Tuesday, June 21, 2011

SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION



Summer solstice acknowledges this day to be the longest day of the year and is a celebration of the Light returning to Mother Earth. Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer otherwise known as the Summer Solstice, Midsummer As in Shakespeare, Saint John's day, or the Wiccan Litha.

The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun's energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. 

Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.
Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.
Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.

The summer Solstice is celebrated all over the world in different ways but perhaps the two most popular places can be experienced in England at Stonehenge and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico at Chichen Itza.

The famous Mayan Pyramid seen below demonstrates a snake like effect at exactly at 12:00 noon. The shadow slithers like a snake down the pyramid as the sun moves.


A side note as to this Pyramid:

I was blessed to have visited and climbed the steps to the top of this pyramid. I practically ran up the steps. However, ~~ when I reached the top and looked down, I was in shock as to the height of the pyramid. There was a chain in the middle of the steps one could hold onto but I experienced vertigo so badly I had to sit down and scoot my rear end to each step until about the last ten steps.  

At Stonehenge revelers surround the ancient Stonehenge monument prior to the summer solstice on Salisbury plain in southern England. Stonehenge is a celebrated venue of festivities during the summer solstice -- the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere -- and it attracts thousands of revelers, spiritualists and tourists. Druids, a pagan religious order dating back to Celtic Britain, believe Stonehenge was a center of spiritualism more than 2,000 years ago.
Kieran Doherty / Reuters

As the sun rises, which this year is  around 4:40 AM at Stonehenge one can see the light through the stones in such a way you know that the architect place each stone with a purpose and had knowledge of astronomy as is the case of Chichen Itza.









If you are not near some of these spiritual landmarks dedicated to the return of the light, celebrate your Summer Solstice by simply creating your own bonfire. Traditionally, bonfires represented a purification and rebirth; the fire is used to recreate and set things anew. You can hold a Summer Solstice bonfire to celebrate and honor the summer. A bonfire can go really good with some stories of old that are retold to the people attending your bonfire or simply getting to getting together for song and dance around the Bonfire!






2 comments:

  1. Dear Stephen,
    Just want to express my love for you. I am so grateful we share the same desire for spirituality. I know that our father struggled with himself as we were growing up. It was wonderful to watch him change, as you so beautifully described. Letting go of the past is freedom.

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  2. My dear sister, we have learned that certain events in our file occur for a reason. We are blessed when that reason becomes clear to us.

    Be well in Light and Peace!

    Love, your brother!

    ReplyDelete

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