Litha Summer Solstice

Hello, Solstice blessings to you all and to any readers in the Southern Hemisphere, Yule blessings to you!

I am sat in the yarden here, watching the bees go absolutely bonkers for these purple flowers that have grown,

..these flowers are classed a green manure as they can be dug back into the soil to fertilise it, I think they take the nitrogen in the air and convert it into nitrates…plant food! Anyway  now I am waffling!

I always love the feeling of the Summer Solstice, no matter what the weather is doing. Currently the sun is out, it’s very warm and humid and there are big fat raindrops hitting me as I type this…got to love UK weather!

I have made a lemon drizzle cake as a nod to the Solstice (as well as today’s loaf of bread – although why I decided to stand by the oven for a couple of hours on one of the warmest days of the year I don’t know!)

So while I am waiting for the bread to cook and the cake to cool, I am out here admiring the flowers and the bees and just pondering on the Solstice, the gentle run down towards Autumn and Winter will start, the flowers and fruits will continue to grow and bloom, the insects will carry on doing their buzzy thing and the wheel keeps turning.

Tonight, once the kids are in bed (after they have had some sunshiney lemon cake of course!) I think I will come sit outside, light some candles and just breathe,  quietly contemplating. That is the kind of mood I am in for this Solstice so will just go with it.

What ever your plans are, I wish you a truly blessed Solstice and a thoroughly enjoyable one, x

Darkest Winter…time to slow down.

It’s Winter, the time of the year where everything slows down….including us humans!

It might not seem like it with it being the ‘party’ season, thankfully I no longer work in an occupation where this partying is necessary, I now move at a slower pace and I think this is because I am spending more time outside in Nature and I am tuning into the seasons more (and nothing to do with feeling older!)

This time of year, as we approach the Winter Solstice, the dark is taking up more and more of the day, the need to be warm and cosy is uppermost, the lighting of fires, candles and snuggling under warm blankets! It may seem like there is a lot of Winter left to go but if you take a few moments to look about when outside you can see the promise of more light, warmer temperatures and life waiting to burst forth.
All the trees have baby buds, ready to swell and send out new greenery..

But stop….take a moment and look, there is still so much to see.

The small winter birds are in abundance, making the most of the berries and hips still on the bushes, the evergreens (as it says on the tin!) are still wonderfully green, now all the leaves have fallen you can see the wonderful shape of the trees..

there are even some winter flowers starting to come out, like this winter flowering cherry…

Go with the season, take things slower, enjoy the darkness for the Winter Solstice approaches bringing it with it, the return of the sun! Solstice blessings to you all, x

Summer Solstice greetings and Litha blessings

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Solstice greetings one and all…I hope you are having a good Litha (or Yule if you are in the Southern Hemisphere!)

This is my first Litha or Summer Solstice and I was going to mark it in great form but recently life threw me a massive curve ball and all plans went out of the window!
No matter what is going on in my personal life I didnt want to leave it unmarked…its also a full Moon and there is a moot with my local pagan group so busy day all in all!

Anyway, on my way back to work this afternoon, I collected some Mugwort from a rather substantial patch I found (cue little happy dance!) with herbs being collected today being even more potent. I intend to dry some leaves for tea and make my own smudge sticks with leaves and some lavender too.
Part way through collecting I realised I hadnt said thanks as I was given a timely reminder with a sharp sting from a hidden nettle…duly paid my respects and all was well.

There is a big park near where I live and it has a big stone entrance on one side called the ‘Four Seasons’, because there are four women carved from stone, one for each season.

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Spring.

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Summer.

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Autumn.

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Winter.

I have always admired these women but it was only today that I noticed how each woman ages as the wheel turns and each season has its turn – hadnt been obvious before starting my path but now makes perfect sense.
As I dont really have an outside altar I decided to take some roses and use them to honour ‘Summer’.

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Summer with her roses.

I had a quiet word internally with Summer before carrying back onto work. This way I feel I have marked the Solstice in a small way and had a quiet word with the Goddess.

Whatever your plans are I hope you have had/are having a wonderful Solstice, x

Winter Solstice and a Blessed Yule

Hello, wishing you a blessed Yule on this Winter Solstice!

Blessed Yule

I am so excited, there is a Pagan Moot happening tonight, a Yule social gathering of a local Pagan group and I am able to go to this moot, I have missed the others due to a lack of childminding, however that is sorted for this evening which means I get to go to my first moot and meet some other Pagans, in real life, not on the internet!!  Plus it is the solstice, the start of a new Solar year, the sun will make a return from tomorrow, the days will start to get longer and the earth will start to warm slowly, there is still some cold weather to come but the wheel is turning and life will start to come back.

There are so many different paths and different ways to celebrate the solstice but I have chosen to light a big gold candle to represent the sun and leave it burning on my altar all day, I have been making bread, both for my family and to take to the social tonight, now that it is dark I am going to light a fire and burn my small Yule log as well and with it a releasing sachet.

You can find the instructions on how to make your own releasing sachet here, my sachet will contain lavender and sage as well as small notes about what I want to release, things like negative thoughts about myself, to turn things like limitations into possibilities, inaction into action and such like and it will be burnt in my Yule fire.  I also have a sprig of Holly to throw on the flame as it is reputed to burn away your troubles from this last year bringing a fresh start to the New Year.

As I said there are many paths and many practices, ways of honoring and celebrating, many traditions but these are what I have decided to use for my first Winter Solstice/Yule as a Pagan, this may change as I become more confident in my belief and my path, I would be interested in hearing how you plan to/how you did mark the occasion if you do!

In the meantime, have a blessed Yule and may the sun shine on you and yours in the coming year, x

Yuletide