Living the Wheel: Seasonal Musings of the Pagan Year

Thoughts and musings of the wheel of the Pagan Year.

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Nicole Kapise-Perkins

Nicole Kapise-Perkins

I am a writer and poet living in western Massachusetts. I have a degree in English Lit, with a focus on the nineteenth century, and am working toward a degree in Women's Studies as well. My work has previously appeared in The Pagan Activist, The Pagan Review, GrannyMoon's Morning Feast, and The Montague Reporter. I am currently working on a series of children's books, a novel trilogy, and a poetry manuscript (I simply can't do one thing at a time!). I also have several random fantasy-based short story projects that I attack once in a while.   I am a Dianic Pagan and practice Kitchen Wicca, and am also a Reiki Master. For a glimpse into my own little corner of reality, you can stop in and visit me at Ellie.
Blessings and Remembrance

     While today is traditionally a day of celebration, a day to toast the Irish and feast on corned beef and colcannon, my family takes a more serious approach. My husband and I are both of Irish descent, and yes, we'll cook our corned beef and pour the beer (not green, though...that's just weird) and play bagpipe music louder than usual, but we will do so not in honor of the venerable Saint Patrick, but instead in honor of the 'snakes' he drove out of Ireland: the Druids, the Priestesses, and the followers of the Old Ways that were murdered or driven from their homes.

     We remember and pay homage to the people who died for their faith, and the survivors who lived in terror, keeping their traditions in secret, so that today Pagans and Wiccans the world over can hold their heads up and proudly claim their places in the world. By all means, celebrate today as you have always done...please don't let me rain on your Saint Patrick's Day parade. (Ouch. That was a terrible pun. I humbly apologize.) In the midst of your celebrating, however, pause for a moment, and light a candle for the ones who came before, for the ones who fell, and the ones that continued on, despite all obstacles, so that we could be here today.

     Blessings to you on this All Snakes Day.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Well said. I'll hoist a glass of Irish beer in remembrance of all the Pagan Irish who died of Christian sins.

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Hope Springs Anew

    

 

Sumer is icumen in, / Lhude sing cuccu! / Groweth sed and bloweth med / And springth the wude nu. / Sing cuccu!

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    In my first ritual group we embraced the pagan themes of Christian culture. And we enjoyed becoming like children again, coloring

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Winds of Change

 

“Blow, wind, oh, blow with all your might!

 Blow Conrad’s cap right out of sight,

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Celebrating Light, Celebrating Life, and all things Inspiring

 

I dream the Goddess a little girl

                                        Happy in yellow daffodil

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What is bliss, Sarah Ban Breathnach asks in her extraordinary book Simple Abundance. For me, today, it is knowing my loved ones are warm and safe; seeing my youngest child's delight in last night's snowfall; my teenagers' glee in an unexpected snow day; and curling up on the couch to read with a cup of tea at hand and a fire crackling and popping in the fireplace. Outside there are no people: just leaves, squirrels, orioles, sparrows and the occasional stray cat hurrying to whatever under-porch shelter they can find. All is quiet here today, and the cozy rooms my children and I share bespeak a long-ago time.

 

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My dearest friend, why did you die?

Why did you need to go away?

 

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Quick & Easy Tarot, by Lily Oak

 

     Recently I was given the opportunity to review Lily Oak's newest book, Quick & Easy Tarot, released by Hedge Witchery Books (http://www.hedge-witcherybooks.com), and I am so very grateful for the opportunity. I read tarot every day; I have even been known to carry my deck around in my purse for no other reason then to have it nearby. I am not a beginning reader by any means, but Lily Oak has included pieces of information in her book that were quite new and fascinating to me.

 

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The Advent of Mabon

                                    Autumn is a good time for visiting;

                                    During its short days there is work for all...

                                    There are sweet acorns in the high woods,

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Looking Back, Dreaming Forward

       Lughnasad has come and gone. The altar was decorated with blackberry vines and wildflowers; fruits (apple, pear and avocado) were placed in a bowl of beans and grain to acknowledge the early harvest. My family gathered at table to celebrate the yield of local farms and fields. A vegetarian feast was prepared: light vegetable soup, zucchini and tomato tart, salad, and for dessert, blackberry buckle, made from berries my youngest son and I picked by the side of the bike path that runs along the river. There is bliss to be found in the smallest acts. I hope your Lughnasad was blessed with abundance and such quiet happinesses as you enjoy.

            Today there is a stillness in the air, a certain sense of waiting, as though nature has taken a rest, leaving everything to watch over itself, if just for this short while. The breeze that is tugging at my kitchen curtains carries within it the fresh breath of fall before it is seasoned with bonfires and mulled cider, candle wax and long-simmered stews.

            Against the overcast sky the green of the trees glows in shades of jade and emerald. They have no thought of changing color, not yet. But they know, oh, they do, that soon nature will be inviting them to drape themselves in ball gowns of exquisite shades: crimson, gold, russet. They will toss auburn and brunette heads as they sway to the wind's music. It is on days like today, the trees green, the breeze cool, that we truly realize summer has had its turning.

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Summer is an amazing time of year. There is within it a sense of freedom, almost illicit at times. What other time of year are you free, encouraged, even, to lay back and let time pass you by as you bathe in the sun's light, glut yourself on shamefully sweet and juicy watermelon, and luxuriate in the feeling of warm grass beneath your bare feet?

And yet amid all the sensuous joys summer brings us to, there is the underlying knowledge that this joy, this richness is only temporary. How do we know this? Is it the ever-growing piles of jewel-toned fruits and vegetables that appear on farmers' tables at outdoor markets? Is it the fresh breath of cool air you breathe when you first wake that only later becomes the delicious heat that beckons you to lake and seaside? Or could it be the scent of grass and grain slowly toasting in the summer's heat, making you think of autumn fires and warm bread? Even in the midst of summer's reign we know autumn looms. It seems so unlikely, and yet July 31, come sundown, begins the first of the harvest festivals.

Lughnasad (or Lammas, Luanys, Gwl Awst, or Goel Est) is traditionally known as the grain harvest, yet within we can also celebrate the first fruits: sparkling berries, luscious tomatoes, sweet squash, daylily buds, baby potatoes, and even early corn in some places. As the fruits of our Earth are harvested so too do I look back on what I have sown earlier in the year.

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  • Nicole Kapise-Perkins
    Nicole Kapise-Perkins says #
    Thank you so much Lizann! I hope you and all those you hold dear have a wonderful Lughnassad!
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your lovely words. They make me all the more delighted to be celebrating Lammas with my community this weekend!

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