PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Winter Solstice

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I love this point between the winter solstice and new year, a time of no time, when all activity is disrupted and the normal routines of our lives either slow down or cease entirely in the face of a huge cultural and seasonal wave. Nature tells us this is a time of stillness and retreat, although sadly the modern world seldom allows complete hibernation its onward rush never the less falters for a time over the holidays. The weather too has no interest in our daily schedules and need to progress, and will disrupt the race at will. This is a season when everyone learns, even just a little, that none of us are bigger than nature. That her cycles are applied to all of us regardless of our own ideas.

For me this descent into winters darkness began with a huge day of Samhain celebrations back at the end of October, where my husband and I participated in our whole town of Glastonbury ( UK) honouring our local hunter god, Gwyn Ap Nudd who leads the Wild Hunt- a team of spirits and spectral hounds that chase or guide the dead to the underworld. My husband the artist Dan Goodfellow embodied the role of Gwyn that day in a public ceremony probably not seen here in any form for over a thousand years. The power of all that ancestral presence was immense, the dead crowded into our circle along with the residents of our town. It was very moving, but it was not an easy ceremony to be part of- a dreadful sense of hope in the air, at deaths doorway, that while the end is inevitable, it will, after that dark journey, guide us all to the light one again.  

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Pollyanna of the Apocalypse Makes Soup

On Thanksgiving I began a spell to nourish family and friends, witches, pagans, and christians, neighbors and strangers through the shortest days and longest nights of a stunningly painful year careening to its end.  On Thanksgiving I began to make soup.

 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Signs & Portents
Tis the Season!

It’s that time of year once again. The merriest, cheeriest time, or so we’re led to believe. It’s the Winter Holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, and so many more. As always we’ve gathered our very best stories on the subject from PaganSquare as well as any other bits from around the web we thought you might enjoy.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the winter season! And have a Happy New Year’s!

—Aryós Héngwis

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Shadow Solstice

This Winter Solstice, I suggest getting in touch with your shadow side. This is the season to become introspective – and with the weather often urging us to spend more time indoors – this is the perfect time to look inward.

Meditation:

Brew some good spiced herbal tea and burn some frankincense and myrrh incense on your altar. Light red and green candles and turn off the lights. Get in a comfy spot and slow your breathing. I have found the best way to completely relax is to first contract, then very slowly release all of the muscles in your body, starting with your head and working your way down to your toes.

Sit cross-legged or lie in the corpse position on a yoga matt on the floor. Start with scrunching up your facial muscles, furrowing your brow. Then relax your face in slow motion. Do the same with your shoulders, hunching them up. Tighten your arms off the floor and make your hands into fists, then release down the length of your arms, starting with your shoulders, and unfurl each of your fingers, one by one. Repeat the exercise with your chest muscles, stomach and lower belly (these Navel and Root Chakras can store an awful lot of stress, so take extra time to release the tension here if necessary). Tighten your legs all the way down to curling your toes under, and very gradually relax these muscles as well.

To clear your mind of tedious recurring thoughts and worries, concentrate on breathing in deeply through your nose, letting your diaphragm fill and let go while taking your time. Be sure to keep the deep breaths coming from your belly, not up in your chest. Count down backwards from 20. Repeat several times, until you feel your mind clear and open.

When you feel ready, meditate on your shadow self. What are the sides of yourself that you keep hidden? Could any of them be positive that you are hiding from the rest of the world out of fear, or any other reason? Whether it is something really adventurous – like trying downhill skiing for the first time, or simply attending a community event you've been curious about – give yourself permission to explore that. Think about the ways you could nudge yourself out of your comfort zone, and discover one of your hidden shadow selves more fully. When you've settled on one that particularly speaks to you, resolve to act on it between now and the new year.

Send an image of yourself participating in and enjoying this activity out to the universe, thank the Goddesses and Gods of your choice, and when you are ready, carefully roll up to a standing position. Gather a bit of icy snow from outside and sprinkle it in the candles to put them out. Drink your tea and experience gratitude. Peace.

 

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_December-2016-016.JPG

"The winter solstice happens in nature around us.  But it also happens inside of us, in our souls.  It can happen inside of us is summer or winter, spring or fall.   In the dark place of our soul, we carry secret wishes, pains, frustrations, loneliness, fears, regrets, worries.  Darkness is not something to be afraid of.  Sometimes we go to the dark place of our soul, where we can find safety and comfort.  In the dark place in our soul we can find rest and rejuvenation.  In the dark place of our soul we can find balance.  And when we have rested, and been comforted, and restored, we can return from the dark place in our soul to the world of light and new possibilities."

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“May you experience each day as a sacred gift wrapped around the heart of wonder.”

–John O’Donohue

...
Last modified on
The Rebirth Magic of the Dark Goddess: Four Teachings for the Winter Season

Winter is the season of the Dark Goddess and Her rebirth magic.

Beneath Nature’s outer state of dormancy and death, new life gestates in the dark belly of the Earth. On the Winter Solstice, the new light of the solar year is reborn from the darkest night.  So too we reclaim and rebirth our true beauty from the depths of our wounding. These are the Dark Goddess mysteries that call to us in the winter season.

The Dark Goddess’s wisdom teachings reach out to us from the ancient Sumerian myth of Inanna’s descent to the Underworld realm of Her sister, Ereshkigal. Together, these sister Goddesses gift us with the forgotten ways of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.

Here are four Dark Goddess teachings to guide your personal rebirth magic in the winter season.

1. Turn your mind to your inner darkness to seek your personal rebirth magic.

Rebirth is a special kind of transformational magic that can heal your soul and make your life anew. It doesn’t come from an outside source, nor from the things you already know and understand about yourself and your world. Instead it emerges from the lost, forgotten and denied parts of your Self and your life story, secreted away in the dark folds of your inner landscape.

Inanna turns Her mind to the Great Below. She chooses to leave the land above to descend into the Underworld realm of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. She steps beyond Her known, secure world in search of the transformation that awaits Her in the vast unknown of the sacred dark.

The Dark Goddess is Mistress of the sacred dark that exists both in the greater world, and in the depths of your inner landscape. Here you can discover the very stuff of your rebirth magic: the lost stories of your beauty and wounding, as well as the hidden treasures of your dormant gifts and potential.  

Be brave. Turn your mind to your inner landscape. Follow in Inanna’s footsteps, and descend into the vast unknown of the sacred dark within. The healing and transformation you seek awaits you there.

2.  Commit to show up, empty and open, to the raw, unedited truth that is your life.

There’s no hiding, running away or distraction when you descend into your inner darkness in search of your rebirth magic. An empty, open state of being is an essential requirement in your rebirth pathwork with the Dark Goddess.

To enter Ereshkigal’s realm and descend to Her throne room in the depths of the Underworld, Inanna must give up Her royal accoutrements. This is the law of the Great Below. Inanna passes through seven gates; at each gate something is taken away, until naked and humbled, She stands before the mighty Ereshkigal.

The Dark Goddess doesn’t ask these things of Inanna, or of you, because She is cruel or domineering. She knows that you can’t learn, heal or grow when you’re burdened with a busy life, and stuff-filled mind. She strips you down so you can be present to the greater truths and possibilities within you.

Be still, empty, open. Know that when you work with the Dark Goddess, She will demand much of you. She will take away your masks, pretensions, judgements and anything else that stands between you and your work of soul. You’re the master of your own journey, working at the pace and level of depth that are right for you, and ensuring your self-care and self-responsibility in your spiritual pathwork. But, step by step, healing moment by healing moment, the Dark Goddess will return you to the raw, unedited truth that is your life, and the inner space of your deepest transformation.

3. Sometimes something has to die, to end, for something new to be reborn.

Decline, death, suffering, wounding – these are parts of our human experience, and the reality that governs all things of the living Earth. Try as we might, we can’t escape them. Instead, we need to embrace these aspects of our mortal existence as our allies and guides in our rebirth pathwork of healing and transformation.

Ereshkigal takes Inanna’s life. Inanna makes this ultimate sacrifice in service of Her greater becoming. This too is the law of the Great Below.  

Both Goddesses understand that suffering and sacrifice are the price of admission to the Underworld, and to life itself, and that the old self must die for something new to be born in its place. These are the deepest roots of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.

Be wise and let your unfolding life lead your soul work. Don’t expect your spiritual pathwork to be pretty or easy. There’s a sacred purpose in everything that comes your way, even those death-like endings, and wounding experiences. Rebirth magic will take you to the deepest roots of your soul work. It will ask you to die to your old self, over and over again. But trust that something new will always arise in its place.

4. Rebirth is the Dark Goddess’s gift and promise.

To travel the ways of the Dark Goddess isn’t for the fainthearted. It requires bravery, commitment, wisdom and resilience, as well as a high level of self-care and self-responsibility. The Dark Goddess is a demanding taskmistress, but She gives so much in return. 
 
Ereshkigal grants Inanna the ultimate gift for Her suffering and sacrifices — a new life. Inanna is reborn, transformed into Her full beauty and power: Goddess of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld. Inanna accepts Her death, trusting that rebirth will come, because this is the way of Ereshkigal. 

Inanna knows these things. She descends into the Great Below and abides by its laws by Her own freewill and choice. She stands before Ereshkigal humbled but undiminished, still a Goddess in Her own right.  She surrenders to death and is reborn into a more powerful, whole version of Her Self.  This is the Dark Goddess’s gift and promise to anyone who braves the Great Below and Her ways of rebirth.

In the winter season, with the powers of death and darkness reaching their peak on the Winter Solstice, the Dark Goddess calls you to Her rebirth magic. Like Inanna, you get to choose whether to say yes to the ways of the Dark Goddess, and let Her guide you into the depths of your inner darkness where your rebirth magic awaits you. Though the work may seem hard and daunting, remember that the gifts are immeasurable, because what is reborn is nothing less than your true, beautiful, powerful Self.  

Last modified on

Additional information