Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice...2013...

(Jimmy Cagney as "Nick Bottom", and Anita Louise as "Titania, Queen of the Fairies", in the 1935 production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by: William Shakespeare)

Today is the Summer Solstice, and I am happy to say that our temperatures here are a tad cooler. At least the breeze gracing us with its presence is. People all over the globe are celebrating...some the Summer Solstice, and some the Winter Solstice. Those of us who live north of the equator are officially entering what is typically the hottest season of the year.
(Celtic Knotwork Sun; By: Kristen Fox)
The word 'Solstice' comes from the latin word 'solstitium'..."sol" meaning "sun", and "stitium" meaning "stand" or "stand still". Today is the longest day of the year as the sun reaches its zenith, or the highest/farthest point in the sky which gives it the appearance of 'standing still'. (On the flip-side of things, in a couple of days on the 23rd we will see the Full Moon up close and personal as it will be in its closest position to looking forward to that...I dig the Moon.)
(The Oak King & The Holly King; Artist: Anne Stokes)
There is a story in pagan lore of the Oak King and the Holly King, 'oak' representing the dark half of the year, and 'holly' the light. The Summer Solstice (Litha) marks the battle that declares the Holly King the victor, and the light half of the year begins. Then the second battle of the year will happen on the Winter Solstice (Yule), when the Oak King will be victor, and the dark half of the year will begin. Both Kings seemingly at odds with one another, but two halves of a whole. As I type this, either the battle rages or it has been won...let there be light...
(A decorated Swedish Midsummer Pole)
People all over the northern hemisphere are celebrating in many different ways. Whether you are having a barbecue and hanging out by the pool; dancing around a Midsummer Pole (like they do in Sweden); celebrating the Sun's power over darkness by building a bonfire; or if you were one of the many who greeted the rising Sun at Stonehenge...wishing everyone a happy Solstice!

(A Summer Solstice gathering at Stonehenge)

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