Based on the number of blog hits I’ve had today, I can tell what most pagans and polytheists have not been doing…
One of my colleagues at Patheos.com’s Pagan channel, Jason Mankey (who will be on a panel that I’ll also be on at PantheaCon in just under two weeks!), has spoken very highly of this particular S.B. Sunday festivity, and he seems like a nice and reasonable guy, so I thought: why not?
When we ventured out this morning, and throughout the rest of the day, I was amazed at how quiet the world seemed, and how empty the streets often were. Where was everyone? Strange.
It’s the end of the season, and this one last hurdle remained for us to complete to consider the year done and dusted. It didn’t look easy, and there were some logistical difficulties to overcome along the way. However, I’m happy to report that our S. B. Sunday events turned out quite nicely.
The crowd was huge–one of the biggest I’ve ever encountered–as you can see here:
The opposition was fierce, but we had good leadership on our side, and we were rallied to the cause and very much on target with our goals, much to the chagrin of the other team.
And, in the end, we finished things up as one always should after such a great and resounding victory against all odds: with giving thanks to the many gods in an appropriate and devotedly humble fashion for all the wonderful things they do for us.
So, that’s the old year and all of the bad lingering influences of it (symbolized by the oni) gone, and the new year of the (Water) Snake definitively begun, with the blessings of the kami and the official start of Spring in Shinto tradition being tomorrow!
And thus was our S. B. Sunday–or, for those who don’t know, Shinto Bean Sunday, or Setsubun Sunday, or Soy Imbolc Sunday! (And you can read more about the traditions and symbolism behind this festival here and here.)
Oh! And, since I am aware of what’s going on in the rest of the world, I should of course mention the other major event that took place today. Apparently, near the mouth of the Mississippi–the great Old Man River (who is obviously Sabazios)–there was a major sacred agon today between a group of old gold miners and some ravens. It drew a huge crowd from all over the place, not unlike the Eleusinian Mysteries upon which they are likely either based or are at least in some sense related. Being that the raven is an oracular bird associated with Apollon, and there is also gold involved, I suspect this entire thing has to do with the Hyperborean Mysteries. Apollon winters there (and is still there at present), and of course not far from Hyperborea are the gold-guarding griffins, and that gold has to come from somewhere…It’s a mystery, as the phrase goes. I could try and tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you, being it’s a mystery and all. ;)