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  • Mid summer is coming

    When I first began to express my spirituality as a pagan, Midsummer was THE pagan holiday among the other pagans I knew. It was much bigger than Samhain, which seems to be the big one for many. I expect this was because they were mostly naturalist type pagans rather than magickal/Wicca type pagans, and mid summer was the time when everything was a'bloomin'.

    People had barbecues (that's when I learned you can make an awesome roast veggie pizza on the grill), hand fastings, and parties with lots of dancing and imbibing.

    When I moved away from that community, mid summer was sort of a minimal holiday. I never really gave it more than a nod, as other holidays held more personal significance for me.

    As I age, I find the holidays shuffle in significance. Certain stages of life seem to bring me in touch with the aspects of certain days, or certain events in my life seem to make a certain holiday more meaningful some years.

    I have never really embraced mid summer, and have felt a bit guilty for that, so I've decided to turn to my community here to find out what types of ritual and significance this day has for you.

    cheddar
    In a love affair with sunshine

    Live this day like an altar to what you believe

  • #2
    Midsummer means nothing to me but then I do not place any special significance on any day, week or month of the year, or any particular season for that matter.

    I used to follow the traditional Christian calendar but since turning to Pantheism I’ve found that not having to mark the days in such a fashion quite liberating. This is my own personal observation by the way and not meant as a criticism in anyway.

    I know it’s a little bit clichéd but for me everyday is a reason to be grateful to be alive, to be with the person I love and to have the life I lead.

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    • #3
      Personally I love the round of the holydays!

      Litha has been about roses in the past. At one point I celebrated by acknowledging the fairies, which was fun. I do use a magnifying glass to light a candle with the sun, which in turn lights the rest of the candles on my altar. While I'd love to romp in the sun in some dappled glade, it'll never happen. I'm thinking about going to the big outdoor pagan event up here, I'm 90% certain I won't do that either. Maybe I'll do some sun research which is something I don't know much about. (I enjoyed reading about bees btw). I'm looking forward to hearing some other ideas!
      The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
      --Bill Watterson

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RavenStars View Post
        While I'd love to romp in the sun in some dappled glade, it'll never happen.
        I do THAT all the time...no, I mean it. Every chance I get I'm off to some nature spot, wading in water lily pools, skinny dipping in waterfalls, climbing boulders in mountain streams, hiking through pine woods.

        If I saved that stuff for holidays, I'd go mad. It's what I live for. I didn't realize it on that level till I read your post!

        My plans for midsummer, so far, consist of attending a reptile expo. Certainly finding a new cold blooded friend would be a way to mark the day. Not a traditional ritual, but clearly a meaningful one.
        In a love affair with sunshine

        Live this day like an altar to what you believe

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TygerTyger View Post
          I know it’s a little bit clichéd but for me everyday is a reason to be grateful to be alive, to be with the person I love and to have the life I lead.[/SIZE][/FONT]
          I'm working to get where you are.

          Lately, too many of my days have not seemed like much of a reason to be alive.

          I think I am trying to use "holy days" to recharge me. And I think that would make sense if my problem was not being aware, and a day like that would give me the opportunity to focus, but that is NOT what is going on, so I am a bit puzzled.

          I guess I'm just in an uncomfortable place in life.
          In a love affair with sunshine

          Live this day like an altar to what you believe

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          • #6
            I love midsummer.

            I haven't got anything planned for it so far. I'm just hoping for sunshine *fingers crossed*. Last year the weather was awful, from what I can remember.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by TygerTyger View Post
              Midsummer means nothing to me but then I do not place any special significance on any day, week or month of the year, or any particular season for that matter.
              I used to follow the traditional Christian calendar but since turning to Pantheism I’ve found that not having to mark the days in such a fashion quite liberating. This is my own personal observation by the way and not meant as a criticism in anyway.
              I know it’s a little bit clichéd but for me everyday is a reason to be grateful to be alive, to be with the person I love and to have the life I lead.
              I agree with you, TygerTyger...and then again, I don't.

              I observe every day. I strive to be fully present in every day. I don't "live for the weekend" or spend the whole year dreaming of Christmas or my birthday.

              But something strange happens to me when I'm celebrating every day the same way and at the same level as every other day: all the days start blending together. No day stands out; no day seems distinct from the others. And then, somehow, every day starts seeming less special, because they're all the same.

              When I pick a day when something unusual happens - something amazing, something dark, something arbitrary - that I can set aside to celebrate and honor in some special way, they become bright spots in a year that starts looking brighter, as a whole, the same way the darkness of the night sky looks more amazing when we can see some stars shining in it.

              Plus, big celebratory spiritual to-dos are good for my psyche. Sure, I can honor and celebrate the divinity of every day, but I can't plan a wild, crazy ritual for 8 of my friends, complete with fireworks and too much food, every day.

              Our Queer Witches' group meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, which is 2 days before Solstice this year. We're having a communal feastie that night. It will be a good time to strengthen community and temper it in the heat of the Sun. I hope we can also bring into the light the community issues we've been passive-aggressively hiding in the dark corners of our psyches.

              On the actual day I will, alas, be stuck at work until 7. But that weekend...who knows. Something outdoorsy, I think. Maybe we'll go to a U-pick farm, or down to our CSA's farm. Or maybe I'll find some books of easy science experiments you can do with kids, and we'll some ritual blowing stuff up in the name of science.
              If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
              helps you feel your life protects you,
              cradles you and connects you to everything.
              Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

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              • #8
                We have...a plan!

                My wife and I were both able to get Friday off of work. We're going to stay up all day. You may recall that we stayed up all night for Winter Solstice, so it'll be nice to balance that out.

                We'll get up just before sunrise and cast a groggy circle. Later in the morning, we'll pack a picnic, take the bus to Minnehaha Park, and, because we are sappy, romantic geeks in love, rent a side-by-side tandem bike to toodle around the park in (it's a very large park). After our picnic, we'll come home, possibly nap, and do some honey magic.

                Later in the evening, the 2 friends we shared the Vernal Equinox with (and possibly another) will be coming to our house for an informal ritual/grill-out. And then we will probably kick them out as soon as the sun sets, open our circle, and fall into bed to sleep until August.
                If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
                helps you feel your life protects you,
                cradles you and connects you to everything.
                Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

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                • #9
                  Is it that time again already? I remember quite clearly thinking about midsummer last year. We just happen to be heading out to the beach and lake this weekend. Hm, wonder what I can do out there.
                  Om Namah Shivaya.

                  "Im finding seeking the sacred, well, that its rather like falling in love, the harder you seek it, the less likely it is to happen." - Brightshores

                  "When your consciousness is directed outward, mind and world arise. When it is directed inward, it realizes its own Source and returns home into the Unmanifested." ~ Eckhart Tolle

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                  • #10
                    I have a lot of thoughts about midsummer this year. My gods just popped in to remind me that the holiday marks a year since I swore my oath to them, so I'll be celebrating that.

                    And as far as my pantheism goes, I'm celebrating the emergence of life. I've sort of arranged the eight holidays to tell the Universe Story, and midsummer marks the emergence of life, from the first living cell through the beginnings of sexual reproduction. So we're going to go pick berries and eat a vegan dinner and blow bubbles and I'll meditate.

                    This is my first holiday as a pagan that I'm really celebrating with other people as more than a meal. My boyfriend, sister, and a friend of mine from when I was a kid are all living together this summer, and they're all participating in this holiday with me. My sister is also a pantheist, which is really nice. So I guess this is a pretty big holiday for me this year. I like holidays.
                    Flame in Bloom-my blog on dancing and heathenry

                    The fires in me can never be drowned. They cannot be snuffed, for even when they are denied air, they breathe, gasping in the endless firedance.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HeartofMoon View Post
                      I have a lot of thoughts about midsummer this year. My gods just popped in to remind me that the holiday marks a year since I swore my oath to them, so I'll be celebrating that.

                      And as far as my pantheism goes, I'm celebrating the emergence of life. I've sort of arranged the eight holidays to tell the Universe Story, and midsummer marks the emergence of life, from the first living cell through the beginnings of sexual reproduction. So we're going to go pick berries and eat a vegan dinner and blow bubbles and I'll meditate.

                      This is my first holiday as a pagan that I'm really celebrating with other people as more than a meal. My boyfriend, sister, and a friend of mine from when I was a kid are all living together this summer, and they're all participating in this holiday with me. My sister is also a pantheist, which is really nice. So I guess this is a pretty big holiday for me this year. I like holidays.
                      That sounds great! I'm a bit jealous.

                      I think this is one of those holy days when I am just going to have to trust that the Universe will provide...since I am pretty used up by life just now.

                      So, for midsummer, I will be watching and waiting...probably listen to some thoughtful music, drink some wine and stare into my pond at what the critters are doing.
                      In a love affair with sunshine

                      Live this day like an altar to what you believe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So far, my office had an "aloha to summer" party that involved smoothies, a "tacky tourist" race, tacky Hawaiian music, and a brief lesson in Tahitian hula dancing. We just finished enjoying margaritas and are relaxing with that midsummer sign of midsummer signs, baseball. Heh.

                        Don't really have anything planned. I've been celebrating the day the way I've been celebrating all the Wheel this year. Just living it. Tomorrow, we'll be attending a couple of ending parties... one a cast party for the show I just finished, the other the end-of-season party for hubby's church choir. And that matches, as I've thought about it. Midsummer is the ending of the growing days. The days will be getting shorter from here, and we're looking toward the harvest holidays after this. Endings, and beginnings.

                        That's enough for me this year.

                        Peace
                        Working for Peace Pruning the Rambles

                        :hahugh: Banner made by me :hahugh:
                        Definition of skepticism: Don't believe everything you think.

                        In wildness is the preservation of the world ~Henry David Thoreau

                        Pantheism Path Forum Guide

                        In memoriam, Basha: 4/1996 - 12/2007 * * * In memoriam, Tika: 9/1996 - 3/2008

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                        • #13
                          And the Wheel rolls around again. What are people's plans?

                          We're going to be walking our half-finished labyrinth with a couple of friends, then sitting around talking about the season. It's what we do with these friends - something between formless shooting the breeze and formal ritual. I like how it's working out so far.
                          If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
                          helps you feel your life protects you,
                          cradles you and connects you to everything.
                          Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

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                          • #14
                            i don't have any plans at all. i'll, of course, do my little ritual. but, otherwise, nuttin'

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                            • #15
                              Ah, baking and festivalling (at least, hopefully baking--the sourdough starter needs help).

                              Went to a garden party tonight. Celebrated all kinds of blooming and growing things, and enjoyed the fruit of the vine.

                              The Greek Orthodox church is having a festival this weekend, and their choir always performs beautifully. And the neighborhood I grew up in is having its annual street fair, with music, shop vendors, and other fun. Usually, we do this with my parents, who still live in the same house. This year, a friend who has returned to the area lives in the same neighborhood, so maybe we'll see if she'll join us.

                              On Sunday, a cast party. Celebrating all kinds of creative births and fertility and being outdoors. That works as ritual for me. And bread. Always bread.

                              Peace
                              Working for Peace Pruning the Rambles

                              :hahugh: Banner made by me :hahugh:
                              Definition of skepticism: Don't believe everything you think.

                              In wildness is the preservation of the world ~Henry David Thoreau

                              Pantheism Path Forum Guide

                              In memoriam, Basha: 4/1996 - 12/2007 * * * In memoriam, Tika: 9/1996 - 3/2008

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