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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in summer

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating Sloth

In truth, it wasn’t sloth that has me posting this late in the month. It was over-work, and tiredness and being too hot, and forgetting. But here we are, and what I crave more than anything else right now, is rest. Resting is what mammals do, given the chance. In humans, we celebrate activity and achievement, but the way we work is profoundly unnatural and terrible for mental health.

Here in the UK, it has been very hot for some weeks now. We’re not good at heat or snow, or high winds or any other kind of serious weather. We’re good at being damp, grey and temperate! Still we try to carry on with business as usual, busily doing all the things even as the heat melts our brains and saps our bodies. Too much heat can make you ill. It can kill you. Other mammals, faced with uncomfortable high temperatures, get into the shade and flop out.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Search of the Sun

How does one weather a soggy Summer Solstice, anyway? Looking forward to one of the big Sabbats of the year is what most Wiccans and Pagans eagerly anticipate reveling in. As I peered out my bedroom window this morning, however, my brow furrowed. Overcast, cold, and rainy. Again. Granted this is Wisconsin, as everyone here loves to repeatedly point out, as if that makes it alright. News flash: it doesn't. My allergies have not appreciated this unduly wet and cooler year thus far. If it wasn't so damp, it wouldn't be a big deal. Even though I'm prone to heatstroke, I don't begrudge the truly hot temps, even when you get the double-whammy of humidity (more extreme wet stuff). I just pace myself accordingly, and don't attend the Ren Faire in a heavy costume, lest I be carried out on a stretcher. I'm beginning to suspect I would do much better in an arid climate, but that's a story for another time.

Back to the Solstice. I often nostalgically recall my first and only attendance to the PSG in 2000. It started out bright and sunny that day, but by mid-afternoon, we all had to seek shelter in our tents due to the thunderstorms rolling in. It wasn't so terrible. Wine, cheese, and a cozy atmosphere all helped. Earth-minded folk tend to be resilient. Things finally cleared up around nine that evening. Eventually, curiosity seekers began to creep and crawl out of their tents to the damp grass, lured by the sound of drumbeats. The natives were restless from being cooped-up the better part of the day and needed to get their dance on. So drum and dance we did, as planned, around the bonfire, until the wee wee hours. It was ecstatic and frenzied and sweet. It was continuing our celebration as planned, and not allowing Mother Nature's mood swings to rain us out completely.

So my best advice today, if it looks dicey outdoors, is to go about your plans the best you can and not lose hope. I'm determined to set up my annual outdoor "Zen Den," whether my hammock gets soaked, or not. If my partner and I can't sit outside and enjoy the sunset later, I will still cook up the ritual din-din as planned, and we can crack the windows and listen to the raindrops. Candles and incense will be lit regardless. I will still bake homemade cornbread and perform my yoga sun salutations on this day, because, why not? I believe it remains important to honor the significance of the actual sacred day and the deities associated with it. The main thing to keep in mind when following an earth-based belief, is that being flexible with Book of Shadow plans and adjusting them when necessary is key. Happy Solstice, everyone, whatever plans that you honor today.

References:

Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
Summer Is Here!

There’s not much mistaking it anymore is there? Summer is definitely here! Depending on how you count it, today is either the first day or the midpoint of summer, the longest day and the shortest night. In Britain, the summer solstice has been known traditionally as both Litha and Midsummer, with the former coming from the ancient Celts. Included below is all our content related to the festival as well as various cool tidbits we found around the web. We hope you have a great summer!

--Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The season of second chances

We tend to think of nesting birds and cute fledglings as a spring thing. In practice, right now many birds are raising second clutches as we move into the summer. Some will raise three, even. This is the season of second chances.

The survival rate for cute, fluffy chicks isn’t great. A momma duck can start out with a dozen tiny bundles of fluff and be lucky to raise one viable duck to adulthood. The problem for chicks is that they are mouthfuls of protein with no scope to defend themselves or escape. They come into the world at just the point in the year when everything predatory is looking for neat bundles of protein to post into the mouths of their own cute and hungry young things.

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A Time to Plant, a Time to Harvest

It seems like summer just arrived and already it is on its way out. Today is Lughnasadh (Celtic) or Lammas (Germanic), the beginning of the harvest season in Western European tradition and the first day of autumn according to reckonings that count summer as starting from May. Traditionally, it’s a time for working the fields and baking the first bread of the new harvest.

As always we’ve gathered all of our related posts as well as those we found across the internet that we thought you might enjoy. Have fun!

--Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Summer Moons

From ancient times, humanity has named its surroundings.  Was this to create a connection, feel more in control or just a way to identify what could be at times an unfriendly environment?  We probably will never know for certain but one of the things we do have are remnants of their naming like the full moon names.  These names give us a hint into how ancient peoples identified with their surroundings and tracked their seasons.

For early agricultural communities, June began a slow trickle of early crops like strawberries.  Imagine going all winter with little to no fresh fruits or vegetables.  Perhaps the community even ran low enough on food that hunger was a part of daily life.  Then to work all spring to get crops in the ground so next winter you hoped not to fall short.  Then June comes and the creamy flowers of strawberry plants indicates soon the first red berries will be there.  Imagine how much sweeter these taste after struggling for enough food.  Naturally as this important fresh food became available, the people would logically name the full moon strawberry. This name comes from both Celtic and Algonquin lineage so perhaps it was a staple and a pleasure for both groups.  Was it because it was one of the first crops or because the flowers of this plant are the same milky white color as the moon?  Probably we will never know. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

It is Lunasa in a week's time. Here in Ireland the hints of autumn have come early. The billberries are already plump. My husband has cut down some rye grass for me to make harvest decorations. The rowan berries are already reddening.  Everything in nature feels a bit rushing the season, early, out of sync somehow. The actual weather has been bucking previous summer trends as well.  We have had long spells without heavy rain, only soft smatterings, more extended bursts of sunshine than unusual, but also warmer and more humid spells, with lots of oppressive low cloud. Which may not be so unusual since our celestial, astrological weather is pretty maverick right now, too. But this summer season has also felt like an extended dreamtime to me.

I know that in some places readers are drowning in record rainfall. My friend in Arizona has endured 50C/120F days with only water condensers to cool them down. The hot, humid NE USA means my friend with MS is very grateful for supermarkets that are open 24/7; she has to avoid the heat of the day to do shopping since that might trigger an episode.

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