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Image: Jan ShepherdThe Summer Solstice (cont)

We go to the Hawk Headed Sun God Horus for this ceremony. The altar is golden yellow, and decorated with oak boughs and sunflowers, as well as yellow roses.  The candles are also yellow.  Some of us offer tokens and talismans for blessing during this ceremony, to capture for us the protective and energising forces.  Traditionally used incense here is khyphi, and it’s my job to ensure we do not run out – a not-inconsiderable challenge since it takes seven years to properly mature – it’s a good thing I am psychic.

Some practitioners refer to this ceremony as “Litha”.  And the Druid community usually refer to it as Alban Heffyn – this roughly translates to Light on the Shore.  Ideally they would work in the half-world which always exists between land and water – so on the banks of a river, or on a beach.  Often a bonfire is regarded as an essential part of the proceedings. 

The prevalence of celebratory solar festivals attests very clearly to how much reliance and recognition our forefathers offered to the contribution of the Sun in everyday life.  Most belief systems place the Solar God (usually, though there are also Goddesses) very high in their listing of deity.  Some forms of worship were (and still are) completed dedicated to Solar exaltation.

One very simple method of celebrating this Solstice is by having a barbeque – especially if you do not particularly want to build a bonfire.  This is a sociable Solstice – one where people come together prior to the coming harvest to give thanks for bounty and abundance, and is therefor an exceptionally good day to get together with friends and loved ones to enjoy the (hopefully) beautiful weather.      [More...]

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