In Old English, the word “Lent” — now referring solely to a Christian observance of fasting — was the word for spring. It is related to our word s”lengthen” and “long,” and evokes the growing light of day that we see at this time of year. So when I say that Chase Hill Folk, yesterday, observed Lent, I mean that we stood outside at 6:00, gathered for our monthly ritual and, for the first time since September, the sky was still light.
Golden candle flames flickered in the snow, and as we called upon the goddess Eorthe and the sacred cow who is the generative power that has begun to move through the world around us, wakening the trees and their sap, softening the frozen ground into mud, the sky transformed from dusk to night, a reminder that we still have a month or more before the light half of the year begins in earnest.
Together, our community honored the spirits of plants and animals we consume each day, thanking them for the nourishment they give us. We offered water, fastnacht doughnuts, birch mead and sparkling black currant juice to Eorthe and all these spirits of food, while singing our version of the traditional Æcerbot charm for the fertility of the fields in the coming season
It seems fitting, then, that on this morning after calling for the change of seasons in ritual, we have set our clocks ahead, and our daily activities will be moved one hour further into the light. We are on summer time now, and we have only to wait patiently, and the snow and ice will soon melt off the hill and the earth will spring forth in life and growth once more.