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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Does Your Litha Garden Grow?

The first day of summer is tomorrow, and I for one, am imagining lush green plants and foliage. What better way to honor Midsummer than with a Litha garden? Even if you live in an urban setting, you can get adventurous with the right size pots for roots, some potting soil, and cages for the vines to grow correctly.

When thinking of sun colors, I would definitely plant some tomatoes. If you’re in the Midwest, you should still be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor come August, and now there are so many varieties to choose from. Pretty multi-colored heirlooms, lush romas, or the ever versatile and easy-to-grow cherries are all good options. Likewise, some nice orange or red bell peppers would do well planted now. The tomatoes are the ones that need extra room for roots and wire cages to help the vines grow properly up top. For an inexpensive potting option, purchase some large plastic bins from a hardware store like Menards and drill holes in a circle along the bottom. Fill with nutrient rich plant soil and be sure to secure the roots of your tomato plants deep within it. Watering is of the utmost importance, and if you don’t live in a naturally rainy climate, you really need to keep up with this every day. A good amount is needed to truly keep the soil moist for a healthy, thriving plant.

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The Warriors Shield

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Summer Solstice Water Oracle 2019

Water is a powerful and prevalent element at the Summer Solstice, which is when the Sun enters Cancer. Cancer is the cardinal (first) water sign, as it is the sign that kicks of the season of summer. In the northern hemisphere, this is the day when the Sun shines the longest. This year it enters Cancer on Friday, June 21st, at 11:54 a.m. EDT – right at midday. How appropriate! This is an exceptionally magical in-between time, as we are halfway through the year and the Sun makes its entry into Cancer right in the middle of the day. This is a great time and energy to use for any rituals, meditations, journeying, spells or intuitive readings.

Some especially important and helpful things to focus on at this time include our homes, which are our sanctuaries where we care for ourselves and recharge from our day-to-day activities out in the world, as well as our personal direction for the rest of the year. Cancer is the sign that is most concerned with the home, comfort and care. If you or someone you know is a Cancer (certainly at least a typical Cancer), you/they are likely to be very homey, motherly types of figures who like to take care of others, make sure everyone is comfortable and well, and that the home is especially beautiful, comfortable and in order.

So this Solstice, check in with yourself and the state of your home. What do you need to feel more nourished, and what does your home need to be more lovely and comforting? The world is getting crazier all the time and we can all benefit from making sure our personal retreat and downtime are as nurturing and healthy as possible.

In addition to the Water oracle readings I do and publish on my blog, The Oracle of Water, for each new and full moon, I felt inspired to do one for the Summer Solstice as well, as not only is there obvious Water energy with Cancer, but Neptune also turns retrograde on the Solstice and the Moon is in the sign of Aquarius – the Water Bearer. Granted, Aquarius is an Air sign but, being the Water Bearer, it obviously has water associations as well. Air also has a relevance for this time, as will be revealed by the card that bears Water’s message for this Solstice.

This time I did something unique to receive that message which became a ritual that would be great to try on the Solstice, if you feel so inclined, with any personal touches or adjustments. I set up a space in the middle of the floor with a purple cloth and placed one seashell with specific meanings in each direction. You could use shells if you have them (to enhance and work with Water’s current energy), or stones or any other natural or significant objects you have.

In the East, the direction of new beginnings and the rising Sun, I placed a Lettered olive shell which, according to Michelle Hanson’s Ocean Oracle seashell divination system (which currently studying for certification to give professional shell readings), represents “an invitation to opportunity”.

In the South, a Moon snail shell, which has to do with enhancing and exaggerating experiences (ideally in a good way, as in focusing on and increasing the positive aspects!)

In the West, I placed a Scotch bonnet, which is not in the Ocean Oracle but I have learned (for my own understanding and uses at least) means “pioneering and ancestry”. Follow the link to read my blog post all about the Scotch bonnet and how I found its meaning.

In the North, I placed a Green turbo, which is about determining one’s own value.

Lastly, in the center, along with a bowl of water, I placed a beautiful abalone shell which bears seven holes. Michelle Hanson equates the abalone with spirituality and further attributes the number of holes a shell bears to the corresponding chakra, so mine is attuned to the seventh or crown chakra. In this shell I placed my green fluorite pendulum.

I used this pendulum because of green fluorite’s appropriate and helpful energies as outline by Melody in her Love Is In the Earth encyclopedia of crystals – “increases the ability to concentrate, balancing positive and negative relationships of the mind. It helps one to see both reality and truth behind illusion…The energy of fluorite can inspire the universal energies to activate the nourishing energies of the body, assisting one in the attainment of the ultimate state of physical perfection…It provides for purification, cleansing, and elimination of that which is in disorder.”

These are the energies and abilities of fluorite in general, while green fluorite in particular, in addition to those qualities, “can bring a cleansing, tidying, mint-like freshness of spring time and renewal to the chakras. It can be used to help diminish mild trauma in the emotional body and to eliminate negativity within a room, the negative vibratory states being transmuted toward the light and love of the universe.”

This in fact intuitively guided me to first attune the pendulum to the energy of Water in the bowl of sacred, salted water and to go around my new apartment with it and, allowing it to naturally move in a wide clockwise circle, direct its energy in an outward, rippling spiral to cleanse and clear the space, to transmute any negativity or trauma, to balance and harmonize the energy and to create an aura of understanding and clarity to see beyond illusions and to effectively receive an oracle message from the element of Water. I highly recommend this as a way to cleanse, charge and sanctify a space while visualizing it’s refreshing, cool green energy (or the corresponding energy of whatever type of pendulum you use) to swirl and spiral like a seashell and to fill the space with circles and ripples of energy.

I then used the pendulum to select one of three oracle decks to receive the message, and it clearly, moving in its clockwise circle indicating “yes”, chose just one – Denise Linn’s excellent Native Spirit oracle deck, which is one of my top personal favorites and has wonderful, powerful, earthy and indigenous ancestral energy to which everyone is connected somewhere in their bloodline and can relate.

The card the pendulum chose, after I spread the whole deck out evenly in the space between the four directional points marked by the seashells, was Spirit Keeper of the East. This also told me that the Lettered olive shell was especially significant and was part of the message, which is all about new beginnings, renewal and the invitation to new opportunities.

Interestingly, Spirit Keeper of the East bears relation to the “freshness of springtime and renewal” of the pendulum, as well as to the Sun itself, though we now find it at its height in Summer and the middle of the year, rather than at its new rising state as in spring and the morning. This suggests that this is still a great time for us to embrace a new beginning, which I personally am and know others are as well, to take stock of ourselves, our homes, and the goals toward which we are currently moving.

Refresh and recharge your home this Summer Solstice. Do something, anything, to beautify it, to refresh and tidy it, to invite in more Spirit and positive energy and to make it a sacred place. Rather, a more sacred space, as by its very nature that is exactly what a home is. Do what you can to open doors to new opportunities, whether literally by using the technique of Feng Shui to make your sanctuary more open to newness, or spiritually and figuratively by making yourself open to the universe to receive the messages and opportunities it is sending.

Meditate with an abalone shell to enhance your spirituality and intuition, and to balance any or all chakras or energy centers and areas of your life. A seven-holed abalone would be especially potent at this time and can help open and balance the crown chakra to receive divine inspiration and natural, balancing energies from the universe.

And if nothing else, as is always appropriate during hot and exciting summertime, get out and into some water! While pools, sprinklers and Slip n’ Slides have their value, nothing can compare with wild waters. Get thee to a beach and into the salty ocean that is the domain of beauteous Cancer!


© 2019 Meredith Everwhite - All Rights Reserved
cross-posted to The Oracle of Water with additional images and links

Featured image: Deserted Island by Jacek Yerka 2003

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Tales of Paganistan: The Cancer Birthday Party

Back in the day when (assuming you were foolhardy enough to try) you could have fit all the pagans of Paganistan into one room, the community ran into its first collective problem.

Most of us were Cancers.

What this may say about the nature of this community, I'm not sufficiently well-versed, astrologically speaking, to know. (Cancers don't believe in pseudo-science, anyway.) What I can say is that by the end of the sign, folks were all partied out—even pagans get there—and those whose birthdays fell toward the Leo end of things felt deprived.

Hence the Cancer Birthday Party.

On some Saturday night after Midsummer's—usually in July—the pagans would foregather in collective natal celebration. And if it just so happened that this was the Saturday closest to the birthday of whoever was hosting the party, well, who could find fault with that?

The Cancer Birthday Party was thus the functional equivalent of the only other community-wide gathering at the time, the Saturnalia party, which usually happened on the Saturday of finals week in December. (A lot of us were students at the time, so you wanted to catch everyone before they headed off for winter break.) The 80s being the 80s, these were (naturally) Toga Parties. I have fond memories of watching a wine-soused friend fall simultaneously off the couch, out of her toga, and into Uncle Wolf's lap.

Well, the day is long since past when you could fit all the pagans in town—even assuming you wanted to—into one room, even a large one. Nowadays you would need a stadium at least, not to mention (probably) gladiators. It's long and long indeed since we knew one another well enough to fight over irrelevancies.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Psychologically, we are made of very tough stuff – the mental equivalent of Titanium! As a consequence, it is extremely difficult to knock off our rough edges. It takes a painfully long time, and many abrasive experiences.

However, when those rough edges finally have been smoothed off, we will find it easy to slip into the next life with no catching, complaint or resistance.  It will come as naturally as the progression from caterpillar to butterfly, as consciousness graduates from one level of experience into a higher one.  

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Sunrise Spell: Blessing Bowl Ritual

Here is sa marvelous rite to perform on Midsummer Day and every day. While a bowl is not a tool in and of itself, you can utilize bowls in your spellwork often and anytime you are inspired to do so. Three simple ingredients, a red rose, a pink candle and water can bestow a powerful blessing. The rose signifies beauty, potential, the sunny seasons, love for yourself and others. The candle stands for the element of fire, the yellow flame of the rising sun in the east, harmony, higher intention and the light of the soul. Water represents its own element, flow, the direction of the west, emotions and cleansing. This ritual can be performed alone or with a group in which you pass the bowl around. 

Float the rose in a clear bowl of water and light a pink candle beside the bowl. With your left hand, gently stir the water in the bowl and say: 

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Self-Care When Working Hard

Written May 28, 2019

 I did divination for myself, to gain new insights—or be reminded of old ones—about self-care when working hard. The reading was for me, but I post it below in case you find it helpful.

 

The following italicized paragraphs provide background, so the reading makes sense to you: 

 

Exhaustion exacerbates multiple sclerosis symptoms badly. The final parts of curriculum development for an online course can be seriously exhausting for me because of how I tend to approach those final stages of creating an online course. I’m learning to approach those final stages differently, and have come a long way, but still have progress to make.

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