How Paganism is Good for Men

Lee Kynaston (The Telegraph, UK)

With all the talk about how witchcraft = empowerment for women, here’s something different: “7 things paganism can teach the modern man

It’s in a newspaper, so don’t expect great depth, but at least it means that the Paganism stories now run at the summer solstice, not just at Halloween.

How I Spent My Summer Solstice

Some people just cannot handle the solstice. (The Telegraph, UK)

It wasn’t this bad. On Sunday M. and I went up to Salida, Colorado, to catch the last day of FIBArk, the whitewater boating festival, watching competitors come down the frothing Arkansas River as we drove upstream.

Our main interest was in the Crazy River Dogs event, which we have managed to attend for three of the last four years.

In this photo, the brown dog will be pursuing the aspen pole at upper left as it bobs through a rapid in the downtown Salida kayakers’ water park.

A "river dog" leaps into the Arkansas River after a flying aspen stick.

FIBArk, like the solsticial doings at Stonehenge—I found the first picture in this slide show—marks our beginning of high summer.

To me the quarter days of solstices and equinoxes are “outer” festivals. They should be celebrated with public festivities, whether those festivities are capital-P Pagan or not. Food booths in the park, paddle-flailing kayakers, swimming dogs, the Sun beating down—it’s all good.

The cross-quarter days are for magic.

A Sikh at the Solstice

Via Jason, a funny account of a British Sikh at a Pagan solstice celebration:

There, surrounded by the verdant, wild beauty of the heath I felt connected with Nature herself. I lay on my back and stared at the sky that was preparing a slow welcome for twilight. I became acutely aware that I was sitting on a planet that spun on an axis and was orbited by a moon in a solar system that was part of a galaxy that itself was but a slither [sic. “sliver”?] of a wider universe. I felt small, I became insignificant. I knew my place in the cosmos and the cosmos knew its space around me. It was a deeply profound moment, broken only by a shrieking child running to his mother, frightened by the apparently dead, pink turbaned man in the Lincoln green dress.

It is actually one of the best meditations on the festival that I have ever read, perhaps because it looks at our world as it is.

Me, I’ll be watching the dogs and kayaks at FIBArk. Happy Litha, everyone.