One of the funnest parts of being in a community is celebrating with friends and family. This week for Watery Wednesday we take a look at festivals, gatherings, and all the other ways communities come together to celebrate something. Read about what it's like to celebrate the Solstice at Stonehenge, how to find a sober space at Pagan festivals, and the many ways that Pagans are coming together on Tumblr. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Too busy. Too buzzy. Not enough time.
To do. To do. To do.
Listen to Summer.
Languid. Warm. Sweaty. Hot.
Kissed by sunlight
Bathed with rain
Summer is heavy.
Hot and ready.
Blooming and dripping.
Unfolding. Becoming. Ripening.
Sweet. Tangy. Biting.
Feel it in the air.
Greet it at sunset.
Throw your arms around it.
Dig in. Hang on. This is IT.
Taste it. Hold it. Enfold it. Be it.
Lick it. Know it. Be it. Embrace it.
This is your life.
This is your life.
Do you love it?
I really, really wanted to write about the art of Mesopotamia for my next blog post, especially in light of the destruction of Mesopotamian art and artifacts by the Islamic State, but I have really found myself a wee bit sidetracked by the horrific events of June 17, 2015 when a young man named Dylann Roof sat in Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina before turning his gun on the group. Nine people were murdered that day. Accompanying this news has been the debate about what has come to be known as the Confederate flag, and calls for it to be removed from the state capitol grounds of South Carolina. For those who may not be American, or have not followed the story, South Carolina not only continued to fly the Confederate flag on its state building lawn after the massacre, it was not even flown at half mast.
The Confederate flag has been a subject of much debate in the United States I would argue, since the end of the Civil War. For black people, it represents slavery and a horrible time in United States history. For those who fly it with pride, it is said to represent liberty. The argument has been heated and vehement on both sides. Why is this symbol so polarizing?...
Rising in the morning and stumbling through the normal routine, shower, dress, prep for work. So much of our lives are lived on automatic, drop the kids at school, drive to work, work all day long and reverse, to pick up the kids, run errands, run kids around, make (or pick up) supper and so on until you fall into bed exhausted. Does this sound like your life? It is how most of us live.
You can’t experience every moment of your life, you’d never get through the day. You can, however, try to be mindful of those moments. One Sunday morning, I got up to find my husband and daughters lounging in the living room reading the paper. Now my kids have since all moved out as they are adults and living their own lives. In that moment, I just watched and listened to them. Took in the moment, which sounds really silly but see at that point I knew my daughters would soon be leaving us....
In her beautiful book Celtic Devotional, Caitlin Matthews suggests a Lunar Meditation on the scent of flowers, one I thought perfect for the new season Litha has brought us. All around us flowers are blooming, delighting the eye and perfuming the air with fragrance. What better analogy for summer, and life, really, than the scent of a flower?
Is there anything that compares? Yes, I suppose so: fresh peaches, the scent of a baby's hair. But flowers have a scent unrivalled by anything else. Sweet, but strong, faint but carrying....
You're walking down the street and there, sure enough, under the same tree as this morning, sits the holy man, stark naked, blue with ash.
Rishikesh? Benares? No.
Turtle Creek, Wisconsin, USA.
I've always wondered what it would be like to live in a place where, in the natural course of things, one encountered the blue men (and women) as part of everyday life. I've also wondered what it would be like to be one of the ash-clad, given to the gods, wandering like ghosts through the world: in it, but not of it.
Well, I'll soon find out.