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Image: Jan ShepherdThe Summer Solstice (cont)

Here are Jan's thoughts:
The Summer Solstice marks an important second highlight in our year as well as underlining the height of the Sun God’s strength and potency.  For it is on this day every year that our High Priest renews his vows to his Station.  This is important for every member of our working group, for his Oath dedicates himself in service of the Goddess Herself, and also to us as overall leader of our group.  His strength of purpose and commitment have a “trickle-down” effect upon all of us.  It is entirely fitting, in my mind, that such a vow should be sworn on this great day of light.

I love this ceremony – well, if I am entirely honest I love every ceremony for its different energy and influence upon me – but this one and the Winter Solstice stand apart for me in their total contrast.  These are both “absolutes”, if you will.  The Summer Solstice has a lazy energy to it, redolent with warmth and the promise of harvest.  The Winter Solstice, on the other hand, acts like a reassurance of eventual re-awakening against a backdrop of darkness.

This year (2015) the Sun enters the sign of Cancer in the early evening of the 21st of June.  We work at dawn on the 22nd (heavy dependence on reliable alarm clocks required here).  We do not always work at dawn – and actually each  time of day a group chooses to celebrate the Solstice bears a slightly different meaning.  We tend to decide somewhere around Beltane what sort of year it has been thus far, and then set our working time to observe that.

The Summer Solstice is the day which marks the high point of light in the year.  To work at dawn reaches out to harness this most powerful energy at its greatest possible extent in the year.  Working at some random point during the day tends to have a more diffuse influence – we are simply giving thanks for the presence of this welcome power.  Working after sunset though, serves as a lament for what is now becoming the fading of Solar impact upon our lives with this year.

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