Groundhogs on a PlaneFebruary 2, 2010
Turns out it was the pagans who started Groundhog Day, except they used snakes. From Wicca. com…
Brighid’s snake emerges from the womb of the Earth Mother to test the weather, (the origin of Ground Hog Day), and in many places the first Crocus flowers began to spring forth from the frozen earth.
But you can’t have large ceremonies where some jackass in a top hat and sash drags a snake out of its hole to see if it sees its shadow, at least not without some anti-venom on standby. Because if you’re going to go through the trouble of gathering a whole bunch of people outside on a cold February morning just to grab a snake, it’d better be a cool-ass snake. Like a cobra. Or an anaconda. Or a black mamba.
Also few people seem to notice that Groundhog Day coincides with the pagan sabbat of Imbolc, celebrating the coming spring and Avonia the Wiccan Pimp’s favorite goddess Brighid (or Brigid or Bridget depending on how Gaelic you want to go). Brigid is a triple goddess, which explains why she’s the goddess of a lot of things like fire, poetry, childbirth, blacksmithing, wisdom, and leather pants (I may have made that last one up, but then again nine times out of ten if you don’t know who the god or goddess of something is, it’s probably Brigid).
Avonia finds it funny that Halloween gets all the attention from religious types who say it’s satanic because of its pagan roots, however the only people protesting Groundhog Day is PETA.
“Come on,” Avonia says. “We’re asking an animal whether the remaining weeks of winter will be mild or not. It doesn’t get much more pagan than that. Where are the stories of people claiming Groundhog Day is a gateway to hellbound paganism?”
“I think it’s because Halloween/Samhain has proven to be such a commercial success that the god-heads find it threatening,” I say. “Whereas the only people making anything off Groundhog Day/Imbolc is a tiny town in Pennsylvania that no one gives a shit about the other 364 days of the year.”
“What about Easter?” Avonia say. “What the heck do painted eggs hidden by a rabbit have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? Companies make a lot of money on candy and eggs and dye based on our pagan springtime symbol of fertility. Where are the crazy protests and books against the pagan bunny stealing Jesus’s thunder?”
“Because denouncement and condemnation are not butter,” I say. “They do not spread evenly over the toast of outrage.”
“Does that come from an outrage toaster?” says Avonia.
“Yes, and it cooks unevenly,” I say. “Can Brigid fix it? It’s screwing up my English muffins.”
I also have a crock pot of shame. I will have yummy pot roast for these six more weeks of winter.