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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in winter
Outdoor Ideas & Eight Great Reads for Family Yule

When the holidays roll around, it can be difficult to hang on to spiritual meaning. I have no beef with Starbuck cups or shopping mall Santas. But I want my kids to stay in touch with what Yule is all about. For us, that’s solstice, the longest night and all that it brings with it. It’s easy to honor Brigid and the gift of growing light and warmth at Imbolc when there’s no mainstream commercial holiday to vying for kids’ attention. But trying to merge commercial Christmas with Yule makes for a much harder sell.

One way I work to reinforce the spiritual meaning of Yule is to make sure my kids get plenty of time outdoors. It’s fun to bundle up and set out on bike or on foot. Family hikes offer a chance to enjoy the brisk air and observe what the season really brings. The kids enjoy the discovery of vacated nests, animal tracks in the icy ground or snow, and the different shades of evergreens. Armed with flashlights or dollar store glowsticks, they like to go out into the backyard and marvel at how early darkness arrives now, often before dinner! Our telescope is permanently set out on our front porch so we (or the neighbors, if so inclined) can marvel at the intensity of the Long Night Moon.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the mistletoe

The normal association with mistletoe at this time of the year is the cut stuff we bring indoors to decorate with. However, there’s more mistletoe celebrating to be done than this!

Once the leaves are down from the trees, you have your best chance at finding mistletoe in the wild. It doesn’t grow everywhere – I used to struggle to see any at all when I lived in the Midlands, but Gloucestershire (south west UK) has loads. As you can see from the photo, mistletoe in trees isn't always that self announcing and you have to pay attention to spot it - which makes finding it all the more rewarding.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. It literally means that the sun stands still: from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (standing still). The midwinter sun rises at its furthest point in the southeast and sets in its nearest point in the southwest, thus making the shortest and lowest circuit in the sky. For three days (the day before, the day of and the day after the solstice) the sun rises and sets on the same points of the horizon, until it begins to rise further east and set further west with each and every day. This phenomenon occurs between 20 - 22 December each year. The Welsh name for this time is Alban Arthan, a term coined by the 19th century poet and writer of forgeries, Iolo Morganwg. This translates as "Light of Winter" or "Light of the Bear", although it is also known as Alban Arthuan, which means "Light of Arthur". The "Light of the Bear" is an interesting translation, which may have roots going back 13,000 years and connected to the circumpolar constellation or Ursa Major, which would be very visible and very bright in the British Isles at this time of year, during the greatest darkness. [1]

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  • Agnes Toews-Andrews
    Agnes Toews-Andrews says #
    I enjoyed reading about Scriptor Syrus and how the new "Christians" created a diversion--Christ Mass, to offset the pagan Winter S

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Letting Go

Winter is upon us – in the northern hemisphere.  Harvest is done (hopefully). Nature is shutting down to rest and rejuvenate.  It’s a time when I look within to see what needs to go, what I need to let go.

This year is difficult for me as my mother is experiencing some health issues.  Now I’m the youngest of six and we all have strong opinions.  We don’t ever agree – or rarely.  But then there’s mom.  Mom is 86.  She’s feisty, sassy, stubborn, and frail in some ways (though don’t call her that or you’ll get an earful).  

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  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    Thank you. Mom is in a nursing home in the city most of my family lives. We are each taking a little time to go visit her (at le
  • Angela
    Angela says #
    I want you to know that I understand with all my heart and soul what you are going through. Last year, at this time, my sister an
November – a difficult time for celebrating

Last year I wrote about the first frosts as something to enjoy in November. http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/nimue-s-wheel/celebrating-the-first-frosts.html

This is without a doubt the month I find hardest to be positive about. Samhain with all its spooky joys is now behind us. The winter stretches ahead. The cold has its teeth in and will likely keep chewing for months to come. The ground becomes slippery and treacherous, the days short and dark. Everything is harder. And I’m one of the lucky ones; I have a home, I can afford to heat it and I can afford to eat.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Northern Mandate

Call it the Northern Mandate.

For some, Spring Cleaning is an annual rite.

But here in the Uttermost North, we have Fall Cleaning too.

During Summer, our attentions and efforts are outward-directed. We're out doing things. (Quickly, there's not much time.) Doors and windows are open. In-house work gets neglected.

But now it's Winter. Our attentions and efforts turn inward. Windows and doors are closed, and we're facing the prospect of being shut in with all this for the next six months.

It's only natural to do what you can to undo Summer's lapses: to make where you are as bearable as you possibly can.

Well, the White Ravens have flown. Yet again we give in to the age-old urge.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Gods speed the work.
  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    Just such has gripped me. Moving furniture, dispatching dust bunnies, and moving broken things on to their next lives.

Posted by on in Signs & Portents
As Spring Draws Near...

It seems like winter juster arrived, but already it’s on its way out. Today is Imbolc, the Celtic festival celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of spring (though most of us don’t regard that to happen until the Equinox). It’s also approximated by St Brighid’s Day, Candlemas, Groundhog Day, Setsubun in Japan, and the Spring Festival in China (better known in the West as the Chinese New Year’s). Basically, a time to celebrate impending the return of warmth and the sun after months of cold and snow.

As usual we’ve gathered all of our related stories as well as those we found across the web that we thought were interesting. We hope you enjoy and have an enjoyable month and a half on the way to the equinox!

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