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THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR

Here I feature posts from My Blog on how and when we can mark and celebrate The Wheel Of The Year

Read how the most primal and ancient of our traditions still connect to our 21st Century lives


LITHA

June 21st

Celebrating The Summer Solstice


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, in it’s fullest power.


From the day of the Summer Solstice and onwards, the sunlight will wane. Each day after marks the receding of the Sun- until the time of the Winter Solstice of December 21st, which marks the shortest day and the darkest night.



After the Winter Solstice, the sun is reborn and the days become longer once again. 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.

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We also commemorate the ‘battle’ between the Oak and the Holly Kings. The two Kings fight to rule over the seasons as the Wheel of the Year turns. The Oak King reigns until The Summer Solstice when, once again, the Holly King returns to reign over the darker days to come..until The Winter Solstice when the Oak King will in turn vanquish the Holly King again.


This battle symbolises the eternal cycle of life and the duality of Light and Darkness. We are acknowledging and embracing that the Light and Darkness which co exist and battles for our Earth, also co exists and does battle within ourselves……


Summer Solstice Celebrations


We’ve marked the Summer Solstice with ritual since ancient times and we continue to do so today. The most prominent part of our rituals will focus on the exact point of the sunrise on this day. Here in The British Isles, we’re very blessed to be able gather together at powerful Sacred Sites to mark and celebrate the Summer Solstice and the other festivals of the Wheel of the Year.

For example, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, the heelstone will mark the Midsummer Sunrise from the centre of the stone circle. Many will gather at this hugely powerful energetic and sacred space which links the Earth, the Moon, the Sun and the Seasons.




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​Among some of the  other wonderful and powerful places of pilgrimage in Britain there are the stone circles of Avebury and the mysterious Silbury Hill, both in the English county of Wiltshire.

Despite the road that bisects this powerful and beautiful ancient site, the power is tangible to those who seek it! Nearby Silbury Hill is the tallest prehistoric human-made mound in Europe, and one of the largest in the world. It’s size is similar to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids at Giza. 

This particular area is also world famous for the amazing crop circles that appear here every Summer.


The powerful and ancient Glastonbury Tor lies in the spiritual heartland of the British Isles. Glastonbury, in the county of Somerset. Glastonbury is also known in legend as The Isle of Avalon and is  still one 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 and who leads The Wild Hunt…….



As mentioned, this day is the height of the Oak King’s power,. You can decorate your home or table with Oak Leaves and with yellow or orange candles to represent the sun. Any candles you light before dawn can be extinguished and re lit later if you’re going out to experience the sunrise. I also like to burn the ‘warmer’ essential oils to fragrance my home on this day. Orange, bergamot and benzoin help you to bring the feeling of ‘sun energy’ into your house. You can also burn the more ‘protective’ rosemary or frankincense and ask the Universe to give this protection to you and your home.

You can ‘charge’ water by pouring some into bowls or clear bottles and placing them outside at sunrise to receive and hold The Sun’s energy at this point on the Summer Solstice. I like to leave the water out until midnight of the same day, if possible. The charged water can be used to cleanse and energise yourself- as drops added to baths and in drinks or put into a spray to cleanse your energetic aura or space. You can also use it to cleanse and charge all your crystals or sacred objects





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. In this particular time, it’s more important than ever that we do this.

We face vast and  overwhelming technological advances and preoccupations. There are huge changes in society and belief structures and, so often, an overall feeling of disconnection from nature. To me, it’s vital that we realise Earth is not some separate entity from us. We don’t live on The Earth – we live with The Earth.


Thus, marking the cycles and the seasons are a vitally important way of recognising and maintaining our connection with nature and our place within it.

Everything is interconnected. We’re part of a natural continuum and not insulated from it, despite what many 21st century minds may consider to be the case. Celebrating these times on the Wheel of the Year helps us to remember that we exist within something bigger than our individual selves- and not in some sort of vacuum.......


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Copyright: Martine Alexis 2017


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