Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pagan Rites - Reprise

My long time blog friend Lucy has written more than once on this subject. She lives with her husband and her wonderful walking companion, Molly, in France. Her blog is a delight because she is not only a wonderful writer but as well an amazing photographer. Here from a post in 2006 is the source of the poem I wrote in 2009. I think it is not the post that inspired me but it might as well have been. The Little Saints
In that post she wrote
"Despite the popularity of the little saints, and their inclusion in many guides and other books on the region, little effort was made to safeguard them. The originals were stolen some twenty years ago, but fortunately a local antiquarian and woodcarver had made faithful copies, which were installed in their place. These too were stolen two or three years ago ( with the exeption of St Eugenie, who must have been better secured). Only recently has the local commune seen fit to even explain their absence with a notice to the numbers of visitors in cars and camper vans from all over Europe who stop at the chapel. The powers that be, sacred or secular, may not have valued them; they were too pagan, too maverick for the theological correctness of the established church, too crude and odd for the artistic arbiters, and too irrational and superstitious for the secular, intellectual spirit of modern France."

Pagan Rites

I'm a holy thief
Stealing little saints
When nobody looks.
I've kept them in caves,
Come and dance before the flames
I set down in front
Of the half circle
I made of them, tall to short,
But I left behind
Eugenie, not mine
To take, so strong her magic.
I have principles.

Written January 26, 2009 4:25 PM
First posted July 12, 2009


  1. ah, the last four lines unexpected but well earned, i'm sure.


  2. Good morning to you Christopher. It is good to see you are back. My cousin Is a pagan, in a month she is having a handfasting. I am glad for her and hae partner. As far as the law goes pagan worship is legal, and a handfasting should be legal, so in essance the state has no busniss making any type of union legal, or illegal. I have decided that I am going to quote five sources, and say why I am not going to write about them and I am going to tell a story that I want to tell. I have an A in the class If my teacher doesnt like it I'll still pass.

  3. Handfasting, from Wiki


    The term is derived from the verb to handfast, used in Middle to Early Modern English for the making of a contract of marriage. The term is originally from Old Norse hand-festa "to strike a bargain by joining hands." Or a translation from German,"Hände fest halten" that is to hold hands firmly and fixedly.


    The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) forbade clandestine marriage, and required marriages to be publicly announced in churches by priests. In the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent legislated more specific requirements, such as the presence of a priest and two witnesses, as well as promulgation of the marriage announcement thirty days prior to the ceremony. These laws did not extend to the regions affected by the Protestant Reformation.

    In England, clergy performed many clandestine marriages, such as so-called Fleet Marriage, and in Scotland, unsolemnized common-law marriage was still valid.

    By the 18th century, the Kirk of Scotland no longer recognized marriages formed by mutual consent and subsequent sexual intercourse, even though the Scottish civil authorities did. To minimize any resulting legal actions, the ceremony was to be performed in public. This situation persisted until 1939, when Scottish marriage laws were reformed by the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1939 and handfasting was no longer recognized.

    In the 18th century, well after the term handfasting had passed out of usage, there arose a popular myth that it referred to a sort of "trial marriage." A. E. Anton, in Handfasting in Scotland (1958), finds that the first reference to such a "trial marriage" is by Thomas Pennant in his 1790 Tour in Scotland. This report had been taken at face value throughout the 19th century, and was perpetuated in Walter Scott's 1820 novel The Monastery.

  4. So good to read this poem again, I love it and am very honoured! Thank you.

  5. Me too. I'm short on caves these days, though.

  6. Lucy! I am happy you said so. I wanted to compliment you.

    Rachel, your "me too" was about having principles, I'm guessing. I believe you. You wouldn't have taken Eugenie either. :D

  7. I loved the ending. It made me laugh (rare) and spoke a humor I don't often find in your commentary. The poem was...delightful. Yes...I felt delighted.

  8. comme nous le sommes tous des voleurs sainte. divinité banal Notre-Dame de la Garde.

  9. Ghost I did not know you could fend for yourself in French. We all are holy thieves...the small is divine. Something like that.

    Our Lady of the Guard, The Basilica of Our Guardian Lady. A beautiful church though a new one, apparently rebuilt a couple times over the centuries - the site being part of a church since the early 1200s. Go to Marseilles to see it on the highest point in the city, Wiki says.

    Thank you for your visit and your share, my very good friend. Sometimes I would very much like to take tea or something with some of you out there. Ghost, you are definitely one I would like to spend my time getting to know.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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