Are We Pagani or Urbani?
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Article ID: 10646
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,724
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Author: Meph [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 25th. 2006
Times Viewed: 3,290
As a teaching group, we try and raise awareness of many issues. This is one of them.
Pagan, from the Latin paganus, a peasant or countryman, from pagus, country.
Urban, not Pagan?
When was the last time you really paid attention to outside, other than to see if you needed long or short sleeves and an umbrella? When was the last time you spent any appreciable time in the country? Watched a sunrise or a moonset? As we become more and more adopted to city-living, how much do we loose touch with that which was pagan inside of us? The Cycle of the Year, the seasons, being connected to the earth – are all these things slipping further away from us?
In the US in 1800, about 6% of the population lived in an urban area, 94% lived in rural areas. In the US in 2000, 79% lived in urban areas. Only about 3% of us are involved in agriculture as an occupation. We are no longer a country of pagani; perhaps we are a country of urbani? For those of us who choose to practice magic, how does being an urbani affect our connection to the earth, and our ability to work magic?
Here I’ll raise a few questions. Most are agricultural-related, but then growing plants is a very strong link to the earth. If you can answer all of them correctly, then I salute you as a true pagani, regardless of where you live. If you can’t, then perhaps you need to stop and look around you a bit more.
Day and Night
In this day and age of electric lights and purchased foods, daylight and dark have little meaning. Turn on the lights, drive down streets illuminated with streetlights. But as we celebrate the ever-continuing struggle between dark and light, do we recognize it in our daily life? Do you know what time the sun rose for you this morning? Or what time is your sunset this evening?
When’s the last time you got up early to watch the sunrise? Or stopped your daily routine to watch the sunset?
We all know the four solar Sabbats. Spring and Fall Equinox are when the days and nights are in balance; 12 hours each. And Summer and Winter Solstice is when day and night is most out of balance. But can you answer, for where you live, how out of balance are they? How long is day and night for your covenstead at the Solstices?
Day length at Summer Solstice for a few selected locations around the world is given below.
Location: Day Length at Summer Solstice
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 12:18
Miami, FL: 13:45
Tokyo, Japan: 14:35
New York City, NY: 15:05
Seattle, WA: 16:00
London, UK: 16:38
Copenhagen, Denmark: 17:33
Spitsbergen, Norway: 24:00
I’m sure you know when Full and New moon are for your location (you do, don’t you?) . But do you know when moonrise and moonset are?
When’s the last time you made the effort to watch a moonrise or a moonset?
How much do you know about your locale’s growing season and weather? How many of these can you answer?
- What’s growing season where you live?Do you know how to define what a “growing season” is for where you live? In much of the US, it’s defined as “the days between the last and first frost, or the days between the last and first 32°F (freezing) lows.” In Europe, it’s usually defined as: “number of days a year with a 24-hour average temperature of at least 5°C.”
- What are your average dates of the first and last frost?
- What are the records for earliest and latest frosts?
- What is average rainfall for your covenstead? Are you at, below or above average for 2006? How about 2005?
- What’s your average high and low for this time of year? Are you above or below it?
- If you live in the US, do you know what Plant Hardiness Zone you live in?
- For those of you who practice Western European-based: for your locale, which of the traditional Ogham tree-alphabet trees will grow?
- For whatever you practice which plants that are sacred or meaningful to you will grow in your locale?
- For your locale, which of the herbs you use most often would grow?
Take a look around you. It’s Spring. What’s happening? All of a sudden one day you realize the trees (or some of them, at least) have budded, and you didn’t notice. Plants are blooming (and sinus problems are coming soon). But have you really paid attention to what’s going on?
I suggest you pick a small plot of ground somewhere close to where you live. It can be your back yard, or a nearby park. Just a bit of planted ground.
What’s planted there? How many of the plants can you identify? Find out what the rest are. Are they native or imported? How old are they? What looks like it’s been there forever, and what’s new?
Now watch your little plot for a full year. Visit about once a week. What’s different? What’s changed? How does the area feel? Is the energy different? What’s budding, blooming, leafing, wilting, dying? Is the ground dry or damp? What animals and insects are about?
Make notes each time you go. If you have a digital camera handy, take pictures. Make a notebook of a year-and-a-day in the life of your plot. Then, if you like, keep on watching and see its changes not only during a year but over longer time.
Pagani or Urbani
Think about how close you are to the earth and to its seasonal changes. Even if you live in the middle of a city, you can still be aware of the changes of the cycle of the year. It just takes a little bit of research, and maintaining an awareness of what’s going on with Nature beyond whether or not you need an umbrella when you go out next.
For More Information
For Solstice length at your location, see http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.html
For Equinox, Solstice and Cross-Quarter information, see http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2006.shtml
For Moon phases, see http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/MoonPhase.html#y2006
For the Hardiness Zones, see http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2006 by Meph. All Rights Reserved.
Location: Dallas, Texas
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