Monthly Columns

Peeking in the Shadows: Crafting a Book of Shadows and Light

This month I want to offer something a little different. We have had stressful and draining experience since the beginning of the COVI-D-19 Pandemic. I would like us to stand in the light of the Summer Solstice; anticipating this longest day and the hope that this light will bring. This is a writing that I return to again and again as I call to the Sun’s brilliance and the hope that it brings. Perhaps this is something you would like to add to your BOS. Rework, rephrase, rewrite it in any way that speaks to you.

(Photo by Adrian Pelletier on Unsplash)

Mother’s Flowering- The Summer Solstice

The night is warm and I stand facing the lingering light; thick and strong in its final hold. I think on all that has brought me to this point of the Great Wheel and call to myself the memories of lessons learned and places filled with burgeoning light that I have nurtured and cultivated as my Inner Sun waxed to fullness. Each memory is illuminated from within and I feel the heat of my Inner Sun flaring out from center’s core; extending light filled streams of connection to each treasured sensation and image so that all may see the product of my efforts.

Tingling energy moves through me affirming the call that will carry me deeply into the darkness of the solar waning journey at the setting of this Solstice Sun. I think on the moments of waiting I have seen at this same cycle of time the many years before and how each has held its own joy of new expression. I breathe into these thoughts, envisioning the flame of sunlight carried within myself. I breathe deeply into the joy of being able to turn the focus of that light inwards as the sun wanes in the sky above and I attune to that same solar cycle within.

I look ahead and see rays of blazing light flowing through the cavernous expanse of my inner dwelling place as their long slim finger-like beams recede into the core of my being as the Sun sets deeper into the womb of horizon. One more deep breath of inhalation affirming the strength of the light that has come before, and I watch the Sun’s light blacken as darkness takes hold. The Summer Solstice has marked the Great Wheel and with its turning so too does the turning inward of my Illuminated Self; forever changed.

We have tended and fanned the flames of our inner light and it has now reached its apex of form and intent at the Summer Solstice. In opposition to the longest night of the Winter Solstice, the brilliance of full sun and illuminated action holds the power of this outpouring. It is at this point that we have fully ignited our Inner Sun and it is now the time of full expression of the strength and power of its dynamic energy that will carry us forward into the waning light of the year. This longest day is the pivotal point of beginning to turn within. The light will begin to dwindle in outward expression and the need to tend the fires and heed the warning of neglect of the inner hearth of light we hold at our core becomes the focus. We welcome the waning of the physical sun’s energy as the place of renewal, time of indoor retreat and opportunity to explore the inner spark of flames that hold the key of creation and birthing of those fires that will burn brightest at Winter’s end. The Waning half of the year supports this process of redirecting the blazing glory of the outer light we have brought to fullness and the re-enlivening of the seeds of new ember that lay within as we turn this focus inward.

The Waning Light of the Year

As we move through this turning of the Great Wheel and the its cycle of change within the need to cull and harvest what will act as the fuel to sustain the brilliance of its fire is the task of intent. In the physical world we gather our food and energy stores and offer up to sacrifice those products which did not thrive in the heat of the spring and summer sun. We look carefully at what we think will nourish and sustain us in the dark months ahead and we choose wisely where we shine our light so as not to exhaust its outward light. We move continually forward in this cycle of light and dark always holding the intention of unifying and quickening what lay within so it may be brought to full expression in the sharing of its gifts as we move and interact in the outer world.

The Longest Day

The day of the Summer Solstice marks the longest hours of daylight for that year. It is the polarized opposite of the Winter Solstice which occurs on the opposing date and marks the longest hours of darkness within the year. Each is a place of giving way; one to the other in dominance and strength so that the state of balance that is achieved at the interims of Equinox may hold the energies of both in synthesized form.

Physically, we revel in the activities that the longer days have provided light for. We connect to nature and our surroundings fully enlivened by the heat of the sun and the caressing warmth that keeps our physical bodies pliable and pain free. We know that not long from this mid-summer’s point, the days will herald the coming of the Fall and harvest and the chill of winter will interweave through still warm breezes. So, we make full use of this light as we gather and socialize, celebrate and bathe in the healing rays of Father Sun.

The Gift of the Father

The energy of the God has reached the brilliance and radiance of the physical Sun at Noon. This is the time of power and strength, that if gathered in its fullness will carry us forward into the waning year. This is the light that remains ever burning even in the darkest recesses. Remember, that although we cannot see the Sun’s light when night falls and portions of the Earth rotate away from its light, on the opposite side of the Earth, Dawn has come and the Sun is still shining brightly. And, it is because of this strength and knowledge of the light that is always at the ready that the God willingly sacrifices himself and the life sustaining energy when the Harvest approaches and the Crone’s call of death is answered. This source of great strength has become the provider of those who serve the lands and his waning light brings to term what is readied for Winter’s long dark nights.

The celebration of the Oak and Holly Kings is one of relinquishing the power held within the Mighty Oak willingly and selflessly so that the cycle of life and death, outward expression and inner reflection may continue. The Holly King now reigns supreme and the truth of his power lay in the mystery of their being one in the same. Their visage changing in accord with the needs of the land and the cycles of time and season as they attune to the energies of the Solar year.

The Flowering of the Mother

By definition the word ”flowering” means: (1) to reach full growth or maturity; (2) capable of producing conspicuous flowers; and (3) producing flowers at a specified time or of a specified type.

The Goddess takes the form of the pregnant Mother; ripe and just ready to give birth. She is unlike any other Mother, for she is at her most creative and is both filled with new life and continually birthing new life as her power of creation permeates all it touches. The potential held within these birthings is the fullness of all of the experiences that have been gathered from the process of creating, bringing to full term and finally giving birth to what is desired. The Goddess is the vessel of life and light and it is her body (as Gaia) that signals the time of greatest light as the earth reaches its peak of verdant life. She is bathed in her lover’s light and strength and Father Sun turns the spotlight on his progeny so that all may revel in the fecundity and fertility that produced such forms.

If the Light of our own power of creation has received the intention of our Mothering and the strength and support of our Fathering it shines brightly; radiating a magnetic quality of attraction. What we have desired to see in full bloom stands at the ready calling to us to enjoy the beauty, revel in the fragrant victory and claim the glory of fields of flowering intentions. The light we have stoked and fed within now shines through us gifting us as creators and illuminating that which is ready to stand the test of harvesting as we move into the months ahead.

Blessings of the Solstice. Stay well and be safe!


About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Third Degree Initiate within The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition and serves as High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path, the 12th Coven within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition. She teaches and facilitates classes for the Pagan Experience Study Group that serves as foundation for membership within Coven of the Mystic Path.  

Her spiritual journey is strongly rooted in both Eastern philosophy and the Western Magickal systems from which she has formed a core foundation that is diverse in knowledge and rich in spiritual practice.  A life-long learner, her practice has evolved from the classical and philosophical teachings of books, practical experience and enrichment of this knowledge base by attending workshops of various spiritual traditions presented by master teachers.

Robin formally came to the Wiccan path in 1994. Following practice as a solitary for 2 years, she dedicated to Oak and Willow Coven of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition in November of 1996. She received her 1st, 2nd and finally 3rd degrees within the Assembly Tradition and has served as High Priestess of Oak and Willow since Samhain of 2001.

As a teacher of esoteric and magickal studies she has used Energetic Anatomy, Tarot, Astrology, Hermetic Qabala, Eastern Philosophy, and Numerology as the foundations of her diverse selection of workshops and writings for more than 25 years. Exploration of varied energetic protocol has been the focus of her work for some time now and the information gained through direct experience informs all of her magickal and spiritual work.

Robin’s writings have been featured online, and in print Internationally.  She has authored several books incorporating her unique style of writing making use of poetry, prose and pathworking to enhance the concepts presented.  She has taught extensively throughout the Pagan community, including Sacred Space Conference, Spring Magick, Between the Worlds Interfaith Conference and Free Spirit Gathering Festival this Summer. Her most recent project is hosting an online blogging community entitled The Pagan Experience.

Robin is the owner of Holistic Embrace providing services for mind, body and spirit such as Tarot readings, Astrology reports, Spiritual Guidance and other related offerings.  She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania and her life is blessed by a 40+- year marriage, five children and the opportunity to work in the field of public education.

Robin’s Books

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 1 It’s Written in the Stars-Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 2 Poetry of the Spheres-Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 3 Awakening the Paths-Qabalah

The Light of SELF: Consciousness, Spiritual Practice and Learning to Breathe

Magickal Verse: A Collection of Poetry and Prose

A Year of Gaia: The Eternal Cord

The Elemental Year: Aligning the Elements of SELF

Temple of the Sun and Moon: Luminous Devotions

Sleeping with the Goddess: Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection: Musings for the Year

The Magickal Pen: A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Enchanted Gate: Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

For more info:

Robin’s Website:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW: