Sky Medicine, Wheel of the Year

Pause and Reflect at Solstice

Solstice Sunset at Spanish Banks, Vancouver, Canada

Solstice arrives June 21st at 3:32 UTC / 8:32 pm PDT June 20th. This is celebrated as Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, and Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. For both, it is a time of pause and a shift in energetic waxing and waning.

At Summer Solstice — also known as Litha, MidSummer, Samhradh (Irish), Alban Hefin (Druid) and other names — we experience the longest day and the shortest night. For many, this is the beginning of summer — the peak of energy, with Mama Earth blooming and growing around us and the early fruits such as berries are in abundance.

But it is actually the peak of Summer’s waxing energy. From this point, Grandfather Sun begins his waning cycle. The days get slightly shorter and we know that the first harvests of Autumn are coming. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the Grandfather Sun is returning to his waxing cycle, heralding the coming Spring.

Dark and light are complementary states, each birthing the other.

On Solstice, as I too pause like Grandfather Sun, I reflect on my own light and my own darkness, and their roots . . . and I reflect on how they leap from within me, inspired by the Herman Melville quote below.

“Light though thou be, thou leapest out of darkness; but I am darkness leaping out of light, leaping out of thee!”
— Herman Melville, in “Moby Dick” (see footnote)

I look for the “old stories” I am still carrying and bring them into the light from my own shadows, so that I can transform them into my “new stories” as I move forward. I rest. I heal. I renew.

With all that is happening in our world at present — a global pandemic and its effects, the loss of family and friends to the virus, living in lockdown, the pain of the ugly face of racism manifesting along with a surge in peaceful protests and calls for change and reconciliation — many of us have recognized the “old stories” at play within our Self and within our society or culture. We might have realized that some of what we took for granted as “true” may have been simply a belief or an ingrained way of viewing the world. With that knowledge, new ways were birthed and others are emerging as we struggle to find right relationship and equity for all. Many changes will become the new norm until circumstances call for another new norm. It is a time to reflect on our own ways-of-being, our own norms and beliefs, our own “old stories”, and where we might be living with a darkness in our soul.

On Summer Solstice, let us reflect on our own light and our own darkness.

And then bring forth your own light and reaffirm (or create) Right Relationship with Mama Earth and all who live here. Let us collectively illuminate what is possible when we start from a place of Right Relationship.


Footnote:

I read the above Melville quote in a fascinating articleWorshipping the Dark at the Summer Solstice” by John Halstead in the Allergic Pagan site. It is definitely worth a read! Thank you to Molly Remer of BridgidsGrove.com for bringing it to my awareness.

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