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    Greenman poem…truly perfect for any spiritual path.

  • History Bits

    What we nowadays call the Befana is an image coming from immemorial layers of cultures and symbols. On the one side was the Christian tradition of the Epiphany, the first "revelation" of Christ as man and God to the Magi who came with gifts for the Messiah. On the other side were the many folk and pagan traditions connected to the New Year, and to the twelve days following the winter solstice which in the centuries came to be superimposed on the Christian Christmas cycle.

    The name Befana appeared historically for the first time in writing in a poem by Agnolo Firenzuola in 1549. She is portrayed like an old ugly woman, dressed in dark rags who during the night between 5th and 6th January flies over the houses riding her broom and entering through the chimneys (in modern apartments through a keyhole). Into the socks that children left hanging near the fireplace she leaves candies and gifts for good children, black coal (actually black sugar today), garlic and onions to the bad ones. Parents of course would always include some coal over the gifts, to cheat their children. And the night before the family leaves some wine and cakes for the old lady.


    The name "Befana" is a popular version of the Greeek term "Epiphany" which was the festivity following Christmas, commemorating the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus on 6th January. According to the legend the three wise men on their journey were stopped by an old woman with a broom who asked them where they were going. They told her that they were following a star that would lead them to a newborn baby, and invited her to come along. But she replied that she was busy sweeping and cleaning and did not go. When she realized that the baby was the Redeemer that all the world had been waiting for her regret was so great that she continues to wander about Italy and at the Epiphany (January 6, when the Wise Men finally found the Child Jesus), begins rewarding good children and disappointing those who were bad.

    This was the feast that the children used to wait for throughout the year, in the times when Babbo Natale (created in Coca Cola colors, the fat and joyous symbol of wealth imported from America, where he was derived from the figure of St Nicholas, who in Southern Italy used to bring gifts to children in past centuries) was unknown in Italy. The bony, ragged old lady was much nearer in spirit to the poverty of Jesus, and was the only gift-giver for children. The gifts she delivered were reminders of the gifts that on that same night the Magi following the star had offered to the Divine Child, born in a poor manger in Bethlehem.


    The feast of these fabulous old lady, so much beloved and feared by Italian children, takes origin from the "old lady" which was burned in the squares to celebrate the end of the year, a symbol of time cycles always ending and beginning again. The Befana is also related to the mysterious rites of the Celtic peoples once inhabiting the whole Pianura Padana and part of the Alps, when wicker puppets were set on fire in honor of ancient gods. The witch, the woman magician (the priestess of the ancient celtic culture that knew the secrets of nature) took the form of the Befana. The "coal" that she would leave to the nasty children was actually also a symbol of fertility connected to the sacred bonfires and the "ceppo". The other almost universal symbol accompanying the old lady, the broom, that clearly resembles a magic wand, is also connected to the tree and the nature rituals of the Celts in their forests. In the pre-Christian calendar solstice rites used to celebrate the cycle of the sun, and were slowly merged with the cycle of the life of man and the generations, following one another. This eternal cycle was represented by symbols to exorcise anxiety. In many cultures the relations between grown-ups and children is based on the observance of rules achieved through the fear of punishments and expectations of reward. To this family of figures belong the ogre and witch, transformed into the more positive and pedagogical figures of Santa Claus and the Befana. As a testimonial of this connection, here is an old Italian lullaby that goes.

    In European folklore the twelve days between Christmas and the Epiphany were the period in the year when the presence of witches was most felt. Especially on that twelfth night (see Shakespeare), the night of the Epiphany, which was considered one of the magic nights in the year. And our Befana with her broken shoes actually flies on a broom, another important magic symbol in a number of European cultures. In anthropology the Epiphany, the last festivity of the Christmas period, is considered a celebration of renewal, announcing the coming of the new season. In the peasant culture that was the moment when forecasts and predictions on the future were drawn, and people used to sit around the fireplace telling fantastic tales. On that magical night our great-grandparents used to look into the future interpreting natural phenomena.

    In the Romagna region Epiphany was a pagan festival when the Ancestors (symbols of a worship of the dead connected to agrarian symbols of fertility) brought a good omen of abundance to the living. From that take origin the Befanotti (representing the ancestors) going from home to home singing the "Pasquella", and also the Befana coming down through the chimneys.

    In Abruzzo, as in other Southern regions of Italy, the children's most beloved festivity was called Pasquetta, possibly to remind of the arrival of the Magi to Bethlehem to homage the Child Jesus, or for the songs and music in the streets accompanied by tambourines, cymbals and flutes, especially before the mansions of the rich, requesting gifts and food.

    Widespread in Abruzzo is the worship of little statues of Child Jesus. There is a beautiful tradition in Lama dei Peligni on the evening of the Epiphany. The villagers, especially the children, go to the church to kiss the statue of Gesù Bambino, kept inside a precious silver urn, and dressed in apparel and with a head cover of the year 1759.

    If an olive tree leaf, thrown into the fire, took long to burn it was a sign that the wish would be fulfilled, if instead it burned quickly, the opposite. Girls (see Finamore in "Credenze, usi e costumi abruzzesi") used to pray before going to bed wishing for their future bridegroom to come into their dreams. And under their pillow they placed three broad beans: one full, one without peel, the other half-peeled. Then in the morning they caught one: the full one meant the groom would be rich, the unpeeled one he would be poor, the half-peeled one something in the middle.

    On the morning of January 6th sacristans would go from house to house leaving the "Bboffe water", which was kept for devotion or used to sprinkle the rooms to keep witches away.


    Alas, this picture of the benevolent old fairy has been fading away, year after year, obscured by the myth of the "fat red-dressed laughing servant of consumerism", and the children stare at a playstation screen and not at the sky in search of the Befana.

    On the web site redbefana.com there is an amusing, non-conventional re-evaluation of the Befana:

    "The Befana is Alternative because:
    1- She is Ecological, since she travels on a broom
    2- She is an Animalist, since she does not exploit poor reindeer
    3- She is a Proletarian, since she dresses in non-fashionable clothes
    4- She is a Justice Bearer, since she rewards only deserving ones
    5- She is Tolerant, since her punishments are very mild, just ashes and coal
    6- She is not Exacting, since in exchange for all her work she only takes some bread soaked in wine or milk."

    ©abruzzo2000 – all rights reserved

    *We, at Green Witch, do not claim any material posted as original works of the admins, nor do we benefit in any way by posting these materials.

  • Timeline Photos
    Thank you all my magikal creatures for being patient and all the kind words. I hope you all are well and i shall be back real soon. Hang in there And may love and light shine bright to you and your loved ones.

  • Timeline Photos
    Great Reflexology Chart for Hand Points!
    Join –> @[163735700340561:274:Amazing Facts] for more :)

  • •♥•.Life's Lil Insights K •♥•
    The "old Religion" is the magic of the Earth itself… it is the essence that binds everything together. It will last long beyond "Time of Man"
    【ツ】 Feel free to Share ✔ Like ✔ Tag ✔
    There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it
  • Well it’s Woden’s day and the first day of the new cycle of the moon so today ma…
    Well it’s Woden’s day and the first day of the new cycle of the moon so today may you be free form woe’s and issues that can complicate forthcoming days so you may recharge and regenerate your body and mind, may the gods heal and strengthen you may the goddess hold and comfort you as the elements bring you balance Brightest Blessings Draco )o(/|\

  • 1st Moon Day info:

    Symbols: Lamp, Light.
    Characteristics: Day of creative think…

    1st Moon Day info:

    Symbols: Lamp, Light.
    Characteristics: Day of creative thinking, it's holy and magical, but sometimes it last just a few minutes. It is the first day of a lunar month, the beginning of a new moon cycle. This is a very clean (pure) day. All personal dreams and thoughts that we think on the first lunar day, good or bad, have the potential to become reality, sometimes without our further intervention.

    Recommendations: Analyzing the past and your place in the world, forgiving everyone will help clean soul and get rid of many mental problems. All thoughts have to be perfectly clear. Good for thinking, planning, and visualizing final results of what we want to achieve by the end of this lunar cycle. Meditation on burning candle flame, prayers and mantras, creative visualization of what's desired as the final result, work with mental energies and thought forms is essential.

    Precautions: Avoid personal contacts and group events. Physical strain and stress, exhaustion and fatigue, especially on brain and face. Be careful of what you think and make plans of, negative thoughts may have disastrous consequences. Beginning new and important actions (business) is not recommended. Just thinking, planning and visualization. Alcohol and hot, spicy food is not recommended. Sex should be avoided.

  • Moon Day 1

    A day for making plans and 'symbolic beginnings'. Do not push forwa…

    Moon Day 1

    A day for making plans and 'symbolic beginnings'. Do not push forward too actively in a new direction while the Moon is still invisible in the sky. Instead, try to prioritise the activity which you know will be important for you during the coming month.

    Sit down at the table and work out what needs to be done. Draw up a plan and take the very first step forward. There will be other days for everything else.

  • Wednesday — Woden's day
    Middle English wodnesday, wednesday, or wednesdai
    Old E…

    Wednesday — Woden's day
    Middle English wodnesday, wednesday, or wednesdai
    Old English wodnesdæg "Woden's day"
    Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury"
    Ancient Greek hemera Hermu "day of Hermes"

    Woden is the chief Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic god. Woden is the leader of the Wild Hunt. Woden is from wod "violently insane" + -en "headship". He is identified with the Norse Odin.

    Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, travel, theivery, eloquence and science. He is the messenger of the other gods.

    Hermes is the Greek god of commerce, invention, cunning, and theft. He is the messenger and herald of the other gods. He serves as patron of travelers and rogues, and as the conductor of the dead to Hades.

  • Sunrise: 7:25 AM GMT
    Sunset: 4:20 PM GMT
    Length of Day: 8h 55m
    Tomorrow wil…

    Sunrise: 7:25 AM GMT
    Sunset: 4:20 PM GMT
    Length of Day: 8h 55m
    Tomorrow will be 3m 3s shorter.
    Moon Rise: 8:03 AM GMT
    Moon Set: 4:48 PM GMT
    Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent 0% Illuminated

  • Timeline Photos
    The Dragon

    One of the most powerful totems/spirit animals.
    There are Dragons for each Element; Fire/Air/Earth/Water

    Movement through Space/Supernatural

    Their power is that of shedding its skin and coming out again…being renewed, being transformed.

    The Dragon provides us with protection and possesses magick, which adds extra power to any magick work that is you may perform.

    The Fire Dragon is a symbol of transmutation, energy and mastery, if this is your power animal you will be lent enthusiasm, courage and vitality. Your inner fire will be fuelled. You will be helped to overcome obstacles. You will be given the qualities of leadership and mastery. The fire dragon can also be a strong protector.

    The Air Dragon brings insight, inspiration and vitality. This power animal must be handled with the greatest of respect. With this power animal, large flashes of illumination in intellect and psyche are possible. Insight and clarity will be given for all problems. As always – trust your inner voice.

    The Earth Dragon brings potential, power and riches. You will be shown your potential and your riches – what you are capable of. With the earth dragons assistance, you may discover the beauty and power that lies within you, within us all. The earth dragon resides deep within the Earth and can aid you in grounding scattered energies. When you call on him for help, think of a slowly paced heavy dragon pulling himself toward you. Feel his weight surrounding you. He will nurture you like Mother Earth does.

    The Water Dragon brings connection, depth and passion. The water dragon as power animal brings memories and wishes, perhaps long forgotten yet hidden, to the fore. By squaring up with painful past experiences, a sense of peace and balance can be achieved in our lives. The water dragon will give you the courage and compassion in this challenge.

    (All information found on web- shamanicjourney)
    Posted by Lady Patti
    Artist: Elemental_dragon_sketches_by_NeoSoul333

  • Timeline Photos
    Oh Mighty Dragon set my spirit free

    Transform me into something I should be

    Fly me above the clouds to that I may see

    …All the wonders that are around me.

    Oh Mighty Dragon let me feel your flight

    Let me see through your eyes so bright

    Of all and every thing that is above the light

    The Light that Flows within and through out

    For within you is me, always to be true

    All that I every wanted is in you

    To be Free…To Soar …To be All

    Always to be True to what I am meant to be

    Oh Mighty Dragon Set my Spirit Free

    Free…Soaring…To be Me.

    …Lady Patti – Soar with Your Dragon
    Copyright © 22june2012

    Artist: Unknown

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