By the date of our modern calendar, Summer is now in full swing. Sunna is shining in her fullness and warming the Earth with life-giving light. This also marks the point in the cycle of the year where all folk should be manifesting their talents and exercising their Will to ensure that there is a fruitful Harvest and enough resources to last through the Winter. Those personal intentions (resolutions) that you wrote down and burned in the Yule wreath should be well on their way to completion.
The Midsummer celebration is manifested by the burning of bonfires. In Scandinavian countries, the folk still take pride in fashioning hay from the fertile fields into large sunwheels, setting them ablaze and rolling them down the cliffs of the fjords into the water below. The Germanic peoples call this symbol a fylfot. The Hindu call it a swastika. The burning of fires symbolizes the using up of the remnants of the last year?s energies and increasing this year?s energy to produce a more effective, life-giving Harvest. This does not apply solely to growing crops but all aspects of daily activity that we perform on a yearly basis.
During Midsummer fires, it is traditional to jump over the flames, exposing yourself to the heat of the fire and cleansing yourself of the past year?s fetters that may have held you back from completing future tasks. If you don?t have the resources to participate in such an event, yet still want to perform a ceremony, light a small brazier or even a stove burner. Focus on what you intended to do last year and still have not accomplished. Then focus on what you intended to accomplish at the beginning of this year and may or may not be accomplishing. Wave your hands over the flame, leaving all the ills and struggles behind to be consumed in the heat. Take responsibility and pride in picking up your tasks and feel yourself renewed in your pursuits.
Don?t forget to call upon your ancestral resources and also the land spirits around the land that you live. Pour out a libation to your bloodline and leave a portion of your nightly meal outside for the wights to consume. Giving a gift, especially during Midsummer, is important for completing an effective Midsummer working.
North Austin Pagan Meetup is a community of local practitioners of Pagan and Heathen paths. Our monthly meetings serve as a time to grow friendships, engage in important discussion, and learn from each other. This is an alternate site to those that don't brave the rush hour traffic to come to the Austin Pagan Meetup which is held south of the river. For all those who have wanted to participate but can't, I understand. Here's your chance to have a Meetup north of the river.
As a general "umbrella" facilitator for networking among our members, we do not particularly carry an agenda to sway someone towards on practice or another. However, defining a few basic concepts and principles, we try to get every one focused from the viewpoint of all reading from the same first page, whether or not we ultimately read from the same book. So, our general guidelines are set as follows:
A few generic terms:
1. Pagan: a nature-worshipping polytheist. 2. Heathen: a Pagan with focus on ancestry and heritage. 3. Magic: Strengthening or exerting personal Will to affect a definite outcome.
non-dogmatic tenets to follow:
(commonly known as the Nine Noble Virtues)
Truth Honor Courage Self-Reliance Discipline Industriousness Fidelity Hospitality Perseverance
How to carry yourself among others:
(on the qualities of the Norseman, as quoted in Kropotkin's “Mutual Aid”)
"To do what lay before him openly and like a man, without fear of either foes, fiends, or fate; To be free and daring in all his deeds; To be gentle and generous to his friends and kinsmen; To be stern and grim to his foes, but even towards them to fulfil all bounden duties. To be no truce-breaker, nor tale-bearer, nor back-biter. To utter nothing against any man that he would not dare tell him to his face. To turn no man from his door who sought food or shelter, even though he were a foe."
Expectations of you within the community:
Carry yourself confidently. Maintain pride well shy of arrogance. Meet everyone eye to eye and face to face. Expect nothing, yet be open to the selfless welcome of others. Expect to learn, yet ultimately be called upon to teach. Speak your mind, yet let your words and actions be nothing but the truth.