Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Summer Solstice

Today is Summer Solstice.  No matter how I look at it, Summer Solstice is an amazing "marker". 

This is the day when the Sun blesses us with his appearance for the longest amount of time.  For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun rises (and sets) at a point on the eastern (western) horizon which is farthest to the North.  In comparison with the place where the Sun rises (and sets) at the Winter Solstice in these parts, what a dramatic arc that is. 

After this day, the Sun slowly begins to decrease the amount of time in the sky for the Northern Hemisphere.  He begins his march to the south along the eastern (and western) horizons.  That march moves toward the shortest day (longest night). Even the night sky knows this shift well; when I looked out at the night sky last night, I noted that the signs of the Zodiac are at their highest point in the sky.   While called by many in our culture the "beginning of summer", it may well be the peak of summer. 

The ancient ones knew (indigenous people in traditional practice and an increasing number of folks today know) these things because they saw (or see) themselves as intimately bound to the Earth's life giving capacity. They marked (or mark) these days, honoring them with ceremonies, feasts and dances.  The continuation of those cycles was not (and is not) an "expected" for them.  They felt and feel that their actions could actually interfere or facilitate the cycles of the Earth.  While many would raise a critical eye at these thoughts, so much of this is being proven in our times.

We celebrate the Summer Solstice here in a bit of a low key way.  We honor this shift.  We take time to consider how very small we Humans are in the scheme of things.  We try very hard to weave our own practices and thoughts in a way that is consistent with the life giving capacities of this Great Mother Earth, which is our shared home.

Happy Summer Solstice!

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