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Here I feature ways to mark and celebrate The Wheel Of The Year. Read how the most primal and ancient traditions still connect to our 21st Century lives

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June 21st

The Height Of Summer

The world is still facing  huge challenges and will be forever changed. Although as humans we have our many flaws- one thing we can say is that we are always resilient and resourceful so even in the frightening face of Covid -19 and it's aftermath we can continue to seek out joy, to honour the earth and celebrate the stages of life on the Wheel Of The Year.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice of June 21st-also known as the Festival of Litha- is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. On this day the Sun is at it’s apex and it’s fullest power! From this day onward, the sunlight wanes and each day after this Solstice marks the receding of the Sun. This is until it's time of rebirth following the Winter Solstice on December 21st- which marks the shortest day and the longest night.

When we mark these points on the Wheel of The Year, we’re embracing death and re birth, the eternal cycle of life and our inclusion in this. We also commemorate the legendary ‘battle’ between the Oak and the Holly Kings. The two ‘Kings’ fight to rule over the seasons as the Wheel of the Year turns.

This battle symbolises the eternal cycle of life and the duality of Light and Darkness. We acknowledge and embrace that the Light and Darkness co exists and battles for our Earth, We also acknowledge that it co exists and does battle within ourselves. This year, that battle is still a little harder and more profound for us as we still come to terms with the post Covid world...

We Are Part Of The Wheel of The Year

Marking, observing and paying homage to these changes between the seasons attunes us even more to this eternal cycle- and reminds us that we are part of it. I feel that in this particular time, it’s more important than ever that we acknowledge that life on earth is a cycle. Whilst illnesses and events shape our world, the rhythms of nature are eternal.

As I write, we still  face challenges and so many of us are still afraid. Coronavirus has already made vast changes in society. Something huge that has come into focus in this time is our dual- and often sadly conflicted and damaged- relationship with nature. During a period when so many had to shelter indoors our deep, deep desire to be outside and breathing in nature has never been so obvious! However, it’s also brought into sharp focus that nature herself has been given some much needed breathing space from us

We really need to wake up now and try our absolute best make something positive happen from this terrible time. We simply have to realise The Earth is not some separate entity. We don’t live on The Earth – we live with The Earth....

Summer Solstice Celebrations

We’ve marked the Summer Solstice with ritual since ancient times and we continue to do so today. Traditionally, the most prominent part of Solstice rituals focus on the exact point of the sunrise on this day.

Here in The British Isles, we gather at our powerful sacred sites to mark and celebrate the Summer Solstice and the other festivals of the Wheel of the Year. This year will again be different in that there will be no mass gathering of worshipers at Stonehenge. Even at an empty Solstice Stonehenge, The Sun will still rise between the ancient pillars and the energy will be changed and felt deeply in the land just as always….

The same will happen at one of our other most special and sacred places, Glastonbury Tor in Somerset, England. No doubt there will be a safely distanced and very respectful gathering of people who love the land but The Wheel Of The Year will turn anyway…..

Glastonbury Tor is of the most important spiritual and energetic sites in the world. Legends have grown up around The Tor- such as it being the resting place of The Holy Grail, it’s associations with King Arthur and of being the portal to another dimension. It’s claimed as the home of Gwynn Ap Nudd, who rules the Otherworld of The Fair Folk. He leads The Wild Hunt across the sky in search of  unwary mortals....

Celebrating Summer Solstice

Even if it’s not possible to be at sacred sites or to gather in groups together at the moment, do try to greet the rising of The Sun outside if you can. Feel the ground beneath your feet and connect to The Earth just as you raise up your arms to salute The Sun. 

Fee the energy of The Sun and The Earth connecting with you and in you at the same time. Remember, you’re not observing this. You’re part of this....

A Summer Solstice Ritual For You

As this is is a festival of Sun and Fire, I like to work with the fire at Litha to ‘let go’ of what’s no longer needed or wanted in my life. I take small pieces of paper and write on them exactly what I’m asking the Universe to help me with. These can be things like life lessons I’ve completed or things that have now run their course in my life. All of these are to be consigned to the flames at dawn in order to let them go…..

Some of you may be at places where there are larger communal fires, some of you may be at home and have a fireplace, or you may only have a small bowl of flame or some golden candles. Whichever of these you have around you, please always be very careful and sensible with flames at all times.

As you cast your pieces of paper into the fire, focus on the power of the Sun and of the transformation of the seasons. Be aware that as the Oak King’s power fades into the darker days toward The Winter Solstice and the growing power of the Holly King- so the things you’ve written down and offered to the flames will also fade from your life .

Summer Solstice Blessings !

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