Weather Prognostication and the Wooly Bear Caterpillar

The Druid's Garden

In the last week, I’ve seen almost 50 wooly bear caterpillars. These caterpillars are also known as “wooly caterpillar”, “bear caterpillar” and “wooly worms” (latin: phyrrhartica isabella). These fuzzy, brown and black caterpillars come out just as the weather grows cold. I often find hidding in woodpiles or garden mulch getting ready to hibernate till the spring. The cold seems to summon them forth–you see nothing of them all summer, and then, a few weeks before Samhain they are everywhere. And, dear readers, they are here with a message.

These caterpillars, not unlike other famous wildlife in the area, have long been known to predict the harshness of winter. If a wooly bear caterpillar has more brown than black, that means the winter is mild. But, if the caterpillar has more black than brown, the winter will be tough. Here’s a graphic I made to share this wooly bear caterpillar…

View original post 532 more words

Our Winter goddess and the calm in the storm

Beltane Fire Society

Samhuinn Fire Festival is sometimes seen as a battle between two seasons, but there is a key third aspect of our story that leads the ritual turn from Summer to Winter. We sat down with Kate, who this year will embody the mysterious Cailleach, to learn more about her interpretation of the Crone goddess.

Photo of Kate as a Blue. Copyright Vince Graham for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

First a bit of background. The Cailleach traditionally manifests as an old woman, part of the triple goddess who changes as the seasons turn. At Beltane Fire Festival She emerges as the May Queen, goddess of the Summer when new plants and animals flourish. In Winter She is older, a Winter goddess associated with the formation of the landscape and fierce storms that batter the land, and She plays a pivotal role in maintaining the balance…

View original post 507 more words