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.

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Spring Forth

 

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  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    Blessed Be and I'm so glad to hear of your recent happiness! May it continue. I feel like I'm going through the same thing in many

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Cleansing and Cleaning

     Normally as we approach Imbolc I am thinking ahead to growth and rebirth: setting goals, planning gardens, asking how I can change and improve aspects of myself or my life. Not this year. With two people in my house fighting strep throat, one recovering from a stomach virus, and another knocked flat by an upper respiratory infection, the last thing on my mind is growth. I'm thinking cleansing. Physical and spiritual. I want to disinfect my kitchen and dispose of emotional clutter. This Imbolc my focus is cleansing intentions and processes, cleansing space, spirit, and body. It is needed.

     I think for many of us cleansing is an unacknowledged part of the Imbolc season. How many of us do a big 'spring cleaning' every March or so? I generally do mine around Imbolc. I'm on my couch today trying to figure out how to facilitate this. (I'm one of the strep throat people.) The first step is not to worry about it. I will get to it when I get to it. Mental stress (especially about something so mundane) leads to bodily stress, which leads to sickness. In order for one to be physically well, one must be mentally well also. This can be a tall order. You have work. You have families. You have stress. Like myself, you may have mental illness. Studies have shown again and again the correlation between depression and illness. What are we to do?

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A Season of Mystery

   Yule nearly passed me by this year. My husband and I have been working around the clock, it seems, and the days leading up to Yule were no different: long days at work, scrambling to keep the house neat and the children fed and in bed at reasonable hours. We missed the opportunity to collect sunfire, and because of this it feels like something is lacking this year. It almost feels like the mystery has gone out of Yule.

   Over the years I have come to learn that we need mystery in our lives. Overall we believe what we can see, though some of us (many) are willing to believe that which we cannot. And therein lies a truth.

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The Hearth: The Heart

 

The hearth is the symbolic heart of a home. Imagining ourselves dwelling near the hearth we become more ourselves;  more human -- and humane.     ~ Robert Werner

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Sources of Comfort

   It is the season of Lughnasadh: the final bright blaze of summer, ripe with bounty. The early morning mist rising over the river is just touched with the barest whisper of frosts to come. Autumn is approaching, imperceptive, yet inevitable. Even this early, as the first day of the season has only just passed us by, I am thinking ahead. Not planning, but daydreaming, anticipating the comforts of home, hearth and family that only this season seems to bring. Autumn is the season of comfort: Spring gives us freshness and hope, Summer joy and play; Winter is a time of introspection and rest. But Autumn? Autumn is harvests and canning, baking and freezing. Autumn is abundance and comfort.

   What exactly is comfort? A dictionary will tell us that comfort is "a state of ease and contentment." This stark analysis hardly conveys the true essence of comfort. Comfort is a feeling, a scent, a sound, a flavor. It is knowing your family has food and shelter; it is your children's arms around you welcoming you home from work. It is the scent of your spouse's coffee brewing first thing in the morning: you may not drink the vile stuff, but he does, and that rich, bitter scent means he's there with you, probably fixing your morning tea as he fixes his coffee.

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The Scent of Flowers

  In her beautiful book Celtic Devotional, Caitlin Matthews suggests a Lunar Meditation on the scent of flowers, one I thought perfect for the new season Litha has brought us. All around us flowers are blooming, delighting the eye and perfuming the air with fragrance. What better analogy for summer, and life, really, than the scent of a flower?

  Is there anything that compares? Yes, I suppose so: fresh peaches, the scent of a baby's hair. But flowers have a scent unrivalled by anything else. Sweet, but strong, faint but carrying.

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Breathing In Beltane's Magic

   I have been long away from the SageWoman Blogs; having started a new job in January, I am still adjusting to the change in my rhythms and tasks. After four months I still find myself floundering, not quite sure how to fit everything into the twenty-four hours we have every day, and things I find pleasure and solace in, such as all of my writing projects, have been pushed aside so I might focus on work projects and caring for my family. I realize I am not alone in this situation: parents and caregivers all over the world face this same struggle every day, and we all of us end up feeling some sort of guilt over the choices we make.

   I am not going to spend this post wondering how to balance everything, or how to avoid feeling the unwarranted yet unavoidable guilt that comes from being a working parent/caregiver. Instead, as today is Beltane eve, I am going to think about what Beltane brings to us, and the joy Beltane trails in its wake. For who doesn't love Beltane? Samhain, Beltane's sister holy day, is dark, mysterious, and magical, but Beltane is altogether different: flowery, glittery, all light and laughter. It is a sabbat of bonfires and music, dancing and faerie-lore. Today I have a rare day off (and I still will be going into work for a meeting later today) and on waking the day felt altogether different, just knowing that I (mostly) had a free day. Generally I wake up in a pleasant mood, as I truly enjoy the work I am now doing, but today I woke happy, not just in a good mood. I am still happy, despite a grumpy getting-sick five year old and the fact that twice now my computer has nearly lost the unsaved drafts of this post. (I am now saving it every two sentences, btw)

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