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

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_14884681_1809846729227541_4275433016924022846_o.jpgMay there be peace before us.
May there be peace beneath us.
May there be peace around us.
May there be peace within us.

I write each winter about how I feel pulled in two energetic directions at this time of year and those directions feel in opposition to one another: the inward call to descend, hibernate, reflect, renew, incubate, stew and brew up new magic, listen, wait, watch and feel, and the outer call to produce, perform, keep up, do, be, move, give, create.

This week, I saw that my own Past Self from about eight years ago had shared this quote and I’m taking it to heart:

“Focus is often a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.” – John Carmack

At this time of year I recognize that I often feel a type of defeat, like I’m having to “give up” on the year, on the things I thought I was going to do, etc. and each and every year I have trouble with that point of surrender—with acknowledging what didn’t come to pass, what could not be, what has to wait, and what can be laid aside. After I struggle and wrestle and freak out and whirl and sometimes even weep over the things undone, the surrender moment comes and I realize: “Yep. Not happening,” and there is a relief or release to that moment of letting go. After that, I usually remember that the end of the year is in many ways an arbitrary and imaginary or self-imposed deadline and rather than rushing and scrambling to keep up, I can instead lay some things down and look forward to the bright sense of possibility that dawns with January.

How might you soften and surrender?

How might you lay some things aside?b2ap3_thumbnail_15039635_1818762091669338_4901288478015916309_o.jpg

How might you honor the undone and unfinished and let them rest?

How might you mindfully embrace the twin pulls of this season and let effort and ease join hands?

May you honor wise secrets
and silent mysteries.
May you trust the touch
of the sacred
in all things.

Some resources for Winter Magic are available to you here.

 

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Now the falling of the leaves, now the short'ning day:

for Summer is a-going out, and Winter's on the way.

 

I've been to lots of Harvest Suppers down the years, but I can't think of another that ended with a spontaneous (and heartfelt) invocation of Old Witch Winter.

Usually, we're hoping to stave Her off for as long as possible. This year, we can't wait.

It's been a long, dark Summer here in Minneapolis since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day.

First came the opportunistic looting and arson that stalked the initial protests.

Then came the dithering of our gormless City Council, whose major strategy for bringing about systemic change seems to consist of waiting for someone else to come up with an idea.

Then came record levels of shootings, carjackings, and break-ins, while the authorities wring their hands, and do nothing.

So I guess it isn't surprising that after the feast's closing song, we should suddenly all rise to our feet and start shouting—shouting—to Old Witch Winter to come and put an end to it all. Shut it off! Close it down! Summer be gone; Winter, come!

As you know, spontaneous magic is always the most powerful of all.

Well, that's the thing about Old Witch Winter: invited or not, She always comes.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Toasting Ullr

We know our gods are getting mainstream attention when I find an Ullr brand schnapps in a big normal store with a prayer to Ullr printed right on the bottle. Of course it had to come home with me and be used for a sumbel toast. In this photo I'm pouring the Ullr peppermint cinnamon schnapps into mugs of hot cocoa.

Also on the altar are two candles. The blue one I found in Tom's house, where the ritual was held. As a former Strega practitioner, he has a lot of candles, which I'm trying to incorporate into our heathen rituals. He also has a lot of oils, but fewer of them now because we did a soap making workshop too and used a bunch of them up. The white candle is a souvenir from Pagan Spirit Gathering in 2010. Blue and white are winter themed colors, which is why I selected those two.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the snow

I’m no great fan of snow, I admit. It’s one of the things to celebrate where my first port of call is to absolutely hold up your right not to celebrate. For many of us, snow is hard work. Snow days can make getting to work a nightmare, and missed work isn’t fun if you can’t afford it.  Ice means isolation. Slippery surfaces mean real risk of injury. Cold weather kills people – usually the old and frail who cannot afford to heat their homes, and those who have no homes and are rough sleeping. Being able to enjoy the snow is a sign of privilege, and any celebration of it has to include recognition of that. It is not ok to shame or harass anyone who doesn’t enjoy it.

There is one particularly magical aspect of snow that is often overlooked by people who go out to play in it – and that’s footprints. Snow reveals who else has passed through, and if you can be out before human feet have obliterated all signs, snow can tell you stories about who was there and what they did.

...
Last modified on
Is Spring Here? Or Just Around the Corner?

Merry meet! Today as you might know is Imbolc, also called Oimelc, an ancient Celtic festival celebrating the beginning of spring and the traditional date on which ewes and other farm animals gave birth. You may also be familiar with the festival’s modern equivalents such as Candlemas, Groundhog Day, and St. Brigid’s Day. Whether you mark it as the midpoint of winter or the beginning of spring it’s generally been regarded as the time when the cold begins to thaw and life renews itself.

We’ve gathered all of our relevant articles from the past month as well as a bunch of other interesting stuff from around the web. We hope you have a very pleasant spring!

— Aryós Héngwis

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Heart of Darkness

On the night of the Winter Solstice, the sun set at 4:37 pm.

                It had risen at 7:24 that morning, making for just over nine hours of daylight.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the willows

Osier willows really come into their own during the winter. Their finer branches are a striking orangey red colour, and once the leaves are down, these are especially visible. In a grey, wintery landscape where most of the colours are washed out, osiers willows stand out, wild and flaming. They are all the more glorious because what’s around them lacks for colour.

When the leaves are down, many trees are harder to identify, especially for the tree novice. Osier willows are easier to identify at this time of year. Willows are generally tricky to tell apart from each other. According to The Woodland Trust there are some 60 hybrids of osier willow grown in the UK alone. There are many different kinds of willow, and many hybrids as well. They take some getting to know. Willows favour damp places, and have a very long history of use in human crafts and constructions.

...
Last modified on

Additional information