We are circling
joining hands and singing our heartsongs
this is family
this is unity
this is celebration
this is sacred…
The first candle on the Solstice Wreath is lit. The element of Air. Breath.
Life. Hope. Clean air for everyone. Clear communication. Family harmony.
We chose a family theme (harmony) and intention to carry us through the next four Sundays leading up to Solstice: “our family works in harmony to meet each member’s needs.” Each week, we will reaffirm this intention as well as reflect on the element and quality of the week. The first week is Air and Hope so we each shared a hope for the week and then spent time breathing together and feeling how Air lives within us.
Our family Solstice Prayer Wreath practice is based on the one described in this post.
These are the themes/topics for each candle:
For our first night, we first joined hands and affirmed our shared intention. We lit the Air candle. We talked about Air and Hope and then each offered a hope in turn that we have for the coming week. We then sang We Are Circling together and ended by joining hands again and repeating our shared intention. We will repeat this process, adjusting for theme of the week, for the next four Sundays.
Do you have any favorite Yuletide practices to share?
Molly is a priestess who holds MSW and M.Div degrees and recently finished her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. She is the author of Womanrunes, Earthprayer, and The Red Tent Resource Kit. Molly and and her husband Mark co-create original goddess sculptures, pendants, and ceremony kits at Brigid’s Grove (http://brigidsgrove.com), where they also publish Womanrunes book and deck sets.This article was adapted from her blog post on the SageWoman Wo0dPriestess Blog at PaganSquare.
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In a time of uncertainty, this issue reached for a sense of finding the rootedness we all long for.
We begin with Ginny Anderson's "These are the Gifts", a luminous description of place-centered theology and ritual that her community finds in a dozen sacred places that circle their home ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay area. Contrasting sharply but providing an intellectually rousing counterpoint, Dilyn Dana Pierson reflects on her increasingly solitary, stripped down expressions of spirituality in "Forsaking Wicca?"
Next comes Tamalyn Kelly's rousing paen to the Goddess movement "State of Our Union" and Eldonna Bouton's heartfelt account of a women's initiation into her moontime in "Sisters of the Long Dance."
December 12 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and in "Be Here Now" Suzan Stone Sierralupe and Sabrina Vourvoulias share both Our Lady's herstory and the herbal lore surrounding her. Wendy Hunter Roberts looks into the future with both anxiety and hope, reflecting upon both the challenges and potentials of a future more aligned with the goddess in her article "Magic in the New Millennium?" while Diana Paxson remembers her personal friend and author of the Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley in "Priestess of Avalon."
Mary Magdalene is the featured Goddess in this issue as loremistress Lesa Whyte explores in "Love is Stronger than Death: the Story of Mary Magdalene."
From our columnists comes Susun Weed's tales of the beginning of her famous herbal school, holiday gift giving with a difference from Lunaea Weatherstone, reflections on the challenges (and gifts) of solitude by Crone magazine editor Ann Kreilkamp, a cautionary tale on the abuse of magic by Carol Christ, Joanna Colbert's tips on finding magic in nature during winter, and a double-helping of Winter Solstice festivals, lore and rituals from Waverly Fitzgerald.
96 pages of mystery, discussion and community, originally published Winter Solstice 1999.
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Why should the Christians (and secular culture) have all the fun at the holidays? Discover the Pagan roots of the Winter Solstice holidays in this special issue.
Look beneath the surface: Santa Claus, whose red, fur-trimmed suit and rolling laughter is found everywhere in December, is more than the patron saint of consumerism. Diana Paxson leads us "In Search of Father Yuletide" in which the Heathen roots of this most popular secular deity are revealed.
But Santa isn't the only Wintertime gift-bringer: St Lucia and the Holly King are also an integral part of European traditions of Winter Solstice. Joanna Powell Colbert celebrates the myth and magick of these two lesser-known Yuletide figures.
And then, there's Jesus. Although this time of year ostensibly celebrates his birthday, our article "Jesus Christ: Pagan Superstar?" explores how the myth of Christ connects into the deep roots of the dying/rising god and questions whether Pagans can re(claim) the ubiquitous folk hero of Western civilization for their own.
And we haven't left out the more popular stories: in "Humbug or Hope?" we explore the deeper meaning of the naysayers of the "shopping season" -- Scrooge and the Grinch.
Plus M Macha Nightmare on the magic of vocal spellcasting; an underworld meditation from R J Stewart, Denny Sargent on the Gnostic path, Patricia Telesco on how to make a stone oracle; and even Pagan reviews of classic holiday films. 80 pages, originally published in the winter of 2000.
“Hearth and Home”
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“The Blessed Bee (#1-4)”
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“Finding Our Treasure”
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