As in a bit Pagan.
I was bought up in the 70s / 80s in suburban SW London oblivious to the cycles of things. It wasn’t until I was 32 and clutching a brand new baby that I properly noticed trees come into flower. Flowering trees! All this beauty that I had missed as a busy young urban thing rushing around, head down trying to get to work on time.
Paganism isn’t a religion or but perhaps it is if you define it as worship of the land. Wikipedia describes it as the religion of the peasants. It’s what all our ancestors used to do, which is perform rituals in community to mark time, show respect to the power of nature, and give thanks for the abundance of food and nourishment that nature provides, with prayers for the continuation of the cycle. Seed, sprout, flower, fruit, decay, death and then to trust that life is reborn once again.
In my own healing journey and spiritual path, I have found much more ease and peace of mind from paying closer attention to the cycles of nature. Adjusting my pace of life, and personal spiritual, ritual practices according to the wax and wane of the moon, my menstrual cycle and change of seasons. I find when I don’t mark the turns of the year time seems to speed up and months and years whizz by and it feels life becomes meaningless, like one long exhausting race to the end.
The solstices bookmark the two points in the year when the sun is either at its zenith, ie. midsummer, maximum big yang energy or at its nadir at midwinter, deepest darkest yin. The equinoxes are when day and night are in perfect balance. The Spring equinox marks the start of the astrological new year, when the sun enters Aries at 0 degrees. The Autumn equinox marks the sun’s entry into Libra which interestingly is the zodiac sign of civility. It’s the time of year when we would have taken the harvest in and be dividing it between ourselves in community to make sure we all had enough to keep us going thorough the winter.
The Sabbats are a witchy term that describe these four major turning points and the mid points between them of Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhian which we all know as Halloween. Like a big 8 spoked wheel they neatly divide the year into just over six week stretches. We are spinning around and around on this huge beautiful rock we call Earth at 10,000!!! miles an hour. We fly through space around the sun at 67,000 miles or 107,000 kms an hour. It’s all a bit bonkers really and how much we pay attention to it is a matter for the individual now as we live ever increasingly isolated lives.
Noting the Sabbats has become integral to my self care practice. I pay close attention to how I feel within each season. Sometimes with the return of spring and / or the very bright sunshine (you can never be sure with the weather in the UK) I feel a pressure to be happy because the sun is shining. Some years I’ve found it very invasive, the very bright sunlight acts like a spotlight, there’s no hiding and I can see clearly where all the cracks in my life are.
I am not a druid, I’m defo a bit witchy but I don’t belong to a coven, yet. I am a doula and kundalini yoga teacher so I have this amazing yoga practice that I can refine and create rituals to mark the passing of time. Some of my colleagues call these portals, honestly I don’t know, no one really knows the great mysterious workings of the creator. But we get to experience them in our fabulous fleshy machines we call our body, the palace of our human consciousness. And I believe when we focus our energy through our Kundalini yoga practice we can accelerate our spiritual growth on these auspicious days.
So I have created special retreat days that I call pagan-ish, as in they’re a bit Pagan, a lot yogic and a gathering together with like minded souls who are all after more connection, clarity and calmness in their lives.
Keep an eye on my website or better still sign up to my newsletter. The next one at time of writing is Imbolc-the return of Spring. It actually means belly of the mother and it’s lambing time. What are you about to birth? Do you know yet? Would you like a day out of time to explore it?
Tuesday Feb 1st 2022 This will be an intimate gathering at mine, an urban day retreat for 5 women or people with a womb. They’ll Kundalini Yoga of course, womb work, intention setting, yoga and meditation outdoors in stunning Nunhead Cemetery, south London’s version of Highgate. (weather permitting) and indoors in my private yoga studio. Breakfast, lunch and open, honest, inspiring conversation in lovely company included.
Please email me to express your interest, thank you email@example.com
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