Unfortunately, the actual Solstice date is on fucking Wednesday…. I can’t miss work because there’s so much to do, and not being there hurts everybody. So, I celebrated today. And, in the end – the air actually tingled with joy, peace, and general excitement.
I focused part of the day specifically to rain-making.. We’ve had an awful drought lately and wildfires that might creep further out of control. So, we need rain. A LOT OF RAIN.
I began the day making my green effigy – to symbolize the local flora (it was
made from the plants that grow around my house, street, and garden) and it was paraded through the house and street being spritzed with fresh cool water for sympathetic magic. I think she turned out pretty cool this year.
I drummed, danced, and celebrated Litha, the second highest day of my year – the most being Rauhnact. Litha comes from the Venerable Bede, and until the Gods tell me a name they prefer themselves – this is the name I work with. Also, despite many Pagans today – I am not afraid to dance alone. I don’t need a group for my dancing to be ‘accepted,’ I will honor my Gods even if it’s only me standing there.
As we all know it’s the longest day of the year, shortest night, and the ‘high’ point of the Solar year as it is also the onset of the decline of light.
I made short rods with tied cloth on them for prayers, wishes, and other charms to be carried to the twelve winds. The rocks, sticks, and cloth again are local, and some of them have a good bit of history behind them too!
The main part where libations and other offerings are given is a large piece of coal that was once part of my former coal forge. I do miss it – but the coal really connects the ‘little summit’ to Arta and the Underworld nicely. It is next to my front door ramp area – to remind me everyday of the Ancestors, the Gods, and Spirits as I come and go. Seeing the little cloth flags tickle the wind was wonderful to see.
After this, I spent the time celebrating the Solstice ritually. Being as there’s only me to celebrate – the ritual was small, but very potent. Set outside in the Noon-day sun, on the ‘Noon’ of the Year, the time was perfect I think. I immersed myself in the moment, feeling the bite of the summer sun, the bugs tickling my legs and feet – hearing the calls of birds and insects – feeling the life around me all in it’s beautiful chorus. Shadows of hawks, crows, and pelicans flew over me, and even a few grackles sat in the nearby branches. It was a pretty damned cool moment; quiet, but not silent.
The Flora Effigy will sit there to dry, and I will continue to spritz for the remainder of the day – then set to dry to be burnt this Wednesday as an offering to bring rain.
I couldn’t have a ground fire this year – too dry and too windy for comfort. So in a brass cauldron (appropriate I think) I set my little fire to burn. Paper wishes and other charms were placed in there, with elm, cottonwood, and ash shavings for a small fire.
With the sacred water, I blessed our home at it’s four corners, gave an offering
to the twelve winds, and blessed my little Bala as well as the effigy. With the remaining water, I put out the ashes of the little fire to produce steam. I hung separate cloth to catch the blessings and power rising from the steam into the cloth.
I gave my praises, honored my Ancestors, and enjoyed the Solstice a bit early. It may not have been on the actual day… But it still made a damn good saturday!
I ended the day with private rituals indoors – with offerings being made. I gave fresh nuts, small aloe plants to plant next to the Bala, milk, my father’s barley-wine, and home-made mint tea. I don’t have much food in my house at the moment, but I gave what I am able.
To everyone who celebrates the Summer Solstice, I hope you have plenty of laughter, joy, magically delicious beverages, and Gods willing:
A little nookie. Blessed Solstice! (Sorry about the redundant photos – WordPress is not a friend to me today. )