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Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
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The Dark Half of the Year
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Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Yule and the New Year
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Celtic View of Samhain
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The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Witches Lost in Halloween
Samhain and the 'Witch Questions'
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
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A Summer Solstice Primer
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
A Story For Autumn
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
The Samhain Experience
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Imbolc Musings: We're All Broken
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Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
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Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
The Call of the Crone
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
Back to Basics: Imbolc
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Parting the Veils of Beltane's Quickening
Ode to Ostara
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
The Maiden's Breath: The Vernal Equinox
The Light of the Harvest: Lammas
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
The Hermit's Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox
The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel
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Observations for a MidSummer's Eve
Mother's Flowering-The Summer Solstice
Are Holiday Decorations and Spending A Cloak for Guilt?
The Meeting at the Crossroads-Samhain
Reconsidering a Historical Eostre
A Samhain Selfie
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We Want them Back! (A Pagan View of the Holidays)
Turning The Wheel By Choice
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Beltane -- Holiday Details and History
You Call it May Day, We Call it Beltane
Beltane -- Enlightening Links
Beltaine - Our May Morn
Beltane: Return To Feeling
Mother Earth and Sister Moon: A Beltaine Story of Creation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Mother's Flowering-The Summer Solstice
Article ID: 15713
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 22nd. 2014
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The night is warm and I stand facing the lingering light, thick and strong in its final hold. I think on all that has brought me to this point of the Great Wheel and call to myself the memories of lessons learned and places filled with burgeoning light that I have nurtured and cultivated as my Inner Sun waxed to fullness. Each memory is illuminated from within and I feel the heat of my Inner Sun flaring out from center’s core; extending light filled streams of connection to each treasured sensation and image so that all may see the product of my efforts.
Tingling energy moves through me affirming the call that will carry me deeply into the darkness of the solar waning journey at the setting of this Solstice Sun. I think on the moments of waiting I have seen at this same cycle of time the many years before and how each has held its own joy of new expression. I breathe into these thoughts, envisioning the flame of sunlight carried within myself. I breathe deeply into the joy of being able to turn the focus of that light inwards as the sun wanes in the sky above and I attune to that same solar cycle within.
I look ahead and see rays of blazing light flowing through the cavernous expanse of my inner dwelling place as their long slim finger-like beams recede into the core of my being as the Sun sets deeper into the womb of horizon. One more deep breath of inhalation affirming the strength of the light that has come before, and I watch the Sun’s light blacken as darkness takes hold. The Summer Solstice has marked the Great Wheel and with its turning so too does the turning inward of my Illuminated Self, forever changed.
We have tended and fanned the flames of our inner light and it has now reached its apex of form and intent at the Summer Solstice. In opposition to the longest night of the Winter Solstice, the brilliance of full sun and illuminated action holds the power of this outpouring. It is at this point that we have fully ignited our Inner Sun and it is now the time of full expression of the strength and power of its dynamic energy that will carry us forward into the waning light of the year. This longest day is the pivotal point of beginning to turn within. The light will begin to dwindle in outward expression and the need to tend the fires and heed the warning of neglect of the inner hearth of light we hold at our core becomes the focus. We welcome the waning of the physical sun’s energy as the place of renewal, time of indoor retreat and opportunity to explore the inner spark of flames that hold the key of creation and birthing of those fires that will burn brightest at Winter’s end. The Waning half of the year supports this process of redirecting the blazing glory of the outer light we have brought to fullness and the re-enlivening of the seeds of new ember that lay within as we turn this focus inward.
The Waning Light of the Year
As we move through this turning of the Great Wheel and the its cycle of change within the need to cull and harvest what will act as the fuel to sustain the brilliance of its fire is the task of intent. In the physical world we gather our food and energy stores and offer up to sacrifice those products which did not thrive in the heat of the spring and summer sun. We look carefully at what we think will nourish and sustain us in the dark months ahead and we choose wisely where we shine our light so as not to exhaust its outward light. We move continually forward in this cycle of light and dark always holding the intention of unifying and quickening what lay within so it may be brought to full expression in the sharing of its gifts as we move and interact in the outer world.
The Longest Day
The day of the Summer Solstice marks the longest hours of daylight for that year. It is the polarized opposite of the Winter Solstice which occurs on the opposing date and marks the longest hours of darkness within the year. Each is a place of giving way; one to the other in dominance and strength so that the state of balance that is achieved at the interims of Equinox may hold the energies of both in synthesized form.
Physically, we revel in the activities that the longer days have provided light for. We connect to nature and our surroundings fully enlivened by the heat of the sun and the caressing warmth that keeps our physical bodies pliable and pain free. We know that not long from this mid-summer’s point, the days will herald the coming of the Fall and harvest and the chill of winter will interweave through still warm breezes. So, we make full use of this light as we gather and socialize, celebrate and bathe in the healing rays of Father Sun.
The Gift of the Father
The energy of the God has reached the brilliance and radiance of the physical Sun at Noon. This is the time of power and strength, that if gathered in its fullness will carry us forward into the waning year. This is the light that remains ever burning, even in the darkest recesses. Remember, that although we cannot see the Sun’s light when night falls and portions of the Earth rotate away from its light, on the opposite side of the Earth, Dawn has come and the Sun is still shining brightly. And, it is because of this strength and knowledge of the light that is always at the ready that the God willingly sacrifices himself and the life sustaining energy when the Harvest approaches and the Crone’s call of death is answered. This source of great strength has become the provider of those who serve the lands and his waning light brings to term what is readied for Winter’s long dark nights.
The celebration of the Oak and Holly Kings is one of relinquishing the power held within the Mighty Oak willingly and selflessly so that the cycle of life and death, outward expression and inner reflection may continue. The Holly King now reigns supreme and the truth of his power lay in the mystery of their being one in the same. Their visage changing in accord with the needs of the land and the cycles of time and season as they attune to the energies of the Solar year.
The Flowering of the Mother
By definition the word ”flowering” means: (1) to reach full growth or maturity; (2) capable of producing conspicuous flowers; and (3) producing flowers at a specified time or of a specified type.
The Goddess takes the form of the pregnant Mother, ripe and just ready to give birth. She is unlike any other Mother, for she is at her most creative and is both filled with new life and continually birthing new life as her power of creation permeates all it touches. The potential held within these birthings is the fullness of all of the experiences that have been gathered from the process of creating, bringing to full term and finally giving birth to what is desired. The Goddess is the vessel of life and light and it is her body (as Gaia) that signals the time of greatest light as the earth reaches its peak of verdant life. She is bathed in her lover’s light and strength and Father Sun turns the spotlight on his progeny so that all may revel in the fecundity and fertility that produced such forms.
If the Light of our own power of creation has received the intention of our Mothering and the strength and support of our Fathering it shines brightly, radiating a magnetic quality of attraction. What we have desired to see in full bloom stands at the ready calling to us to enjoy the beauty, revel in the fragrant victory and claim the glory of fields of flowering intentions. The light we have stoked and fed within now shines through us gifting us as creators and illuminating that which is ready to stand the test of harvesting as we move into the months ahead.
Continuing the Wheel of Light
If you have been following this series of writings, you will no doubt, have recognized the echoes of the previous writings on the Sabbats that are now part of a half of the Wiccan year. The pathworking below is a synthesis of our progression through the Illuminated Wheel with the start of our journey at the time of the Winter Solstice. And, so I invite you on this journey of remembering and the opportunity to reach back into the space of your creative action that seeded what has come to flower in the brilliance of the Sun’s full light.
Reaching Back Into Creation- A Pathworking
Find a comfortable space where you will not be disturbed and settle into a supportive chair or with your back braced as you sit on the floor. Breathe deeply and fully a few times and with each subsequent breath allow yourself to settle more deeply into whatever you are sitting in or on. Close your eyes and gently pull your conscious mind up to the space between your brows and envision an inner screen of your making. You are both observer and participant in the experience and as you breathe more deeply and establish a steady flow of rhythm you see a point of blue light just ahead of you. As you continue to inhale and exhale this point begins to expand and forms a dense yet very refined mist of pale blue flickering light. You breathe into the stretching of this light as though to form a veiling or threshold and see yourself stepping through the mist.
You emerge at the edge of a brilliantly lit field, dense with flowers in full bloom. The blending of fragrant air and wildlife floods your nostrils and is sweet and heady in the ripeness of its offering. The noonday sun beats down enfolding you in its enlivening embrace and all around you are the signs of life that has been quickened by the act of creation and sustained by the life-giving light. You inhale deeply and sigh into the release of an exhalation that signals your readiness to begin the journey of re-membering that has brought you to this place of fertility. You breathe deeply and close your eyes allowing all of your senses to awaken and engage.
You breathe deeply and gently open your eyes and find yourself standing in the same field but now its vision is one of several weeks prior and the beginning of May. Flowers that are not quite in full bloom stretch across a field of freshly painted greenery, the faint scent of their perfume moving on a gentle warm breeze. You feel the heat and energy of the will to creation fill the space of your pelvic bowl (Sacral Chakra) as awareness focuses its intent within this creative vessel that holds the seed of potential for life. You breathe into the spaciousness of this part of your body and feel the warmth and sensation of awakening as you allow the energy of breath to flow through this creative gateway. Intuitively, you move this area of your body rocking gently side to side as you envision the flow of creative potency and vitality. Breathe into this sensation of desire and will as the bowl of your creative intent fills with life force and the memory of what brought you to this space of creation.
These thoughts quicken your breath and your heart beats rapidly in anticipation as you look out over the field of sunlit space seeking your beloved. A stream of electrified energy moves up your spine awakening all of your senses as you feel the heat of your lover’s breath at the back of your neck. You turn to face your beloved and two small suns flash with desire from the depths of eyes that have lovingly gazed upon your face in seasons past. Breath hangs in the air suspended in timelessness as you reach out to your consort. Earth and Sun sigh into the release of consummate union and passion’s light burns with heat and intensity, as each lover’s flame becomes the singular flame that fuels the passion of Beltane’s gift.
The warming after-glow of creative action slowly dissipates and you begin walking towards the edge of the field coming to stand in front of a small iron gate bordered by a low stone wall enclosing a beautifully landscaped garden. Full bushes just budding with green and a tapestry of assorted flowers that are just beginning to sprout from the dark rich soil, spread in front of you like a welcoming carpet. You see that there is a stone path just to your right and curious as to what lay along its course you turn and begin to step forward. Your feet make a gentle tapping sound as each moves from circular stone to circular stone and each footfall seems to release the fragrant scent of thyme that grows between and around each stone. You walk along taking note of the sunlight pouring down warmly and the blending of sounds of birds, insects singing away the last vestiges of winter’s hold. The air is electric in the newly awakening life that flows in his space and you feel this energy as a palpable stream of outpouring that is prickly and persistent against your skin. Just ahead is a small space of opening and an ornately carved iron bench beckons you to sit and rest. You sit and breathe deeply taking in the vibrancy of creative flow and the electrified seeding of creation.
You breathe deeply and gently close your eyes, drifting back into the memory of candles glowing brightly and the quickening promise of Imbolc. On your inner screen the image of an altar dressed with a bright white square piece of cloth and holding centrally a black pillar placed directly behind a white pillar appears with striking clarity. Both candles are lit and the contrast of black and white remind you of the polarity and balance of the Wheel’s energy and the waxing and waning of Light within the Wheel.
Now shift your awareness and focus towards the white pillar. See it now expanding and becoming clearer and stronger in its light. See this larger flame emanating from your central core. This is the space of your Inner Sun’s energy. This is the internal furnace that creates, destroys and fuels your will and desires. This candle of flame burns brightly and strongly and holds the power of transformation and quickening within its sensuous flames. This is the flame that has been growing to fullness as the months have brought you to the space of the Summer Solstice. Breathe deeply into this imagery and engage as much sensorial experience as possible.
Envision the image of yourself standing in front of the white pillar of flames. Draw in a deep breath of intent and step through the white flames, bringing with you what you have cultivated and brought to the fullest expression of your own Light. You pass through these flames and find yourself now standing within those of the black pillar. Acknowledge this dark light as those aspects of yourself that await the brilliance of light you carry forward and hold the potential of serving as the kindling of your inner fires as you move into the waning of the year. Breathe deeply into this imagery and engage as much sensorial experience as possible. These are the flames that you will nurture and tend as the Sun wanes and the call to inner reflection cries out to you. You breathe deeply into these images and the memory they hold of what has brought you to the fullness of the Wheel of Light.
You breathe deeply feeling the experience of these candles of light and dark and as you exhale you open your eyes, now surrounded by the fading of light and night’s veiling. You rise from the bench and the warmth is now replaced by the biting chill of a winter’s eve. You shiver in the memory of this night and the return to the space of beginning. You remember the anticipation you felt as the Waxing of the Great Wheel took hold and the gift of the Winter Solstice ignited the Light within. You stood fearlessly and with hope as you faced the impending darkness of the Longest Night; thick and almost opaque in its veiling. As the memories of this time of the first spark of newly created light fills you the realization of what you imagined on that night and what has come to be brings tears of joy and gratitude. You acknowledge the gift of having turned the focus of that seed of light outwards as the sun gained in strength in the sky above and you made commitment to attune to that same solar cycle within. You think on all that was birthed from this singular and profound point on the Great Wheel; the promises offered and the manifestation of each in turn as you moved forward. Standing in a place of strength, light and clarity and you step willingly into the turning of the Waning Wheel of the Year knowing that these flames will always light the way.
You breathe into these thoughts, feeling the flame of your inner sun expanding. You breathe deeply as you leave the memories of your journey behind and return to the present time of the Summer Solstice. You breathe deeply as you move back into the space of your physical being and the surroundings in which you began this journey. You breathe deeply offering up thanks for the lessons of the Wheel and when you are ready gently flutter your eyes open and return to the here and now.
So Mote It Be!
Please enjoy the accompanying poem: “Waning Light” in the WitchVox Poetry Section.
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