Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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Some years ask questions. And some years answer them.

  • Zora Neale Hurston

Today is the Summer Solstice. Our planet is at its orbit's closest point to the Sun, and the life force just pours down on us. We bask in the energy that floods down as heat and sunlight, on the longest day. The trees, the fields, the gardens—everything is in full leaf and flower. We celebrate the abundance of this season.

The intensity of energy at the Solstice is accompanied this year by sorrow and shock over yet another shooting of innocent people, this one apparently motivated by violent racism. The time of Summer's beginning has deep significance in African-American history-- this was the time of the the famous drumming and dancing in Congo Square in New Orleans; Juneteenth commemorated the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Summer Solstice has magickal significance in so many cultures, but for me, the weight of sorrow over the events in Charleston this week has been the shadow on this day of strongest light.

We stand in a time of beauty and plenty and abundance, and so many of us live surrounded by ugliness, violence, and poverty. So many structures in our society hold this in place. In this time of highest, deepest, most radiant power, can we stand for what's right? Can our anger and weeping be part of the fuel of transformation? What can we bring forward to catalyze this alchemy of healing and justice? Is it even imaginable to you? Earlier this week, Pope Francis issued his encyclical on climate change, urging his followers worldwide to regard better stewardship of the planet as a moral duty. As Pagans, this is a call we answered long ago, but the moment has never been more dire. The violence and exploitation rife in our culture, dished out on human bodies and entire ecosystems alike, demands a response, demands that we all act in alignment with out values. May we all, in this time of strongest light, find the strength to be the change we wish to see in the world.

In my backyard, stacked against the wall, is a pile of lumber, huge tree branches that came down in a late spring snow storm as well as some overgrown shrubs I sawed back several weeks ago. I should have cleared this out by now. As the weather gets hotter and drier, this old, dry wood poses a fire hazard: it could be fuel for a fire, and so it needs t be cleared out. As I turn my attention to all things that demand redress and attention and healing, I wonder how can I fuel these changes? What resources do I have, that I could expend for these goals? How will I fuel and support myself, and my community, while this work goes on?

In this moment of celebration, all things seem possible. Drink it in, and move towards a better world.


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Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.


  • Shai
    Shai Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    I'm not sure where to go to ask my question. So here it goes. My Dad is dying of fourth stage bone cancer from Agent Orange. He's at the end and is bed ridden 100%, I'm curious to know what I can do to help walk him across and to do now to help prepare him for his journey to Paradise. My father tried his best to raise me a Viking. We are of that descent. He was a soldier in the Vietnam war. So he deserves to go in peace and with honor and dignity. My question is how and what do I do to prepare him for his journey? How and what do I do once he has passed? My father deserves this and won't go across, he thinks he has to hold on. For what I don't know. I desperately need to help him I hope your able to answer or forward my questions to be answered. Thank you

  • Leni Hester
    Leni Hester Thursday, 16 July 2015

    Shai, I apologize for not being in touch sooner, I have been traveling and not checking in on this site. Let me meditate on this question, which kind of is beyond my experience, and I will respond tomorrow. Hang in there.


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