The brightest day of the year is approaching. It seemed like an appropriate time to finally submit my application. The membership application will probably not be processed in time, so, jumping ahead a little, I was wondering if I could receive some hints as to how I might go about performing my first summer solstice ritual.
Up here the sun does not really set, or it kind of does, but the skies are light blue all the time (unless it is cloudy) and the “night” is not very long at all. This is a temperate region where the first signs of green growth is visible around May (which is also when the lakes finally thaw). The short summer months are busy with life doing what life does the best. The midsummer is a point where generally people joke around that now it is going to start getting darker again, even if you do not really notice it until much later, in the end of July.
I know I can do basically what I want and see how it works out, change it as I learn more and so forth, but I was wondering if there might not be some tips for the beginner that could, lacking a better expression, help me get more out of it this first special time.
If you have a copy of the Druid Handbook by Greer you could use the script for the Alban Heruin rite found on p. 190.
One of the things I like to do is greet the Sun as it rises on the Summer Solstice, I also do this on the Winter Solstice. The ‘greeting’ is usually an offering of some kind, and an acknowledgement of the Sun’s gift of light, illumination, fertility, etc.
Yes, of course, silly me, I do have that book. I had forgotten it had the script. I probably need to translate it and make sure everything fits to the circumstances over here. One thing, however, is fairly sure. I will not get up at 3am to greet anything or anyone, unless it is absolutely necessary.
I would focus it around that idea that is specific right now to your environment. The sun is almost constant, but it won’t be for long. Darkness will begin to grow and that will carry though to the winter. Why are you thankful for that light, and why may you be looking forward to the dark? That is a pretty special environment to be in.
This is the furthest swing of the pendulum before it goes back the other way. Often, that has internal implications within ourselves as well as natural implications. You might meditate on those ideas a bit for inspiration.
During the solar festivals, I usually light a candle in honor of the sun, thanking it for the season and sending it on its way or welcoming it back once again.
I’m thinking of including sensory experiences in nature of this time.
What I hear when I go outside: specific birds, amphibians, mammals…
What I see when I go outside: birds (again), wildflowers/plants, snakes, turtles…
What I feel (and touch) when I go outside: early summer heat/sun, breeze/wind, rain, rocks
What I smell when I go outside: petrichor, grass, herbs from my garden, flowers
What I can taste if I choose: herbs, earth, honeysuckle, dew
Just some Ideas, but not sure if or how I will incorporate these.
If all goes well I will be conducting two initiations that day along with our awesome Solstice celebrations.
For those who may be interested, Stonehenge sunrise is Saturday at 11:52 pm EDT. You can watch a livestream here:https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/things-to-do/solstice/
The image looks promising.
That aside, time does fly. I will likely be performing the ritual on Sunday when we return from a family trip. I still do not have the whole thing figured out. So I am thinking just going with the script for this time. The extremes of the solar year do not differ all that much in what they mean, it seems, between the script and the local circumstances.
I expect a lot of fumbling.
I still do not have the opening and closing ritual completely memorized, but I figure I will do it anyway. If for nothing else, it will be practice for the next Solar Path ritual. I would love to do it at noon, but we will be back from the trip perhaps at a late afternoon. Still, you get by with what you get. Perhaps the powers attending will find my efforts endearing.