April 30, 2003

'And the children dance to the pipes of Pan...'
30 April: St Sophia's Day. She was originally the spirit of female wisdom, symbolised by the dove of Aphrodite, later transformed into the dove of the holy ghost. Sophia was God's female soul, source of its power. Her greatest shrine is Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, one of the wonders of the world. For the Celts, May Eve was Beltane, the spring festival when witches and spirits were abroad. As the sun sets, May Eve, or Walpurgisnacht, begins with the ceremonial cutting of the May bush.* Walpurgis derives its name from Walpurga or Walburga. Walburga, Abbess of Heidenheim near Eichstätt, a Catholic Saint, was known as the protectoress against witchcraft and sorcery.

*Don't get me started.

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