Summer Solstice II
I really wanted to share this
It was forwarded to me by a very special teacher of mine
whose lessons resonate with me daily:
Roll over and kiss someone! Summer Solstice is here!
"Midsummer Night" is a cause for celebration. The Sun is at its Zenith--its highest point in the heavens. The longest day, the shortest night, the temptation to take a vacation and enjoy the luscious fecundity of the Earth is upon us. Respond! Respond! Go outside, swim, eat, talk, hike, visit, go outside, picnic, camp, ramble, go outside, take a walking meditation, contact a relative, commune with nature, go outside!
Summer Solstice is exactly opposite the Winter Solstice and halfway between the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes. It is the part of life's cycle when the estrogen pump of full sunlight wakes up our inner eyes & inner beings. We are Awake! There is the sound of bees, the circling of birds calling to each other and children shrieking with delight. Everywhere you look life is bursting from branch & root.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.
Harvest is not yet in, but the fields are ripening, the Mellisae are busy blessing all of us with their pollinating.
"Bees are prevalent in the myths of many cultures worldwide. As pollinators they are essential to all life, and seen spiritually as faithful servants of the Goddess, and exemplified in individual colonies by dedication to their queen. They are virtually icons of androgyny, and along with their delicious, healing, and preserving honey are symbolic of eroticism and sensuality, love, death, and lastly, immortality.
At the temple of Aphrodite, priestesses were called "Melissae", which means "bees," and Aphrodite herself was called Melissa, the queen bee. At the Ephesian temple of Artemis, the melissae were accompanied by transgendered priests called "Essenes", which means drones.
Scientifically, bees are classified as members of the hymenopteran order, meaning "veil-winged," recalling the hymen or veil that covered the inner shrine of the Goddess's temple, and the high priestess who bore the title of Hymen, presiding over marriage rituals and the Honey Moon." (from the Blue Roebuck Website)
We can be like bees. In our cross-pollinations, we can serve Aphrodite and go meet someone new, have a party, share ideas, visit relatives, plant a garden, learn something, teach something...participate in life.
This is the time when the sun reaches the peak of its power, The Mother Goddess is viewed as heavily pregnant, and the God is at the apex of his manhood and is honored in his guise as the supreme sun. Throughout time this has been the season for visiting friends and family & celebrating the Miracle of Life's Fertility. My father said to me when I was very little: "All those stories in the Bible just seem like fairy tales to me. If you want to see a miracle, go watch a blade of grass grow." As I look out at the fertile fields of Vermont, it does seem Miraculous that all this life can burst forth out of the Earth.
Summer Solstice has many names: Litha, Gathering Day, All-couples Day, Feast of Epona, Feast of St. John the Baptist, Feill-Sheathain, Johannistag, Sonnwend, Thing-tide, Vestalia and of course Midsummer, as in Shakespeare's play "Midsummer Night's Eve."
In North America, the native Americans of the Central Plains would gather in summer in great Long Houses where many clans would gather together for months and tell all the stories of what had happened over the previous year. Children grown into adolescents would meet each other with new eyes. Councils met and concerns were discussed. Gifts exchanged. Infants were introduced to the larger community. Young men vied with each other in games of prowress. Everyone played games, danced, sang, ate and slept together --giving thanks for the greatness of the gifts of Mother Earth.
In ancient Germanic, Slav & Celtic tribes Midsummer was celebrated with bonfires. When pairs of lovers would jump through the luck-bringing flames. It was believed the crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump. It was the night of fire festivals and of love magic, of love oracles and divination. Bonfires were also lit to generate sympathetic magic: giving a boost to the sun's energy so it would remain potent throughout the rest of the growing season. In Ancient Sweden a Midsummer tree was set up and decorated in each town. The villagers danced around it. Women and girls would customarily bathe in the local river. This was a magical ritual, intended to bring rain to the crops.
For Modern Day Pagans--this sabbat, Litha, can be celebrated the evening before, at sunrise on the morning of Solstice or at the exact time of the astronomical event. (This year it's at 12:26 GMT on June 21st. Subtract 4 hours for EDT, 5 hours for CDT, 6 hours for MDT and 7 hours for PDT) It is a time for divination and healing rituals. Divining rods and wands are traditionally cut at this time.
The full moon in June is called the Honey Moon. Traditionally, this is the best time to gather honey from the comb & the best time for Weddings. In some cultures, newly weds are fed dishes made with honey during the first month of their marriage to affirm the sweetness and fertility of life . We keep this tradition alive with the Honeymoon. The full moon in June is also the Saggitarian full moon. Ruled by Jupiter, the Lord of Joviatlity, Expansion & Benevolence, this is the time to reach out and trust life to give you something sweet.
May We Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet Again!