As the Sun enters the sign Cancer on June 20th at 11:25 PM EST (add one hour for DST), we celebrate this feast of antiquity. Many gather to see the Sunrise in selected places around the globe. As the warming rays of the Sun’s enormous energy reach down to us here on Earth, they herald the news that the New England Summer has officially begun.
We had a rainy and rather chilly Spring this year (with the exception of a 3-day May heat wave), with temperatures soaring into the 90’s! The bonus here is that the grass is greener, the trees are fuller, and the flowers are radiant with brilliant colors. I can hear the groans of those who are thinking “Sure, but the pollen was high, fungi flourished and the allergy prone suffered.” All true — still — we in New England have come to realize that our weather is a fact of life — and we must all deal with it in all its forms.
Ancient practices were held in many cultures celebrating Midsummer — bonfires were lit, many danced in celebration, libations were imbibed, and incantations were voiced. The Greeks honored Cronus the God of agriculture, the Romans held Vestalia to honor the Goddess of the Hearth, the Chinese of old celebrated the Earth’s feminine principle and the Yin force. All over Europe time was put aside to rejoice in this special time, even today Viking rituals and celebrations are practiced and draw many tourists to Iceland. The Maya and Aztec built their Temples to create certain shadows and elements when the solstices arrived, and here in the USA the Native Americans held ceremonial Sun dances — actually the Wyoming Bighorn Medicine Circle is believed to be aligned to the solstices built long ago by the Plains Indians. Of course, the Druids held special rites that today are best known for being held at Stonehenge.
It seems since we are no longer strictly an agrarian country, that we no longer need to pay attention to these passages throughout the year — yet — if we are not in tune with the harmony of the Earth we become detached from our roots and heritage. It’s as if we are just floating free of all encumbrances and are at the will of our own needs, desires and psyches. Herein lies a disconnect between ourselves and our environment, and there is danger in forgetting our ancient history. Our Earth sustains us not only physically but psychically — we are bound to the vagaries of our globe as hand-in-glove we must work together to become whole. When we are detached from our environment we become less aware and less in tune to the ancient rhythms that help us to endure.
Return to the sanctity that the Solstice brings — feel the primordial rhythms that have for centuries guided our species. Breathe in the transcendent and divine elements of our origins. Find within yourself the beautiful, sacred and blessed connection that our ancestors have handed down to us of our singular relationship with our Heaven and Earth. There is no stronger or cohesive blending of our true selves than with our fellow man and with our small Blue Planet.
We do well when we remember that we are all a part of this unique whole, our lives are intertwined, our destinies are forever linked as we spin on our tiny planet within the vast cosmos. The Universe, our Galaxy, our minuscule corner of creation is all we truly have. Perhaps we all should appreciate how fragile and infinitesimal we are without each other. How can we not appreciate and approve of our fellow man — we are all human beings — together within the miraculous concept that is life!