“This is the time of the rose, blossom and thorn, fragrance and blood. Now on this longest day, light triumphs and yet begins the decline into dark. The Sun King grown embraces the Queen of Summer in the love that is death because it is so complete that all dissolves into the single song of ecstasy that moves the worlds.So the Lord of Light dies to Himself, and sets sail across the dark seas of time, searching for the isle of light that is rebirth. We turn the Wheel and share his fate, for we have planted the seeds of our own changes, and to grow we must accept even the passing of the sun.” From Spiral Dance, by Starhawk.
Happy Summer Solstice everybody! I cannot believe we have just passed the longest day of the year. I guess that’s mainly due to the weather we’ve been having. Who would have imagined so much rain and even thunderstorms in December? I mean, there were people wearing coats in the city last week. Totally bizarre. But you know me and my love of dark, moody, rainy days. I have an admission: I did some weather magick and am totally responsible for the winter in summer. Look how green the grass is! And the roses, how they bloom!
Quite without realizing it, this very week i partook in a rose ritual of my own. My wonderful friend and magickal teacher, Rain and i drove to the country where his brother Puck was going to get rid of the roses in his garden. They had been planted with his love, and now that his love had left, the roses were a painful reminder of her. So we went to gather 5 plants to bring home and give a new life.
As we dug into the earth, the sky grew dark and thunder rumbled, the rains came down, softening the soil and weeping for love lost. Puck’s little elf boy Lachlan came out and plucked a pink rose. He was so beautiful, with his black hair and slight frame. I wanted to say something to make him happy, but sadness has it’s time too. In the midst of summer there is sorrow. The sun king cannot stay forever. And yet the wheel turns, and as Rain told me the stories of the Rose queen, one of the oldest goddesses, the sun came out as though to bless us again with lightness. The thorny roses so sweet. You can’t hold them above, you must go below the earth to reach the part of their stem that won’t cut you.
And then there’s the partying…
We had the annual Solstice/Christmas party at the Witch’s House on Saturday night, which was lots of fun. Our theme was op-shop weird delights, and we had to wear whatever we got. Jasmine(our youngest witch who is only 16) got my kris kringle, which was a cheeky sequined santa little dress with white fluff and bells. To her credit, she actually wore it out dancing at Yah Yah’s later on, which was very well received on the dance floor…
That picture at the top is me and Cat Woman (aka Cathy) who call ourselves the Wednesday Witches (amongst other things) as we both read at Royal Arcade on… you guessed it – Wednesdays! It’s so important to be able to share the deep times with the light, bubbly fun times too. Summer Solstice is all about the height of the sunshine season, getting out there and celebrating life. With vodka jellies and overflowing champagne, it’s not that hard!
We all went up to the rooftop for a ritual to send off the old year and bring in the new. Last years straw poppet, who contained all our wishes for 2008, was brought out and burned in the fire, and the new poppet was passed around for all of us to wish into. Danae led the circle and gave blessings while we all held hands and started the spiral dance, which was so much fun!
In a sudden inspirational moment that followed, i asked all the men to step forward and make a small circle around the fire in order to chant in their deep male voices, while we women circled them. It was so beautiful as their voices merged low and masculine, a lighter feminine ring of sound rose up around them and before long the sound was truly en-trancing. If you have ever been to church, you probably know how wonderful it is to have the male and female voices separated and the interplay between them is just divine. MMMMmmm..So it was quite befitting the spirit of things to ‘send off’ our men in this way