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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Summer Solstice

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 SageWoman Blogs

Peace
Power
Passion
and Plenty...

(Summer Peace Chant by me)

Today, we stood in the swift waters of the creek with our children. As we sang together, the breeze swirled around us, scattered raindrops kissed our shoulders, and then the fire of the sun peeked out of the clouds to warm our skin. Standing there together on the wet rocks, where the water emerges fresh from the body of the earth, we felt immersed in a union of the elements.

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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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Witch Crafts: Light My Fire DIY Massage Candles

Making massage candles is very similar to making any other type of potted candle  I recommend using soy wax as it is soooo gentle on the skin . Soy wax is also nice and soft; it melts easily and stays together in a puddle after melting and can be reused for us thrifty crafters. If you have an allergy to soy (and it won't irritate your skin unless you have a soy allergy,) you can use beeswax instead which is very widely used. (For example, it is in nearly every single Burt’s Bees product.)  It is the addition of the oils that prevents it from hardening again and also enables your skin to absorb it. Essential oils or cosmetic-grade fragrance oils are also added to create a soothing atmosphere. All soap-making fragrances that are also soy candle safe are perfect choices for scenting your massage candles. Try the basic directions below to make your first candle. For every three ounces of wax, you'll add one ounce of liquid oil, and one-quarter ounce of fragrance. I suggest making two candles in 4-ounce metal tins while you master this craft.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Summer Solstice

Pachamama entreats us to
restore her clean waters,
allow the singing of the birds
to bring peace to her skies,
renew cosmic harmonies
on our sacred land.

excerpt © Marcia Starck 2012

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Summer Solstice: Celebrating Modern Minoan Paganism

Here in the northern hemisphere, we're coming up to Summer Solstice, the height of the Sun's power over the yearly solar cycle, a time to celebrate the Minoan Sun goddess Therasia and the solar year-king Dionysus. In the Mediterranean, where the ancient Minoans lived on the island of Crete, this was (and still is) an incredibly hot, dry time of year - the Sun's power is overwhelming.

As modern Pagans, we have multiple options for what to focus on and how to celebrate this special point in the year. Most of us probably don't have the resources to put on a huge Midsummer mystery play the way the ancient Minoans probably did at their big temples. But we can celebrate with modern-style ritual that focuses on the Minoan deities who are associated with this time of year.

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The Summer Solstice: Lore and Tradition
This is the second time in the year when the sun appears to "stand still" on its journey across the horizon upon rising and setting. Here, the sun rises at its furthest north-easterly point, and sets in its most north-westerly. It reaches its highest nadir in the sky, and here in the UK that means that the days are exceptionally long, and we may not even see full darkness before the light of dawn begins to permeate the skies. This phenomenon of the sun rising and setting in the same place lasts for three days, just as at the winter solstice. The Summer Solstice is known as Alban Hefin (Welsh) meaning "the light of summer", Medios-saminos (Old Celtic) and Meitheamh (Irish), both meaning "midsummer". Welsh tradition places the summer solstice as one of "three spirit-nights" or tair ysbrydnos, times when the veils between the world were thin, the others being Calan Mai and Calan Gaeaf(Beltane and Samhain). This is the longest day, before we begin our descent back into the darkness of the coming winter. It is considered the peak of the power of light, yet a reminder that everything changes.

Our Neolithic ancestors built monuments to track the sunrise and sunset of the winter solstice, and equally each monument would also work in reverse six months later for the summer solstice. Many monuments, such as the Callanish stone circle, also include the equinoxes, and so act as a giant calendar, marking out the time and the season. Four rows or avenues of ancient processional stones meet in the circle at a central stone, much like a Celtic cross. Stonehenge's processional way from the River Avon was marked by the sun's path during the solstices, and the Ring of Brodgar on Orkey is also aligned to the solstices and equinoxes.

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