Summer Solstice and Best Wishes to Certain Tall Leicestershire Lads

Today is Summer Solstice, the point in the Wheel of the Year to celebrate the power of the sun and the bounties of the first harvest.

Wheel of the year2

(To my shame, I forgot the Solstice was today until I saw an article on the celebrations at Stonehenge.)

I’m a Neo-Pagan, though I still pray daily the last couple years I have lapsed in ritual practice. At my core I believe that the divine is simply too massive, complex and subtle for the human mind to comprehend. Certainly more than one culture or religion can comprehend. I think that groups of the human race find way to connect to the divine that work for them and so long as they don’t harm anyone, it’s all good. “All religions are true,” said Gandhi. I’m totally down with that. For me, I connect to the divine through the Lord and Lady, the Divine Masculine and Feminine in balance. After all, for most of the species on the planet, it takes two, male and female, to create life.

The various Neo-Paganist traditions are cobbled together from of the mostly European pre-Abrahamic religions. (I hope by now most people know we do not worship Satan. He does not even exist in our religions.) While we know some of the ancients rituals and beliefs, there is no unbroken line of traditions (as much as many of us in the community may wish otherwise). What we have now is a modern approximation of adapted beliefs and rituals, but that does not make it any less potent a spitual force in people’s lives.

Human beings, Homo sapiens, have existed for 195,000 years. We spent most of that time as hunter-gatherers, dependant on the cycles of nature to tell us when and where to migrate,Β  where food was going to be when. It was an integral part of our lives. Large scale argiculture giving rise to civilization arose 10,000 years ago, and we still lived our lives by the turning of the seasons. Even when the church took over, they used Pagan holidays, elements of Pagan rituals, Pagan pilgramage sites, even adapting some of the Gods and Goddess into Saints. The industrial world we live in now is only 200-250 years old. Many humans around the world still live in the ancesteral lifeways of their ancient forefathers, but we in the developed world live in a technological society almost completely divorced from the nature we lived in for the vast majority of our species’ existence. That’s not to say that technology is detrimental to human existence. For the most part, it’s a great boon. But there is a gaping spiritual hole in our society. Is any wonder that people are looking back to connect to a past the we evolved for? To find spiritual fulfillment in the world we were made to live in, the lifeways we spent 194,800 years living?

Now, another thing I forgot was that today was that this guy:

Richard 4

…is starring in this play…

crucible

They had their preview performance tonight and apparently it was a smash success. Congratulations to him and the rest of the cast and production team. I hope the rest of the play’s run is sucessful and lauded and that Richard Armitage’s dreams and goals for this artistic challenge are fulfilled. Break a leg fella.

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10 thoughts on “Summer Solstice and Best Wishes to Certain Tall Leicestershire Lads

  1. What a strange coincidence! I used to be a pagan and a fan of RA. I still have my wand and folder of RA pics. Do you think you’ll ever get back into the ritual side of your religion?

    • My goodness we are stacking up the commonalities. πŸ™‚

      I do. I am have never been one for group rituals. I always feel too self conscious to be in the moment and the energy, but private practice gave me peace (some πŸ˜‰ ) and fulfillment. I lapsed because of depression (that downward spiral: you hate yourself, so you don’t do what is right for yourself, so you feel guilty and hate yourself more), but I need to get back into it.

      May I ask why you lapsed being pagan? I’m not trying to be accusatory or woo you back into the faith. Just curious. We all gone through spiritual journeys. I was raised Methodist, but even as a child the entire concept of someone dying 2,000 years ago and that means my wrong-doings are forgiven just did not make any sense. I was heartbroken this wonderful, wise person was tortured and killed, basically for being nice. But if I did wrong, it’s up to me to atone for that. Since that is pretty much the core of Christianity, it was never going to work out. I cast around and researched different faiths, but Neo-Paganism spoke the strongest to me. Buddhism was a close second, but the “this world is an illusion and end goal is nothingness” seems counter productive for the universe. Why go through all that trouble to create a species who are just supposed to go back into the universal oneness? But their ethical doctrine is wise and Eight-Fold Path is a worthy journey for even a single lifetime.

  2. Why did I lapse? I stopped believing in anything supernatural. To be completely accurate, I finally admitted to myself that I don’t believe in anything supernatural. It was a hard decision as I loved Wicca and atheism doesn’t bring me any comfort but it was a decision I had to make if I were to maintain any sense of integrity. I still have a few momentos from my pagan days- some books, my wand, and I still collect tarot cards.

    • One of my best friends was an atheist. As far as science is concerned, what is provable, it makes sense. The most important integrity we have to have is to ourselves. Have that, and integrity for the world follows. πŸ™‚

      There are some stunning decks out there. I have a Rohrig deck which is now out of print. Beautiful deck with lots of great, complex imagery to draw on. I love that deck and I’ve used it so much it’s getting worn out. But I had the most success with a Sacred Circle deck. Sadly, that was given to me (and decks are supposed to work best when they are gifts) by a real bastard of a BF (liar, philanderer) so I gave it back in the break up (which was probably for the best). Despite another friend giving me the same deck, I have not been able to connect to a deck quite like that again. I also have a Cat People deck. I can’t connect to the Rider-Waite tarot at all. I know the meanings of the cards, but I can’t draw anything out of them, if you know what I mean.

      • I looked at the Rohrig Tarot online and liked it so I searched for a pack: new decks are going for almost $300 AUD and even used decks are priced at over $100 AUD! Holy crap! Now I covet it all the more because I can’t have it! There is a Spanish version available at Amazon UK for less than the price of an internal organ. Would it be worth buying, do you think?

        I use Rider-Waite tarots almost exclusively. I do have a Lenormand deck and a couple of decks that use their own imagery but I’ve learned the R-W meanings and so stick to them for readings. I’ve never been given a deck but I did get my best friend and fellow atheist into tarot when I shared a house with her and now she uses it more than I do. I gave her my basic Rider-Waite deck as I had another. Do you read reversals?

    • I lucked out because I bought the deck before it was out of print for like 30$ (and with it’s popularity I am really surprised that it hasn’t had another print run). I really don’t know how to advise someone about spending $300 on it. It’s kind of your call if you want to spend that kind of money. For someone who is a serious deck collector, I can see the temptation. The art is beautiful.

      Most decks keep the same basic card mean as the Rider-Waite, it just sometimes the different imagery of decks can help you pull out something more. More insight and information. I do read reversals. I don’t think readers should sugar coat things. Unless of course most of the reading is reversed, then I assume I had the deck upside down. πŸ˜‰ How about you?

  3. I meant did you think the Spanish version of the cards was worth buying. Amazon UK have it for $30AUD Yep, I’m that much of a cheapskate I’m dithering over a $30 deck. πŸ˜€ Seriously, I’m picky about the decks I buy. I don’t have the money to collect everything and even if I did, there’s some rubbish out there I wouldn’t want anyway. I’d prefer the original Rohrig but if the language is not an important part of the deck then I’ll settle for the Spanish one. But yes, I wonder why they haven’t done another run of them.

    As for reversals, I’m the same, I read them unless it’s obvious I had the deck upside down. πŸ˜€

    • Hrm. It looks like it’s a smaller size than the original deck.

      If you are getting it for the art, I would say yes. Most of the imagery will tell you what card it is, so you can still read it despite it being in another language. It was done by a German artist, so it was half in German anyway. However, there are also English words in the background of some of the cards that give more shades of meaning.

      Still, I hate to advise anyone to spend money on something I’m not %100 sure they would enjoy.

  4. Mmmm, interesting, I was given a Swiss JJ Tarot Deck when I was about 25, used it a lot, but found it was strangely unrewarding. Then I got a RWS pack, it was fuller and easier to read.
    Now I tend towards the ‘everything is physics’, and ‘NEVER let the bastards grind you down’ philosophy, and, on occasion, it actually works for me.

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