If you live in the Eastern Woodlands of Turtle Island, you know that it is Strawberry Time!...
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“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” ~ Walt Whitman
Astrologers call the chart of the Summer Solstice the “Cancer ingress chart”, and it is one of four cardinal ingress charts we look at every year. These charts mark powerful times in the turning of the cosmic wheel — when Sun enters zero degrees of one of the four signs in the cardinal modality — and are considered predictive for anytime from 3 months to one year ahead, depending on technicalities I won’t bore you with. Personally, I see all these predictive charts as successive waves of influence, and so, for instance, the waves of the latest New Moon chart, of the last Lunar Eclipse, of the recent Solar Eclipse and Aries ingress chart, are all breaking on or close to shore right now, creating patterns in the shifting, tide-washed sands of our personal lives and our society.
Now, I'm neither a Cabalist nor a Ceremonial Magician, but I do speak Hebrew, and I can tell you this much: the Cabalistic Cross, as it has come down from the Golden Dawn, was clearly put together by someone with only the most superficial knowledge of the language. In fact, it's just plain wrong.
Ateh Malkuth ve-Geburah ve-Gedulah, le-Olahm. Amen.
This is supposed to mean (it's the tag-line of the "Our Father" prayer): "For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever. Amen."
But it doesn't.
Often it is painful for me to attend a ceremony in a Christian church. I don't feel safe most of the time and rarely feel included. Certainly there are some notable exceptions to this, but it is too often true. Today at noon, at the AME church in downtown Asheville, there was a service to honor the people who were killed at "Mother" Emanuel AME in Charleston.
I told myself this morning that my attendance--my considered presence--at the noon service was something I needed and representing them was something my community needed. So I sat with an extraordinary group of colleagues in the choir pews at St James AME, Episcopalians, UUs, Baptists. And I looked out over the anguished faces of friends who had brought their grief and fear to this service, to sit with others in the pain and wonder of what had happened....
The world's a wonderful and diverse place full of many different kinds of people. And with the variety of nations and races comes the entwined variety of religion. For this week in Faithful Friday we take a look at the religions around the world, what the future has in store for them, and how they've changed throughout the years. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
In Vanaheim, the Summer Solstice is the peak of "tourist season", and it is also an extremely popular day for people to get married in Vanaheim, both citizens of the realm and tourists from elsewhere. From a Vanic perspective, the longest day of the year is an ideal time to make a lasting ceremonial bond of love - a fire ever-burning, "carrying the fire" and keeping it lit even as the year wanes; a love that stays gold and full of life.
The following is a wedding rite for a couple in a Vanic context, performed by a priest of any gender, for a couple of any gender combination. (If you have a poly union such as a triad where more than two people are getting married, feel free to modify this ritual for three or more people.) This rite calls upon the blessings of Frey and Gerda on the union. Adam of Bremen reports that Frey was called at weddings, and the main myth we have of Frey in the Eddas is of His lovesickness for Gerda, culminating in marriage. As Frey is Vanir and Gerda is Jotun, they are very sympathetic to couples and other unions between consenting adults where it falls outside societal norms and is opposed or challenged by mainstream society in some way. The marriage of Frey and Gerda is also an auspicious one to call upon for blessings because their marriage survived the challenges of culture clash, societal disapproval, war, and many other problems - their love has endured through the ages....