Today the Sun Stands Still

Midsummer Bonfire in Finland
Midsummer Bonfire in Finland

Summer Solstice

Today is the day all these giddy glorious spring days have been leading up to, the Longest Day. It’s the day all those bird-serenaded dawns that lured you from your bed at a ridiculous hour have been heralding. Longest day, and shortest night.

And so begins the lengthening nights, at first just seconds longer, but now we count the days toward winter. I know that often non-Pagans find this attention to the cycle cruel, a downer, focusing on the Dark Side. Well, yes. Not evil or the devil, just the Night that follows Day, the dark that follows light. The contrast that makes the world spin. The op-ed Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark from Akiko Busch in the New York Times says it more eloquently than I:

reblogged from the New York Times

IN mid-June, the twilight seems to go on forever, the sky awash with translucent shades of rose, pearl, gray. These are evenings of enchantment — but also of apprehension. The moment the sun reaches its farthest point north of the Equator today is the moment the light starts to fade, waning more each day for the following six months. If the summer solstice doesn’t signal the arrival of winter, surely it heralds the gradual lessening of light, and with that, often, an incremental decline in disposition.

It is easy to associate sundown with melancholy, to believe that temper can be so closely tied to degrees of illumination. The more floodlit our nights, the more we seem to believe that a well-lit world is part of our well-being. But equating the setting of the sun with that of the spirit may be misguided, at variance with some essential need humans have for darkness and shadow.

In his book, “The End of Night,” Paul Bogard notes that two-thirds of Americans no longer experience real night. “Most of us go into the dark armed not only with ‘a light,’ ” he writes, “but with so much light that we never know that the dark, too, blooms and sings.”

read more…

and blessings for MidSummer!!

Watching the Moon

cc 2008 by iceberg273 on Flickr

Friday night the sky was clearing as the post-Christmas heavy weather lifted. I watched the full moon rise through a veil of hazy snow. Our luminous satellite, la belle Lune, marks time for our world, counts out the days, turning the tides and illuminating our nights.

Full Moon marks an apex, a peak expansion, and a pause before contraction begins. Like the recent Solstice (literally ‘sun stands still’) there is an implied coming to rest. It is a good time for contemplation, meditation and prayer.

It’s traditional: a great deal of reflection and recounting the old year is swirling around us now, and of course it’s good to review and reflect. Then it’s time to put away that which doesn’t serve us going forward. This year we make our year-end lists and New Years vows under the light of the waning moon, gently moving forward into the dreaming dark.

Why not bundle up the disappointments and regrets of the year passed and release them into the night sky? And as you make those vows to-be-do have more in 2013, wrap them in lunar light and set them aloft as well. Make room in your heart for the tide of change to move freely.

From now until New Moon 1/11/2013 is the time to complete and clear away whatever is not needed for the fresh plantings of the New Year. Let the Moon lead you into the New Year, luminous with possibility. Feel the divine support inherent in the flow of time, as marked by the light of the Moon.