Today’s column comes to us from Karl E.H. Seigfried, goði of Thor’s Oak Kindred in Chicago. In addition to his award-winning website, The Norse Mythology Blog, Karl has written for the BBC, Iceland Magazine, Journal of the Oriental Institute, On Religion, Religion Stylebook, and many other outlets. He holds degrees in literature, music, and religion, and he is the first Ásatrú practitioner to hold a graduate degree from University of Chicago Divinity School. Our weekend section is always open for submissions. Please submit queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANTE FE, N.M. — When Wendy Rule led a full moon ritual on Jan. 1 at her home in Santa Fe, some 1,200 people took part as the Australian-born Witch tapped her snake-emblazoned frame drum to invoke the spirits of air, fire, water, and earth. But those 1,200 ritual participants didn’t have to crowd into or around the 1930s adobe home that Rule shares with her husband, Timothy Van Diest, below the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Instead, Rule said, her fellow ritualists were participating through their “crystal balls.”
Those ritualists watched as Rule, a musician who proudly identifies herself as both Witch and Pagan, picked up her guitar and performed her gentle ballad “My Sister the Moon.” Then, over the next hour, Rule continued to weave music, myth, meditation, magic and magical affirmations before closing the sacred circle by expressing gratitude to the Goddess, “moonlight, sunlight, the light within us” and . .
TWH – For many people around the world, this weekend marks the celebration of the Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer or Litha. It is at this time that the Northern Hemisphere is tilted closest to the sun. The astrological date for this year’s solstice is June 20, 22:34 UTC (or 6:34 pm ET). In honor of the abundance of daylight and sunshine, communities have long used bonfires, music, dancing, and outdoor festivals as traditional features of both religious rituals and secular celebrations. In some modern Pagan practices, it is believed that this holiday represents the highest ascendancy of masculine divinity. At the same time, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing the exact opposite.