Living the Wheel: Seasonal Musings of the Pagan Year

Thoughts and musings of the wheel of the Pagan Year.

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Litha: Light and Laughter


     It is the time of light, laughter, and joyful abandon. It is Litha! Let us celebrate with ruby-ripe strawberries and twinkling fireflies and achingly-pure blue skies reflected in chilly streams and sun-warmed ponds. I tend to get giddy this time of year; maybe it’s the child in me that hasn’t grown up yet, or perhaps the Kitchen Witch who is so excited by all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that summer brings, or maybe it’s just because I’m finally warm enough. Whatever the reason, they year’s turning at Litha always fills me with barely-contained excitement, though I don’t always get to act on it. My mind springs into action, suddenly there are so many things I want to do, and I can’t convince myself that I still have to balance all the fun things with work, which means working my way through my summer reading list while lounging by the lake is not a daily option. (Life isn’t perfect, after all.)


            Spring’s promise has burst into fruition: flowers are blooming, plants are budding and beginning to bear fruit. It is so easy to feel joy this time of year. While the winter’s dark is for introspection and rest, the summer light invites us to expand and explore, to dance, run, and ride our way through the long hours. Nature asks us to toss responsibility aside and come out and play. On Father’s Day my husband decided he wanted to hike one of the local mountains. The view from the top was stunning, though if you had asked my opinion at the time I would have responded with “just let me lie here on this picnic table and die.” I am glad I went though. I got to spend a gorgeous day with three of the people I love the most and was able to take some beautiful photos of flowers and shade-dappled ferns on our much more leisurely descent. (He was nice and let us take the road back down.)



            I am so thankful that it is summer; my life has experienced many changes over the last few months and I was beginning to feel as though I was going to succumb to sadness and disappointment. I had lost a job I loved due to company downsizing and was unmoored for a blessedly short time as well as struggling with some college classes. I am working again at a job I enjoy with wonderful coworkers, and those classes are finished (with A’s, no less. I’m not sure how I managed that). Just as the Wheel turned to summer everything began falling into place for me again. I wake to birdsong and welcoming light, and my heart feels light as I go about my daily tasks. I am finding myself drawn outdoors more and more: drinking my morning tea out on the back steps as my cat sniffs around the flowerpots, doing the reading for my sociology class tucked into the shady nook beneath my grapevine-entwined maple tree (I tried to separate them for the maple’s sake, but it was no use); taking walks for the simple pleasure of being out in the sun and air. I am not normally an outdoor person, but this season I am finding excuses to be outside, and have filled weekend days with plans to get my family out and about as much as possible. Only two of our five children are at home with us, so sadly we don’t get to spend much time with all of them, but a weekend afternoon barbecue by the river makes it possible for our oldest daughter and son, and our younger daughter and her fiancé to join us, and it is inevitable that a game of Frisbee or a Nerf gun fight will ensue.


            This season I have decided to open myself to joy and adventure. As someone with a depression diagnosis, being open to the healing power of summer promotes a level of wellness I do not normally achieve. I will seek joy in small things, like a just-picked strawberry, still warm from the sun, and in majestic things, like the swans gliding through Barton’s Cove as my family paddles a canoe along the Connecticut River. Tiny Alpine bluets twinkling like stars on the forest floor will encourage me to look to the night sky dappled with light and point out constellations to my son. I encourage you all to seek joy in the brightness that Litha brings. If you are struggling emotionally or physically, take a breath of the summer-sweet air, and talk to someone you love. Sit with someone, out in the sun or in a cool shady space, and ask that the season’s healing power aid you. It is not a cure-all, but a tiny bit of joy can make your soul sing.


            Blessed be.




If you are struggling with depression, please do not feel you are alone. Assistance is a text or a phone call away. Text CONNECT to 741741, or call 1-800-273-8255. You are a valuable, loved part of this world.






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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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