Tag: John Barleycorn

Happy Spring

If you’re a regular person, Happy Spring. If you’re a starwatcher, Happy

Vernal Equinox. If you’re a pagan type, happy Ostara. And if you’re

going through a little Celtic phase like me, then it’s  Latha na

, the day when Brighid finally defeats the Cailleach (the

“Crone” or “Hag”, bringer of Winter) and begins her reign over the

warm half of the year.  Give credit where it’s due, the Hag held on

till the bitter end this year. I’m still not 100% convinced she’s done

toying  with us.

It’s a good time of year to smile and take comfort from the fate of

John Barleycorn, a very old symbol of the eternal recurrence of life.

Way back in November at Samhain they:

“… took a plough and plough’d him down,

Put clods upon his head,

And they have sworn a solemn oath

John Barleycorn was dead!”

Ah, but was old John really dead? Of course not. Everything always

comes back, nothing dies forever:

“But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,

And showers began to fall;

John Barleycorn sprang up again,

And sure surpris’d them all!”

Happy Spring, y’all. Give a wave and a howdy to Mister Barleycorn when

he comes striding through your fields.  He has important work to do,

but he’s always willing to stop in for a cup or a pint of any

fermented barley-based beverages you might happen to have lying about.