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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Sun

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Joining the Dance

I start awake with the prickling knowledge that someone is in the room.

Every house has its secrets. I am about to learn one.

My eyes fly open. A luminescence hovers mid-air at the foot of the bed.

We'd been in the house nine months. My bedroom faces west, so I was accustomed to wake to darkness.

But now a shaft of red-gold, ancestral light slants in, spans the room, and illumines the windows of the west.

Minneapolis is a four-square city, its good Midwestern street-grid laid out cardinally. As the Sun rises due east at the equinoxes in his annual journey along the horizon, his light shines in through the east window, streams in a thick, tangible column down the hall, and into my bedroom on the west.

Like something out of New Grange.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Incan Summer Solstice Ceremony

I visited the Sacred Valley and the Temple of the Sun in Peru for my 40th Birthday, and these lands are a sight to behold. At the time of the Summer Solstice each year, the rising sun reflects off a certain point of a mountain in the Ollantaytambo archaeological site, and bounces off the altar atop the temple, where the Incans strategically placed it some 500 years ago. The fact that these laid by hand granite stones still stood now– with no cement holding them together– untouched– was truly spiritual. My mother, who had accompanied me, was moved to tears, taking it all in. Each year, not unlike their British counterparts at Stonehenge, local Peruvians reenact the Incan Summer Solstice ritual. I am sure it is a spectacle to appreciate, based on what I have seen and the commemorative photos marking the event.

Litha, or the Summer Solstice, is many a Pagan and Wiccan's favorite festival of the year. If you'd like to make yours truly special, here are some suggestions for a simple ritual, in tribute to Inti Raymi, not unlike our Incan ancestors held.

Buy some brightly-colored flowers and throw them festively around the ground of your firepit. Encourage participants to wear silver and gold jewelry, and have everyone bring a small carved wooden sun symbol or figure to place in a backyard bonfire. Since I'm sure you wouldn't want to sacrifice any white llamas, burn some white sage instead. Smudge everyone first, and then offer it to your fire as a sacrifice to the Sun God. Make a procession of building your fire where each guest contributes by adding to it. Build it first, and wait to light it at sunset, adding some straw and dancing around it to raise energy clockwise. Give a nod to each of the four wind directions as you do.

Give thanks to Suyos, representing the snake for the world below, the puma for life on earth and the condor, who presides over the upper world of the gods. These three animals were very honored and seen repeatedly in architecture and artwork throughout Cusco and the surrounding areas.

Celebrate and feast with some Pisco Sours (the national cocktail), ceviche,  Peruvian roasted potatoes (see recipe below) and Inca Kola – if you can get your hands on it! When the fire dies down a bit, those who feel able-bodied should take a running jump over the pit for good luck. Revel in the sunset.

     Start to finish: 1 hour
     Servings: 4 to 6
     2 pounds Peruvian purple potatoes, scrubbed
     1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
     1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
     1 tablespoon minced garlic
     Salt and freshly ground black pepper
     1 tablespoon cilantro
     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

     Halve the potatoes and place them in a bowl. Cover them with water if you cut them ahead of time.
     In another bowl, mix olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Drain potatoes well and add them to the oil mixture. Toss with olive oil mixture. Spread the potatoes on a sheet pan. Roast for 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve
(Recipe from Aaron Sanchez,


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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Essential Desert Self

There is a way that the desert breaks me down to my essential self

a way the desert wind tears away that which is no longer necessary

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    So beautiful, you, your discernment, the desert, everything. Let your work always be done. (I love the desert five spot.)
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you Elizabeth!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Daughter of Sun and Thunder

Sun lives in the east and walks to the west. A god of regular habits, his nature is warm and dry.

Thunder lives in the west and walks to the east. His nature combines both fire and water: a volatile god, much given to outburst.

Unlikenesses such as these are wont to breed fierceness in both love and battle.

And having battled and loved, the daughter of their reconciliation is Rainbow.

(So they may do; after all, they are gods.)

Rainbow is a gentle and well-loved goddess, giver of golden joy. Daughter of reconciliation, she champions unity among peoples.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Core Paganism

You could call it Core paganism.

It's a paganism that anyone can practice anywhere, at any time, regardless of who you are or where your people came from, because it's the common inheritance of us all and we each of us spend every moment of our lives immersed in it.

You could call them the Old Gods; the ancestors did.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sun Wheel

It's one of our people's oldest and most sacred symbols.

If anything could lay claim to the status of "universal pagan symbol," this might well be it.

Yet in Pagandom at large, they're few and far between.

The Sun Wheel. The Sun Cross. The Wheel Cross.

The equal-armed cross in a circle. It's the Sun. It's the Wheel. It's the coincidence of harmonious opposites. Male and female. Rounded and straight. Rectilinear and curvilinear. Up and down. Horizontal and vertical. Movement and stillness. Technology and Nature. Heaven and Earth.

In the Sun Wheel, Time and Space meet and embrace: the world with its four quarters, the year with its four seasons.

Such a deep and ancient symbol. Wherever has it gone?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Are those things really horns?

While the labrys (the double-bladed axe) is certainly iconic of Minoan civilization, so is another symbol-cum-ritual-object: the sacred horns. (See the image at the top of this blog post.) Found on the rooftops of the temple complexes and peak sanctuaries of ancient Crete as well as in the frescoes and other art, this unique symbol was christened the Horns of Consecration by Sir Arthur Evans a century ago. But are they really horns? And even if they are, what do they stand for and how were they used?

Over in Ariadne’s Tribe, we’ve been discussing this issue for quite a while. One issue we’ve noticed is that the sacred horns don’t look at all like real cow or bull horns.

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