The Mothers’ flower

A few years ago, I went to a suicide prevention training at my workplace — as a large university, we have a wide set of support services for both students and staff, which is really wonderful. The training was a good one, very hands-on and empowering, but obviously the topic is difficult. By the end of the session, I found myself overwhelmed with emotions, and with a strong desire to pray, specifically to the Matronae. I’ve written before on this blog about these widely attested but poorly known goddesses, and I now include them regularly in my prayers and devotions. At the time, though, this was unusual: I’d only begun walking a pagan path a few months earlier, and though I’d read a few mentions of the Matronae, that was literally it.
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Under the snow waits the promise of May

Back in mid-December, the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus presented Joy!, our annual holiday concert. Like most such concerts, Joy! is only nominally a ‘holiday’ concert; really it’s a Christmas concert, with a token Hannukah piece or two and a smattering of nondescriptly-wintery-but-who-are-we-kidding-really-Christmasy songs. And let me be clear here: I’m fine with that. Our artistic staff does a great job of trying to cast a wide net, but in order for a song to exist in a choral arrangement it really needs to (1) be associated with a tradition that has a history of choral singing; (2) be commercially viable, since composers and arrangers need to pay their rent like the rest of us. For these and other reasons, pagan Yule carols for men’s chorus aren’t exactly growing on trees. Continue reading “Under the snow waits the promise of May”