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

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
As Solstice Dawns in Knossos

Travel with me, across the world and back in time, to a Winter Solstice morning in ancient Crete. We are among the special guests, the important members of the community who have been invited to join the priests and priestesses of Knossos to witness a most sacred event. The gathering begins in the darkness before dawn.

The air is crisp and cold as we join the others waiting in silence in the great plaza at the center of the temple. We stand in the dark, pressed close together, listening for that special sound – the blast of the conch shell that announces the first glimmer of the Winter Solstice sunrise over the land to the east. Our breathing generates tiny clouds of steam that are barely visible as the sky begins to lighten from deep black to dark blue. Then, as the first rosy fingers of light stretch up from the horizon, the triton sounds, its call echoing around the stone-paved plaza. Though we are still surrounded by dimness and cannot see the Sun over the tall temple walls, we feel its presence as the process of dawning begins.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Thanks very much Steven. Blessings to you and yours.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Laura, I feel as if I've known this story all my life, though I first read it just now. I'll never see the Griffin Throne the same

b2ap3_thumbnail_cooking-cauldron.jpgWe have some important planetary shifts happening within hours of each other on the Winter Solstice, which makes it a a powerful time magically, but be ready to run with some wild energy. Here’s what’s happening: on December 21, Uranus stations direct (changes its apparent direction of movement in the sky) at 5:46 PM (all times EST). The Sun shifts into Capricorn, marking Solstice at 6:04 PM, and then at 8:37 PM we have a New Moon — which is, of course, right on the degree of the Solstice.  Saturn is at the final (critical) degree of Scorpio, getting ready to move into Sagittarius on the 23rd. And, of course, the square between Uranus and Pluto is still very close to exact. Whew! But this confluence of planetary energy gives us a variety of options in working magic. (You can find the chart for the Solstice here.)

The Winter Solstice marks the time when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky — the Tropic of Capricorn. It is the time in the Sun’s cycle that is analogous to a New Moon.  This powerful day gives us an opportunity to work on a Dark Moon and Sun in high-minded Sagittarius for deep inner work or to eliminate something from our lives. Or we can wait to fire up the cauldron until everything has shifted, the Sun has returned, and the newly-born Sun and Moon have joined the other planets in practical, manifesting Capricorn. In the New Moon chart, five planets are packed into the first fifteen degrees of Capricorn. That is some earthy energy we can put to use for building, manifesting and organizing, as well as setting clear boundaries. It’s intensified by Uranus prodding us for growth and change as it is standing still in the sky.  A planet stationing (direct or retrograde) marks an intensification of the planet’s energy, and unpredictable, electrifying, break-the-rules Uranus always makes a pointed statement.

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  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    It's always a relief to know I have not descended too far into unintelligible jargon. :-) Thanks for the feedback!
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thank you so much for this. Not being an astrologer, I sometimes find all this information confusing. Grateful for your clarity.

We take Samhaintide seriously here in the southern highlands of Appalachia.  There are rituals and ceremonies, discussions and interviews.  I am blessed to live in the land where my Ancestors lie buried and so I also have the sacred duty of tending their graves in the Darkening of the year.

Then there is the garden to put to bed and there were festivals and cons to attend and so I have been called away from here for some time. I will try to be more faithful to this writing as the Solstice vigil fires are set and fed, and as the winter lingers in the land.

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Winter Solstice - A ritual invocation or the coolest band name ever!

A long, long, long time before the word "Solstice" was ever uttered, eons before the ancients looked upward at that shining orb in the sky and said "goddess" or "god", billions of years before humankind realized that some times were warmer and lighter and other times were colder and darker, this planet danced.

For roughly four and a half billion years, give or take a million, the earth has rocked forward and backward. Axial Tilt is the official term for it. Axial Tilt would also make a great name for a band and should I ever decide to get the band back together again, I think Axial Tilt will be the front-runner for the name.

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"Summer in Winter, Day in Night": Our Yule

The Yuletide is our greatest feasting of the year, comprehending (to various degrees) nearly two months of the year, and these are its parts: Fore-Yule, Yule, and Aer-Yule (which is to say, “After Yule”). As they did for the ancestors, the Thirteen Days (or Nights) themselves form the heart of the celebration, what poet Richard Crashaw called “Summer in Winter, Day in Night”; together they are said to constitute the entire year in microcosm.

Sunday after Thanksgiving

Mother Berhta Guerrilla Wassailers' Guild Rehearsal Supper

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Winter Solstice - No Birth, No Death

With the Winter Solstice approaching, and in the cold dark months of the year, we have an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the deeper parts of our existence, those shadowy elements that seem to fade away so easily in the heat of the midday sun, those thoughts that require darkness and the teaching that it can bring.  Thoughts such as life and death, darkness and light and the cyclical nature of existence are all excellent themes to meditate on at this time of year, with a natural introspective element to this season allowing us to perhaps go further, deeper than we could or would in the warmer, more outwardly focusing half of the year.

This season, with the increasing darkness and the lack of light here in the UK brings more sharply into focus thoughts of death and dying.  It is often said in Western Paganism that the Sun God dies at Samhain and is reborn at Yule, when the days begin to lengthen and the light in our lives is increased.  However, lately my thoughts have abandoned the concept of death, as well as birth, into a more Zen-like “No Birth, No Death” frame of mind.

Having meditated on this for a couple of months now, and seeing it reflected in nature around me, as a Druid this is how I internalise the teachings.  For me, nature is the greatest teacher.  I look to no other authority other than nature. It is the core of my religion, the core of my being.  Having looked deeply into the nature of death and dying, of birth and living the concept of no death, no birth makes a lot more sense to me right now. Let me explain.

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  • Linette
    Linette says #
    A few days ago someone posted a quote on FB, the author made a statement about "when I am no longer on this earth"...and being a p
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    On Twitter, someone replied to this post with a lovely meme that said "We are nature. We are the universe manifest as human for a

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

What is the seasonal magic in your location?

In the Blue Mountains, where I live, seasons are very pronounced by the colours around us.  We have an interesting mix of native and imported trees and the blend between the two creates bright palates in among the steady grey-greens of eucalypts, tree ferns and native grasses. Earlier, in spring the tea-tree blossoms were so prominent in places it was a sea of white with their pinky-red centres and when they began to give way the gum trees put out sudden new growth; all their tips that danced in the breezes looking red in the sunlight; it felt like I was watching the shift from spring into early summer in that colour change.

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