Monday, June 17, 2013
The Summer Soltice is almost here!
We've had lots of rain for the past couple of months, but the mid point of summer, the Summer Solstice, is almost upon us. The Summer Solstice has been a special time marking the mid point of summer for centuries.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England has been a gathering site for the mid winter and mid summer calendar points for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence proves that as many as 4,000 people would gather at Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice in ancient times. The stones are aligned in such a way that an observer, standing within the stone circle, would see the sun pierce over a specific stone, the heel stone, right at the moment of the sunrise. This happens every year in the same manner, suggesting the stone henge was built on the principles of a clock or stone calendar.
In Pagan times , long before Christianity was introduced, pagan folks would gather at outdoor venues such as sacred groves, crossroads, temples and such, to worship the Sabbats on the Wheel of the Year. The Summer Solstice was a big event as people were known to travel during the mild summer months to the celebration sites. The site of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris before the Cathedral was built was reputed to attract upwards of 10,000 people during the Summer Solstice. In ancient times, those numbers are pretty impressive. Heck! Those numbers are pretty impressive today!
Enter Christianity. As the early Christians were hell bent on converting everyone to the new, only, religion, they started to incorporate many concepts with which to encourage the conversion. One was to build churches and cathedrals on sacred gathering sites. This was why Notre Dame Cathedral was built. People would still come to the sacred site to worship, but now they had to go through the doors, pay their tithes and worship as though they were Catholic.
Stonehenge was a Pagan gathering site that is still populated by Pagans every year at the various Sabbats and has not been Christianized to this day.
The Summer Solstice enters this Friday, June 21st and in the United States is recognized as the first day of summer, whereas for many Pagans it is the mid-summer marking point, as we recognized May 1st, Beltaine, as our first day of summer. Regardless of when you recognize summer to have started, we are in summer this week and I plan to enjoy it!
Going out now to plant two Witches Broom Bushes in my broom garden. I hope you get out this week and enjoy the summer in your own special way!
Peace and Happiness!
© 2010-2013 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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at Monday, June 17, 2013