Archive for the ‘Sun Holiday’ Category

1
Aug

August 1 – Lammas

   Posted by: earthkat

Lammas or Lugnasdaugh is the celebration of the first harvests of the year.  The primary food group is wheat and bread goods.  The beginning of Lammas marks the waning of the summer, and the waxing of autumn.  It’s hard to believe with all the 95+F days we’ve had, that fall is just around the corner.

May you always have enough bounty for you and your friends! Happy Lammas!

5
May

Beltane – Mountain Mysteries

   Posted by: earthkat

Full Circle lead the opening ceremony for Beltane weekend at Mountain Mysteries.

One of our favorite quotes dispelling the myth that dancing the maypole will get your pregnant is “Touching the maypole will not cause babies, having sex does”

Every year near Oct. 31st, Full Circle, a spiritual practice group at the UU church of Annapolis, marks the turning of the year and honor those who have passed away. A canvas labyrinth is set up and used in a walking meditation to remember those who have passed away, and to be mindful of things that need to be released from ones life.

 
At the center candles are lit to  to honor those who have passed.  As participants walk out following the labyrinth, they meditated on letting in new things into their lives for the new year.  Below are photos of the altars that participants set up prior to the ritual.  The individual altars have photos and objects of friends and family that have passed away.  Past events including the full ritual outline can be found here .

 

 

 

 

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4
Apr

Happy Ostara!

   Posted by: earthkat

 

 

 

These pictures are of our Ostara/New Moon ritual that the Weavers held last night.  New Moon is when Weavers (a dedicated sub-set of Full Circle) meet and plan ritual for the next full moon.  Each Weaver takes the responsibility of leading at least one full moon per year with the assistance and support of other Weaver’s.

Every year near Oct. 31st, Full Circle, a spiritual practice group at the UU church of Annapolis, marks the turning of the year and honor those who have passed away. A canvas labyrinth is set up and used in a walking meditation to remember those who have passed away, and to be mindful of things that need to be released from ones life.  At the center candles are lit to  to honor those who have passed.  As participants walk out following the labyrinth, they meditated on letting in new things into their lives for the new year.  Below are photos of the altars that participants set up prior to the ritual.  The individual altars have photos and objects of friends and family that have passed away

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2
Feb

Imbolc Essay

   Posted by: earthkat

By Aurora Star Light Bringer

As the wheel of the year turns another eighth, Imbolc has a bolstering effect that is a necessary at this time of the year and after the lessons learned at the last quarter.

Imbolc always finds me when I am about ready to throw in the towel. Like the season which is gray and sloppy, cold and barren, I find myself frazzled, belaboring my every mistake and bemoaning each slight annoyance that comes my way.

Scarcely six weeks ago, Winter Solstice taught us faith, but in the cold, messy gray that surrounds us, it’s hard to hold to the promise of the returning of the light. Now, surrounded by leafless trees, just about out of patience with faith, Imbolc finds us asking “Yes, but when?”.

Where Winter Solstice finds us in the dark night of the soul, Imbolc is the first light of dawn. This cross-quarter marks the first salmon-colored light of the rising sun. Where Winter Solstice urged us to keep the faith that light would return, Imbolc offers us proof. Mornings and afternoons are lighter, snow melts, revealing blades of grass and rogue bulbs begin to send tender green shoots up from barren garden beds. Imbolc shows us evidence of the coming of the light. Imbolc renews our faith. Through signs of Spring, it offers us a new sacrament: hope.

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21
Dec

Winter Solstice Essay

   Posted by: earthkat

by Aurora Star Light Bringer

Of the eight sabbats in the Wheel of the Year, Winter Solstice is nearest to my heart. This is because its messages are so enduring and have meaning to last the whole year through—similarly to the way the messages of Christmastime “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all” are valid all year long.
At Winter Solstice we find ourselves on the darkest day of the year—we find ourselves in our darkest hour. In the same way our ancestors sat in the dark night wondering if the sun would ever return, we find ourselves in the dark night of our soul wondering if the obstacles and challenges before us are insurmountable, whether the dark times in life will ever resolve, when we can’t imagine lightheartedness returning to our routine.
I wonder how many Winter Solstices we have a year. How many times do we ask “Is this challenge too great? Is this the mistake that will end my relationship? Will my health ever improve? Will my loved one recover? Will I find a job? Is the small difference I make in this world too significant?” When we find ourselves facing questions like these, in times of hopelessness and doubt, no matter the time of year, we are having a Winter Solstice moment.
Winter Solstice teaches us that there is no darkness without light. That just as we must anticipate the sun’s return, we must expect that light will return to our lives. Marking this holiday formally helps us to renew our understanding of this message and to help us carry it throughout the year. I think the reason why Winter Solstice strikes home for me is that when you pare down my spiritual practice of Earth-Based ritual, when you take away all of the things that make ritual ritual—the quarter calls, the candle lighting, the chanting—what I have left is FAITH.

When I find myself in a Winter Solstice moment, I have a phrase that helps to sustain me and urges me to persevere.  “Tomorrow the Sun will surely rise”. That no matter what is happening tonight, right now, no matter what personal turmoil I find myself in, that sun will rise above the Earth and fill it with light once more. Somehow this fills be with hope, it teaches me to hold on, to recognize that tomorrow is a new day, a solution is on its way. It fills me with Faith. Faith that since the sun surely will return, that dark situations will too resolve into new horizons and opportunities.
As Unitarian Universalists, since our religion is free of dogma and creed, we sometimes wonder if it is also devoid of faith. We wonder if it can sustain us through the hard times. But our drawing from our multiple sources provides us with a wealth of lessons that allow us find our faith and understand our on personal faiths in a way that drawing from one source may not fully provide.
This is what drawing from the teachings of Earth-Centered religions has done for me. Eight times a year I am reminded of the cycles of life, and once a year I wait up all night anticipating the arrival of the sun.
If this is your first Winter Solstice celebration, I hope you take with you the message of faith that this sabbat brings. If Winter Solstice is part of your tradition, I hope that this marking of this sabbat renews your sense of faith.
Faith that no problem is without solution, that now obstacle is insurmountable, that you are loved, you are part of a supportive and loving community and that yes, tomorrow the sun will surely rise.

Winter Solstice–Raven Bishop

Of the eight sabbats in the Wheel of the Year, Winter Solstice is nearest to my heart. This is because its messages are so enduring and have meaning to last the whole year through—similarly to the way the messages of Christmastime “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all” are valid all year long.

At Winter Solstice we find ourselves on the darkest day of the year—we find ourselves in our darkest hour. In the same way our ancestors sat in the dark night wondering if the sun would ever return, we find ourselves in the dark night of our soul wondering if the obstacles and challenges before us are insurmountable, whether the dark times in life will ever resolve, when we can’t imagine lightheartedness returning to our routine.

I wonder how many Winter Solstices we have a year. How many times do we ask “Is this challenge too great? Is this the mistake that will end my relationship? Will my health ever improve? Will my loved one recover? Will I find a job? Is the small difference I make in this world too significant?” When we find ourselves facing questions like these, in times of hopelessness and doubt, no matter the time of year, we are having a Winter Solstice moment.

Winter Solstice teaches us that there is no darkness without light. That just as we must anticipate the sun’s return, we must expect that light will return to our lives. Marking this holiday formally helps us to renew our understanding of this message and to help us carry it throughout the year. I think the reason why Winter Solstice strikes home for me is that when you pare down my spiritual practice of Earth-Based ritual, when you take away all of the things that make ritual ritual—the quarter calls, the candle lighting, the chanting—what I have left is FAITH. When I find myself in a Winter Solstice moment, I have a phrase that helps to sustain me and urges me to persevere. “Tomorrow the Sun will surely rise”. That no matter what is happening tonight,

right now, no matter what personal turmoil I find myself in, that sun will rise above the Earth and fill it with light once more. Somehow this fills be with hope, it teaches me to hold on, to recognize that tomorrow is a new day, a solution is on its way. It fills me with Faith. Faith that since the sun surely will return, that dark situations will too resolve into new horizons and opportunities.

As Unitarian Universalists, since our religion is free of dogma and creed, we

sometimes wonder if it is also devoid of faith. We wonder if it can sustain us through the hard times. But our drawing from our multiple sources provides us with a wealth of lessons that allow us find our faith and understand our on personal faiths in a way that drawing from one source may not fully provide.

This is what drawing from the teachings of Earth-Centered religions has done for

me. Eight times a year I am reminded of the cycles of life, and once a year I wait up all night anticipating the arrival of the sun.

If this is your first Winter Solstice celebration, I hope you take with you the

message of faith that this sabbat brings. If Winter Solstice is part of your tradition, I hope that this marking of this sabbat renews your sense of faith.

Faith that no problem is without solution, that now obstacle is insurmountable,

that you are loved, you are part of a supportive and loving community and that

yes, tomorrow the sun will surely rise.

30
Oct

Samhain – Dia De Los Muertos

   Posted by: earthkat

Every year near Oct. 31st, Full Circle, a spiritual practice group at the UU church of Annapolis, marks the turning of the year and honor those who have passed away. A canvas labyrinth is set up and used in a walking meditation to remember those who have passed away, and to be mindful of things that need to be released from ones life.  At the center candles are lit to  to honor those who have passed.  As participants walk out following the labyrinth, they meditated on letting in new things into their lives for the new year.  Below are photos of the altars that participants set up prior to the ritual.  The individual altars have photos and objects of friends and family that have passed away.

On Oct. 28th we joined together to mark the turning of the year and honor those who have passed away. This celebration is known by many names: All Hallows Eve, Hallows, Halloween Samhain, and Dia De Los Muertos.

At the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, we
pause to remember and honor the dead.
We honor ancestors.
We honor those we have loved.
We honor, too those we never met.
We honor all humans.
We honor all beings.
We honor the perpetual cycle of life.
Death / life /night / day /winter / summer,
All are part of the sacred cycle.
Tonight we remember the wholeness of our selves and our earth community.
We remember the sacredness of our selves and our earth community.
What is remembered, lives.

Around 6:30-7:00pm participants constructed altar’s to honor friends and family members who have passed away. Photos of these altars can be found below. Click on the image view a larger version of the image.

At 7pm we held a brief ceremony. We smudged (wafted burning sage smoke) ourselves as we walked into the sanctuary. This helped cleanse ourselves and clear our minds to transition into sacred space. We walked counter-clockwise around the circular 35 foot canvas labyrinth. This direction is rarely used in an earth base tradition, but in this case used to mark the occasion of the passing of the year.

We sang “Blood of the Ancients“, “Every Step I Take is a Healing Step“. We held hands and imagined a circle of energy protecting the sanctuary. We then welcomed the Directions. We each sat and meditated briefly on friends and family that have passed away, and also things in our lives we would like to release. Quiet drumming music played as we walked the labyrinth. At the center we lit candles (again to honor those who have passed) and walked out following the labyrinth and letting in new things for the new year. We ended by saying farewell to the Directions, held hands and removed the sphere of protective energy. We sang our closing song of “May the Circle Be Open” If would like to hear the tune and words click here

We then joined together for refreshments that we had all brought to share. We also had a vegetable “Stone Soup” from donations people had brought. Bread was broke and we talked of qualities our loved ones had taught us.

Many thanks to all those who helped setup and cleanup.