Thursday, June 19, 2008


I've lived most of my life in the northern United States, so I'm accustomed to the long summer evenings around solstice. (When I was a kid, I lived far, far west in the eastern time zone, so it didn't get dark till around 10 p.m.) Now that I'm pregnant, I'm in bed every night by nine, and the sky is still light. Strange. It feels like being a kid again.

Twice in my life I've spent the summer solstice far north of this, once crossing the Baltic Sea by ferry from Sweden to Russia, and once on the shores of Lithuania. In both places, the sun doesn't fall below the horizon the whole night. I remember waking in the middle of the night to peer from my porthole, to watch the strange northern sun hover high above the horizon. And I remember drinking beer in large groups around bonfires in Lithuania, skinny dipping in the cold water before huddling back into our rough Polish sweaters, and stumbling to bed early in the morning.

This weekend's celebrations include a city-wide festival that begins tonight with a fantastic parade, and my ordination on Saturday. It's cool, damp, and gray here, not much like midsummer, but that means the strawberry season will last longer (unless it's too wet), and I won't sweat through the ceremony this weekend. Maybe it will even be cool enough to have a solstice bonfire in the fireplace.

The liminality of the Beltane season gives way to the fullness of Litha. Gather your herbs, leave out cream for the fairies, build your fires high, and dance the sun to sleep. Merry midsummer!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


It has been an inward season for me, even as the world has burst forth in bud, bloom, and green. I'm astonished that it's almost Midsummer, and almost my ordination day. I'm pressing my dress and shawl (the one John brought from India this winter), and polishing my silver pentacle (the one Adonis brought me from Arcata) in preparation for the day. My ordination as a minister of healing arts is strictly speaking non-sectarian, but I'm pledged to the Goddess, and this is another rite of passage on that journey. I'm terribly proud of myself, and tremendously grateful.

There is an old poem that speaks of blessings raining down like blossoms. That is what life has felt like. I'm pregnant; our baby is due at the winter solstice. We conceived six months to the day after our beloved Lugh crossed over. And we've finally found our house: a sweet old house with beautiful gardens that border those of a friend--she's already suggested that we build a stone circle where our yards meet--four blocks from where we live now, in a vibrant downtown neighborhood. We move in August. Adonis is making plans for the birthing room; so far my contribution has been to order prayer flags to hang over the altar.

I've been spending a lot of time in bed, as much as I'm able, and I've been drawn to reread novels that are spiritually important to me: so far, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver and The Mists of Avalon (though I can never bear to read the last 200 pages, after Arthur's duel in the realm of fairy). If you have suggestions for novels that have been importantly to you spiritually as a Pagan, please leave them here.