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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Solstice
Reach for the light, rooted in the earth...

The swirls and eddies of the rising tide pull us ever closer into the dizzying dance that is summer. Here in the British Isles, summer is when everything happens: festivals appear from May to September, weekend events and week-long retreats.  It’s a busy time of year, when we ride the solar energies to the point of highest light. We feel our spirits rising with the sun, and let its rays illuminate our paths and nourish us body and soul. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy.  My schedule is packed until October, with pagan events, priestly duties and more.  By the end of May I can already begin to feel a little burned out, and summer hasn’t even really gotten into its stride yet.  What I have to do is look to nature for inspiration.

The growing tides of light can entice us to do more than we should, to overbook or overcommit ourselves.  What we don’t want to happen is to have the summer solstice upon us and be too tired to celebrate it.  We need to harness our energies, to pool our resources so that we can access those lush depths when the time is right. 

Our agricultural ancestors welcomed this time of year: it was warm, and if they were lucky the crops were planted and growing well.  Vigilance was still needed, yes, but at this point what will happen will happen.  The hardest work was yet to come, during harvest season.  So too do we need to see that at this time near the highest light we need to remember not to burn too brightly, or we will have nothing left when it is time to reap what we have sown.

Take some time out, time to regroup, time for stillness and reflection.  Enjoy the present moment.  Spend time alone with yourself to check in on how you are feeling, emotionally, physically, mentally.  Have you over-committed? Are you doing too much? Really feel how you are in this present moment, and use that knowledge to help you find that balance point between motion and stillness.  Ride the energies up to the solstice, yes, but ride them with care.  Riding headlong and reckless can lead to you being unseated, and you might never get where you wish to go in such a manner. 

The earth hums with the tides and times of life.  At this time of year she is reaching upward, and so too can we reach upward to find our heavenly bliss.  But we must keep our feet rooted in the ground, in order to feed our roots with that wonderful light and warmth streaming across the land.  We can’t run on an open circuit; we need to be grounded.  Deep relationship nourishes both parties.

Blessings of the summer to you all!

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Cowan Yule

The single best defense against Christmas is a good Yule.

I sometimes worry that I live too much in the pagan ghetto. Most of my friends are pagan; I live in a pagan home, immersed from day to day and from season to season in pagan culture. I know that there's a wide world of non-pagans out there. But after all these years, I also know who my people are, where my home is, and what my work is.

Midwinter's Eve our job is to bring the Sun up out of the Dark. We sing the Sun down, we light the fire; we dance, we sing, we keep the fire-watch through all the long night. 7:47 a. m. Midwinter's Day will find us out on the east pedestrian walkway of the Washington Avenue bridge, singing the Sun up out of the Mississippi Valley. December is on average the cloudiest month of our Minnesota year, when Earth and Sun hide themselves in their mysteries. But in those years when we actually see the Sun rise out of the river valley, with light and color flooding back into the world, well...that's Yule in little, and the joy of it continues for a full thirtnight of days, a year in miniature. Because we are who we are, we're part of something much larger than ourselves, something that would happen whether we were here to see it or not. It's something that we're privileged to take part in, and so long as we continue to do so, our people will continue to be. It's a joyous responsibility.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Cristina. Here in the US at least, Christmas is so massive that it can sometimes seem like a force of nature. I think it's
  • Cristina Potmesil
    Cristina Potmesil says #
    This comment, "Christmas is a human construct. If no one celebrated it, Christmas would cease to exist." is amazing. Thank you.
TarotBlogHop: Yule Joy Of Gifting (Master List)

There is this magical, mystical circle that happens every six weeks. We call it the Tarot Blog Hop. As my Yule gift to you, I'd like to invite you to hop on board to see where it takes you. The Tarot Blog Hop was begun by me.

I had this idea that a bunch of Tarot folks could all blog on the same topic on the same day. All the posts would go live at the same time creating a pop-up community. In my head, it was like Brigadoon--that magical place that appears once every hundred years. Little did I know that there was a reason it was only every hundred years.

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  • Joy Vernon
    Joy Vernon says #
    Whoohoo!!! I'm so excited! I have used that workbook before and think it's great!
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    Hey Joy! You win. Send me an email or hit me up on Facebook, darling.
  • Joy Vernon
    Joy Vernon says #
    A nicely organized master list! I love your analogy of Brigadoon. Thanks for starting the BlogHop! I"m so glad to be a part of it.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Last Sun Walking

 

He leads us up to the foot of the hill, 

but there we stop: not yet for us

to take those final steps.

 

Where the sun stands still

on earth’s high curve, a woman rises:

bright black splayed on red.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_NutCosmicDream.jpgAt the winter solstice I can’t help but be aware that the earth is rushing inexorably towards its fatal crossing of the ecliptic on December 21.  After that longest night, the sun will rise a tiny bit earlier, set a bit later.  Before I know it, the year will have changed again, and life will have moved on as I sleep, whether I am ready for a new year or not. 

Deep in the quiet night, curled up beneath the warm of my down coverlet, I ponder the fragile balance of light and darkness, remembering that the Tanach says in Genesis that G_d separated the evening and the morning, then called them the first day.  In ancient Egypt, all life emerged from the water, but soon began the same sort of bicameral division, first into firmament and waters, then into snakes and frogs, and eventually into ta, the land of Kmt, and Hapy, the great river of life surging through it. Ages later, modern science told us a new story of cell division and multiplication. The act of creating would seem to necessitate divisions. 

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Solstice at the stones and sacred wells- two ceremonies upon our ancient sacred land.

Solstice Blessings everyone! On the 21st, in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate the winter solstice, the shortest day when the Sun appears to 'stand still' while at its lowest  point in its yearly cycle. From then until the summer solstice in June the sun will shine for a little longer each day, in time bringing back the light and warmth.

In Britain this sacred time is said to be overseen by an ancient figure known as the Holly King- a counterpart to the Oak King who rules over the summer, both perhaps aspects of the Green Man, that mysterious divine figure which features in so many ancient Celtic tales. These beings have most evidence in the Middle Ages, but hark back to far older pagan traditions, reflecting both the importance of the oak to the druids, and the evergreen holly as its protective 'other face' during the winter months. The holly is said to have many magical powers, protecting from storms and ill wishes hence is presence as a decoration in the home over the darkest time of the year. It is also helpful as a Celtic 'power plant' in overcoming our own darker issues; pain, anger, jealousy, fear, grief, the darkness of the underworld within our own spirits. It achieves this by raising our life force, our kundalini, to give us the strength to overcome adversity within. The Holly King is a guide and guardian of this inner and underworld, known as Annwn in Celtic lore, which aligns energetically as well as psychologically with the mortal realm over the winter months, calling to us to seek stillness and sink into the cave, the great cauldron of the earth, to look within and seek rest and renewal...

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jeremy Lopez
    Jeremy Lopez says #
    I have been trying to reach you by e-mail and gotten no response. Not sure if you are not receiving the e-mails.
Solstice Comes But Once A Year, Now It’s Here! by Carol P. Christ

Actually it comes twice, once in midsummer, the longest day of the year, and once in midwinter, the longest night.  Winter Solstice is also known as the first day of winter.

For those of us attuned to the cycles of Mother Earth, Winter Solstice is a time to celebrate the dark and the transformations that come in the dark. Many of the customs associated with Christmas and Hannukah, including candles, Yule logs, and trees decorated with lights were originally associated with Winter Solstice.  The extra pounds put on during winter feasting were insulation against the cold winter nights.

Those who fear that many of the customs of the Christmas season might be pagan are right.  As we learn again to honor our place within the cycles of birth, death, and regeneration, we return these customs to their roots in the circle of life.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Wonderful post - I'm looking forward to celebrating the return of the dark at Summer Solstice!

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