PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
The days are long and hot. The bees, butterflies, and fireflies are claiming the horizons. Mornings are hazy and afternoons are bright. Local rivers and streams are slow and gentle, and fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market are succulent and juicy. Summer is fully here, and it’s lavender season in North Carolina.
Och: my sleep is all messed up. Too. Much. Light.
6:11 a. m. as I write this, and the Sun's already up. When I woke at 4:30, the cardinals were singing their dawn songs. (Like roosters, they have special receptors in their brains that register even the slightest increase in light.) CST: Cardinal Standard Time. Whtt whtt whtt: cheerio! Yeah, and the broom you rode in on, too.
When I went to bed at 11 last night, there was still light in the western sky. Where I live, it's about 8 hours from sundown to sunrise at the summer sunstead, but as any Northron can tell you, just because the Sun's below the horizon doesn't mean it's dark. In Shetland they call it the simmer dim: the long, slow twilights of summer's solstice-tide.
Nor am I the only one. Here and now we're all walking around in a collective state of chronic sleep deprivation. Add heat and voilà: the proverbial Midsummer Madness. Small wonder I've heard more sirens and seen more car crashes during the past two weeks than in the previous two months put together.
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?
And so that time of year has come again, when the Northern Hemisphere tilts towards the Sun, warming it to its hottest temperature, while the Southern Hemisphere tilts away, resting in the shade. Yes, that’s right, it’s the Summer Solstice for the North and the Winter Solstice for the South and we at PaganSquare are here to celebrate it with you!
As we have in the past for other holidays we’ve gathered a number of articles and posts we found interesting that celebrate this most holy of days. Many of the posts are from our own website, but there’s plenty of stuff from elsewhere listed as well should that catch your interest. In the meantime we wish you a very happy summer... or winter if that’s the side of the globe you hail from ;-) .
both sweet and spiky
sun-kissed and thorny
able to draw blood
and to cause you to smile
as you taste the juices of life.
I find it interesting to observe how the wheel of the year is reflected within my own mind and thought processes. In the late fall, I turn inward and feel like retreating and pulling away from commitments. In the winter, I incubate and make plans. In the spring, I emerge again and feel enthused with new ideas. In the summer, I start to make decisions about what to keep and what to prune away. I find that summer is a perfect time to see what is growing well and what needs to be yanked out by the roots.
Yule : Midwinter :: Lithe : Midsummer.
8th century Anglo-Saxon historian Bede of Jarrow calls it Líða: Midsummer. Along with its winter equivalent, Yule, it was one of the two hinges of the Old English year.
Like Yule, we don't know what Líða meant originally. According to Bede, the word denotes “gentle” or “navigable” because at this time of year “the calm breezes are gentle, and they were wont to sail upon the smooth sea” (Shaw 49). Likely this is just a guess; it's certainly not a particularly compelling explanation.
In the English-speaking pagan world, many today refer to the summer sunstead (solstice) by its Anglo-Saxon name. If the word had continued in current use, as Yule did, we would today speak of Lithe. (Rhymes with scythe.)