Technically it's June 21st, 2011, but it doesn't quite feel like "today" yet as I have yet to go to bed. When the mood strikes, I have to write. Even if I don't quite know what to write about. That led to some Facebook polling and then to some browsing on Google on the summer solstice (northern hemisphere) which hits at roughly 1:16 pm in one of the timezones... yeah, I researched that little fact out extensively, I know. Either way, it's today, people.
The raging trend that I found while using the web to start the juices going was blog posts about the sun and all things sunny and summer-ish. That's cool. It's a bit copy-paste. Seriously, the majority of the articles I found weren't anything more than the same text as every other site out there. Somebody, and/or a bunch of somebodies, found a wikipedia entry and decided that it was their "original" work. For shame. Underneath the bullshit I found a few gems. The ones that really grabbed my attention were pages talking about the balance of the earth, the sun and the moon's relationship, and the Celtic belief that the summer solstice was the marriage of Heaven and Earth. How I've missed that all these years, I don't know.
This quote on a blog/journal/site titled song-of-songs.net sparked some thinking.
Man as an organism is to the world outside like a whirlpool is to a river: man and world are a single natural process, but we are behaving as if we were invaders and plunderers in foreign territory. For when the individual is defined and felt as the separate personality or ego, he remains unaware that his actual body is a dancing pattern of energy that simply does not happen by itself. It happens only in concert with myriads of other patterns---called animals, plants, insects, bacteria, minerals, liquids, and gases. The definition of a person and the normal feeling of "I" do not effectively include these relationships. You say, "I came into this world." You didn't; you came out of it, as a branch from a tree."---Alan Watts,Does It Matter © 1968, 1969, 1970, p.23The more I looked into themes, keywords and elements from that quote, the more inspired and overloaded with information I became. And the more I realized how many things linked to each other. My favorite find is the theme of mankind being the link/tree/bridge between Heaven and Earth and how, as "trees" we are simultaneously linked in community with one another.
This is reflected and represented in the Norse rune "Mannaz". It is the rune of humanity and speaks to our human experience. The energy of this rune screams of the significance humanity as part of a network found in this universe. All things in some form run into and out of this humanity and are either transformed or do the transforming, based on our individual and collective will. So much power, such a little vessel.
On this day, the sun is at its peak in the northern hemisphere, and, for a moment, seems to stand still. At this point, the ancient Celts believed that a great marriage took place in that split second between the sun and his consort, the moon. They saw a great dance reach its climax point- the sun exerted all his glory and power at its height and then moved to let his lady begin to build up to her great moment, the winter solstice and Yule, six months (roughly) later. At this point, it would seem that we, humans, stand as the link between the sun, the earth and the moon, witnessing the dance, the marriage, the shift. One could even drop into a reality where we enable, create, allow this event to happen. Our ancestors thought so.
Solstice activites were all centered around enhancing the power of the sun through bonfires, dancing, bright colors, joyous festivities and laughter. The belief was that the seasons would not change if we did not help them along. Maybe that is more accurate than popular thought today would have us believe. If in fact we do create our reality, then it is within our best interest to continue the wheel of the year. Perhaps this is so automatic for us now we are not even conscious of it working deep inside our collective mind, manifesting this constantly changing world around us. Cool to think about.
My thoughts today are going to orbit this idea and its connection with the rune Mannaz and how my part of this tree, or my own tree within this network/forest, can engage and participate in this astrological event. Who knows, magick done in that "between time" might have a little more kick to it with this knowledge as power behind it.
Checkout this page at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom. She has some cool correspondences for Litha/Summer Solstice energies if you need some ideas for marking this occasion.