pictures, if I can get them. Autumn often lasts about a week here in KC—LOL!—because it will be just starting to turn colors and then a big storm will hit and all the leaves will be gone. But those couple days?

BEAUTIFUL!

I hope that your day and your season are filled with blessings and that the changes will be the best ever!
BG “Ben” Thomas
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I got some of my information from here!:
CNN Travel: “The first day of fall is here. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know.”
By Cassandra Santiago and Amanda Barnett CLICK HERE
The Celtic Connection: “Mabon” CLICK HERE

A Re-Blog from Love Bytes: I Thought I Would Share a Special Moment (or two) With You!

POSTED BY B.G. THOMAS ON JULY 27, 2019 IN LOVEBYTES

Thought I would share the guest post I did for Dani Elle Maas’s amazing MM Romance blog, LoveBytes yesterday. You can read it below or also the original post by Clicking Rich HERE. The advantage of doing the second is you will see a wonderful world of articles, essays, reviews and more. Either place you can see what I have to say about gays being homogenized and heteronormalized AND even BETTER, you can see the video of my drag act.

Not bad, huh?

Check it out, Girlfriends!
Love,
BG “Ben” Thomas

I Thought I Would Share a Special Moment (or two) With You!

Some of you may know that each year I go to a retreat called Midwest Men’s Festival. It’s the center of my year. In many ways the axis my world revolves around. It’s that important to me. It even inspired my novel, Summer Lover.

It’s a little hard how to explain just what Midwest Men’s Festival is. Without writing a novel here, that is, instead of an essay. If you ever saw that episode of Queer As Folk where Michael and Emmet go to Faerie Camp, you can get an idea. But part of what it is a total rejection of the homogenization and heteronormalizing of gay men.

What I mean by that is that it often feels that a big part of why gay men are becoming more and more “accepted” (and I can’t speak for LBTQ) is that we as a culture are becoming more and more Continue reading

In This Life…Please Keep Looking for the Silver Lining!

Today a friend of mine sent me a link that turned out to be titled, “Dad Charged With Intentionally Shooting 2-Year-Old Son In The Face With A Shotgun.”

I was stunned. And I did not read it. But I did ask him why he sent it to me.

His answer was, “I sent it to a lot of people. Because people need to see the reality of what’s going on in the world.”

And when I asked him why people needed to know about his “reality,” he responded with, “What are you 5? Sorry I sent it to you!”

I could only say, “WTF?”

His reply: “Why why why? Lol, that’s why I asked that. I just sent out a mass text. I think it’s sad and crazy how our world is getting. I just read yesterday at least three cases of kids killing their parents. And a 5 year old boy where I live was killed by his parents. And now one about these kids killed their parents video games!!!!

My reply was this….  . Continue reading

🍀🍀 St Patrick’s Day in KC: Shamrocks and Shenanigans 🍀🍀

Shamrocks and Shenanigans…

That is the theme this year of Kansas City’s huge St. Patrick’s Day parade. Not sure what that means, but I’m sure it isn’t quite as drunken as it might sounds (although we do tend to party today).

Several years ago a good friend of mine convinced me to head downtown with him to watch my first KC St Pat’s parade and I had a wonderful time. Life changes, friendships some times fade, but for years I kept going, even if Continue reading

BOY ERASED – My Thoughts After Seeing It

Noah got this movie for us to watch, but I had to watch it on my own first. He was not raised extremely conservative Christian as I was. I need to absorb this movie. And let me say right now it is a rough one.

I was never sent to an ex-gay camp or school or anything like that. But this movie drug me down a gravel road. It brought back so many scary awful memories. The horror and shame I felt for being gay. The questioning. The crying myself to sleep begging God to fix me…to make me straight. I just kept asking… God? Why would you give me these feelings and then tell me I’m going to hell for having them?

And I would be told by “helpful” Christians, who pointed out all the verses in the Bible, that God didn’t give me those feelings. It was Satan, using every tool at his disposal to get me away from God. Another “helpful” suggestion was that Continue reading