Summer Solstice: Time of Passion

December 28, 2007

  In my own celebrations of this
holy time I have honored Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, and my rituals
have often revolved around the theme of the Goddess’ sacred sexual
passions. And women’s too. I think this is one of the deepest of
women’s mysteries; the time when we fall in love. I think the Goddess
falls in love too… especially at this time of year. And if you look
at the year Wheel, you can see that nine months later it’s Spring
Equinox, when Kore or the Maiden Goddess is born. This alligns so
nicely with Summer Solstice as a time of conception, fertility, and
pregnancy. And since Milk is the next Women’s Mystery at Lammas (August
1,2, a harvest holiday), we can even see Solstice as a time of Birth as
well.

  We
are in the Mother season, as the Goddess has grown through Her Birth
and Her Bloods, evolved through Her Maiden stage on the Year Wheel, and
now comes full on into Her sexuality. In earlier times the aspects of
Mother and Lover were not so separated as they are in patriarchy. They
both coincide with the full moon of the year… Summer Solstice… as
well as the full moon. Bringing these archetypes back together, both
within ourselves as well as in society, can be a great Healing.

   

  I’m
concerned that the Women’s Mystery aspect of our eight solar holy days
is still not emphasized much among contemporary pagans and witches.
Thank Goddess that folks do honor the earth and her seasons, and this
tradition is still going strong. That’s all part of the Mystery, in my
belief. But it’s not the Whole if it omits the part that honors women
and our magic passages.

 

  In
more recent years as my experience and understanding have grown, I have
brought more faery awareness into my Solstice celebrations. I love
seeing this part of the magic emerging around the internet and among
pagans of various stripe as well. I’ve come to see that Aphrodite and
the Faery Queen are related… upper and lower world aspects of the
same archetypal principle… Her bright and dark sides.

  Several
times, when I was holding Solstice circle in my home, we had two parts
to our ritual… first a circle in the temple where we would work on
healing the lover part of ourselves. I sometimes made
winged-heart-crowns for all the sisters to wear, with red hearts and
golden wings to represent both Love and Freedom. Sometimes I brought in
this song:
  The Choice
  Life came to me while I lay sleeping
  And in each hand She brought a gift for me
  One held Love, the other Freedom
 "Which do you choose?" said she… 
 
  I’m the one who chose the gift of Freedom
  When Love was offered in Life’s other hand
  What need have I to cry I’m lonely?
  When I can walk unbound through man’s wasteland?
 
  "You’ve chosen well," she said, and bent to kiss me
  "For now I can come to you again,
  "And when I come, two gifts I’ll bring you,
  "But then the two shall be in one hand."
 
Song: "The Choice"
copyright Shekhinah Mountainwater
All rights reserved
  Or
one time I brought in the Song of the Silkie Woman and we talked about
her story and the way she walked back into the sea when her human
husband was abusive to her…

   

The
second part of the ritual took place out in the garden. All bedecked in
our ritual gowns and winged-heart crowns, we processed to the tiny
grove I cleared between our three apple trees, Isadora, Olwen, and
Melpomene. We brought offerings for the Faery Queen and shared them
beneath the trees. Isadora has a wonderful yoni-shaped opening in her
trunk, and we poured pomegranate juice into her… :0)

 

  Some
sisters brought a poem or a prayer… some hung jewels and other gifts
in Isadora’s branches. We spiraled and twined around Isadora and hugged
her as well as each other…
 
  I’ve written a lot about Aphrodite and Summer Solstice over the years. You can see some of my musings at my website here:

   

  http://shekhinah.net/Aphrodite.htm

 

  This
is the cave I’m building for Summer Solstice… not completed yet, but
there is already a lot posted… it’s in the Thealagie section of my
website, along with write-ups for almost all the other eight. I just
have two more to go; Habondia (8/1,2) and Persephone (Autumn Equinox)…

 

and here: http://shekhinah.net/Aphrodite’s Shrine.htm

 

  In
this cave you can see my altar to Aphrodite. Scroll down to see my
litany of love, a poem called In Remembrance…and further down you’ll
find links to the Shrine Library. In the Library is an article about my
work with love spells… some of my failures as well as suggested love
magic sisters can use if they wish…

Does
anyone else feel that the solar holy days last more than a day? It
seems to me one day doesn’t cover all the powerful energy around these
times. I’ve already come to see that Winter Solstice has 13 days… and
Hallowe’en seems to last at least a week. Not sure how long Aphrodite’s
holiday lasts; maybe three days, maybe a week.

  A
psychic once told me that faeries came down from the mountain with me
over 20 years ago, when I moved from the woods to town with my
children. She said they have taken up residence in my garden and my
hair. :0) (I had a lot of hair back then! LOL!) I’m sure they are still
here, throughout the house and garden, and even though I’ve lost my
hair. :0)

I love connecting with them at this time of year… I sense
their presence. Those who have chosen to dwell in this environment
where I live are beautiful and loving. They are joyous and benevolent
and delighted to be recognized.I’ve
come to see that all the sacred Eight contain elements of death and
birth… as each one approaches the previous season wanes and the next
one is born.

At Spring Equinox, mystery of Birth, we die to the Spirit
Realm as we are born into our Mother’s womb. At Beltane, mystery of
Blood we die to our Childhood and are born into our Womanhood. At
Summer Solstice and Lammas, mysteries of Passion and Nurturance, we die
to our separateness and are born into our Lover/Mother merging. At
Autumn Equinox, mystery of Moonpaws (menopause) we die to our
Mother/Lover mergings and are born again into separateness as we
journey into the underworld and let go of our bleeding… travel inward
to discover our Magic and connect with the Crone…

  And
yet all the stages stay with us through all the stages. :0) We take
that inner Child with us even when we are doing Mother, Lover, or
Crone… We take that wise Crone with us when we become Child again…
it’s like a series of echoes all dancing in and out of one another…

  Happy and Magic Aphrodite to you all! Group hug anyone? :0)
 

Much love,

  Shekhinah
  Fri Jun 22, 2007

From Moonspell Library

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