Carolyn McVickar Edwards
Both the solstices — the times when the sun reaches the nadir and apex of our consciousness — are excuses to play. Richard Heinberg in Celebrate the Solstice, talks about play as the exploring, stretching, and transcending of the boundaries we take for granted in our bodies, minds, and relationships with self, family, friends, spirit, and earth.
Summer Solstice softens us into rough and tumble, silly jumping, floppy being rather than directed doing. It’s time for tag, tossing, balancing, splashing, letting go of seriousness and calculation. At Summer Solstice we’re sending strict, rule-bound Saturn on vacation. We’re making love in honor of the joyful, sacred connectedness of life.
We’re on purpose celebrating the forces of life in flowers, bees, trees, moving water, the ocean. It’s Fire and Water time — bonfires on the beach, lit tea candles in bowls, oranges and blues — and the ritualistic antidote to the tightness of our own insides and the strictures and illnesses of civilization itself.
It’s time to nurture the self-worth that comes not from appearances or worldly success, but from heartfulness towards the self.
Summer Solstice is a propitious time to worship the Earth — best get up early in the morning when the Great Goddess Mother, in her Death-in-Life aspect, holds the dying Oak King — god of the year born at Winter Solstice — in her leafy arms.
The ancient seasonal festivals are always essentially reconciliations of opposites — yin, yang, dark, light, inner, outer. Our celebrations help us consciously attend to healing what we’ve been denying and abusing in our lives, and make inner and outer spaces for nurture, intuition, and ecstacy.
Visit a sacred site: hill, tree, rock, cave, mountain, ocean); bring the kids; pray, chant, drum, dance. Connect to the land you live on: plant, tend, decorate, look after, clean up. Study an animal. Watch the sunrise and sunset — high ground is best. Play cooperative games. Make a ceremony: to release — burn, tear, bury, give way, cut hair; to invite — annoint, sprinkle, water, plant, draw, sculpt, dance. Tell stories. Read poems. Sing. Comes the summer over the field!