Kate Braun :
Celebrate vitality, creativity, abundance at Summer Solstice

It starts a time of reflection, contemplation, and evaluation of where you are, what you have done, what has been left undone, and why.

soltice dolmens

Poulnabrone Dolmen at sunset, Burren, County Clare, Ireland. Image from Crossroads Dispatches.

By Kate Braun | The Rag Blog | June 17, 2014

“The sun appears to stop/And rest upon the blue”

Saturday, June 21, 2014, is the Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year. The Goddess is now Matron, ripe with pregnancy. It is a time to celebrate vitality, creativity, health, and abundance.

Once again the Oak and Holly Kings engage in their ritual dance, reflecting the change of seasons. This is the beginning of the ascendency of the Holly King, the king of the waning year. It starts a time of reflection, contemplation, and evaluation of where you are, what you have done, what has been left undone, and why.

This is one way we restore balance in our lives. If it were only action, action, action, with no time for contemplating the results of the action, would we ever truly progress? Just as the equality of action and reflectivity promotes true progress, so does the equality of light and dark on this day promote a sense of balance within ourselves.

Consider the colors white, red, golden yellow, green, blue, and tan as you choose your attire. For decorations, choose among sunflowers, seashells, sun wheels, bunches of fresh herbs tied with ribbons. Be sure to include yellow and orange foods such as squashes and carrots in your menu, also fresh fruits, especially oranges and lemons; and dark bread such as pumpernickel.

To acknowledge Lord Sun’s presence, have fire burning. A small wood fire in a Weber grill or a cauldron will do nicely. It is important to have flames, not just heat, as any amulets that have served their purpose should be thrown into the fire and burnt to ashes.

When the ashes cool, spread them on your lawn and/or garden. This is said to bring blessings to the land. However, it is taboo to give away fire on this day. You should also take care to not sleep away from home tonight, and to not neglect the animals in your life, both work animals and pets. Make sure to honor these animals during your celebrations.

Stranding Stones (Dolmens) can be an important feature of your decorating. You may choose to arrange a miniature Wheel of Life with tall pointy rocks as the spokes of the wheel as a centerpiece; you may choose to create a larger Wheel in your backyard. In either case, it will be good to orient the placement of the dolmens with a compass so that the Solstice dolmens line up with North and South, the Equinox dolmens line up with East and West, and the cross-quarter dolmens are placed at the mid-points between North and East, East and South, South and West, and West and North. You may choose to honor the Solstice dolmans with a chant. Here is a suggestion:

North, East, South, West, which direction is the best?
All are valid, all are true, all have meaning, all have honor due.
North to South is half a year; South to North completes the wheel.
Now starts the time to consider and ponder; the future lies in the wild blue yonder.

Fairies, elves, and sprites are more active at Summer Solstice. It would be good to mention them at some point in your activities. Leaving them an offering of sparkly ribbons, a bundle of fresh herbs, a cookie, or just a small pretty bowl of water, would not be amiss.

[Kate Braun was a contributor to the original Rag. Her website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at kate_braun2000@yahoo.com. Read more of Kate Braun’s writing on The Rag Blog.]

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