Today, is the Feast of the Presentation of The Lord for Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and some Lutherans. It is also known as Candlemas and, more importantly for this discussion, "The purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary". Why did she need purification? Because the antique Jewish faith required purification anytime you touched blood or semen and Mary had given birth some forty days before. Forty was a number that signified completion. We will shortly begin forty days of Lent for our purification.
At the same time, this is one of many Christian feasts that were intended to replace a pre-existing pagan feast, so the Roman feast of purification Februa/Lupercallia, becomes the Purification of Mary. As a believing Catholic and a married man fond of ritual and domesticity, I still can’t help feeling that something has been lost here, that swapping a warlike Juno for meek little Mary, and that’s the the way we celebrate her today, was a bad deal.
The photo at the top is a piece of driftwood from Pocologan, New Brunswick. I think it looks like, or can be seen as if you prefer, a pagan wolf.