(I did go to a Catholic school from K-12, but it was because i was very smart. I was exempt from all religious practices. I did learn alot about christianity though!)
I don't know that i would consider myself to be a part of any of the pagan religions, but it is definitely something that has influenced me. You wont find me dancing naked in the moonlight tonight, so take that with a grain of salt.
Here are some fun facts that can allow us to ALL celebrate the solstice together - regardless of whatever organized religion you belong too!
First and foremost, the world isn't ending, so don't get too crazy tonight at your solstice parties!
Tonight is the longest night of the year. A seemingly never-ending darkness in the world. It's a test of our faith - the sun will return tomorrow, even stronger and brighter! (literally! We are entering a period of increased solar flare activity!)
It is an important day to be grateful for our greatest gift this season - our planet! Every animal, every tree, every stone is a gift, and we rarely make time to be thankful. Especially as runners, i think it's extra important today that we acknowledge all that we have, and promise to protect and take care of it. As the guardians, it's kind of our only job.
We designate our animal spirit guide. (this isn't really affiliated with any one pagan religion. It's just kind of fun to do - a lot of people do it!) I sense that you are probably laughing right now, but stick with me! Do you really think we are left to wonder this planet with no supervision and spiritual guidance?? Every year i choose the red fox as my animal guide, for very obvious reasons. It's kind of like a patronus on Harry Potter.
Some characteristics of my animal spirit guide:
- Observational Skills
- Feminine Courage
- Ability to observe without being seen
All in all, the fox is quick on it's feet, but quicker with it's wits. I benefit greatly from its ability to survive despite all odds, and it's clever approach towards every problem. I choose the red fox once again for 2013! What is your spirt animal??
Don't forget to feast tonight on all the delicious things the earth provides us with! (spoiler: the world did not provide us with oreos. We did that one against the planets wishes...)
Lastly, as we make our way through the dark tonight, we awake to a fresh start tomorrow. What we plant tonight, we sow all year. This is the night to birth schemes and great ideas, because for some crazy reason, that magical powers that surround tonight force our crazy goals into fruition!
So grab your loved ones, and light some candles - there is nothing to fear from the longest night - it's a time to celebrate!
Happy Solstice!! <3