Sacred Fires of the Summer Solstice

I love the Summer Solstice. We are at the height of summer, where the Sun it at it’s strongest and the day is the longest of the year. Even though summer will have some of the hottest temperatures in the days and weeks ahead, the sunlight begins to wane ever so slightly each day after the Solstice, until the wheel turns to the Autumn Equinox where light and dark is once again balanced.

Midsummer is a time when the Earth’s bounties are ripening towards harvest, and we are celebrating the light and warmth of the Sun’s eternal power, which in turn helps give life to growing crops. In ancient Greece, the Summer Solstice was said to mark the start of a new year. It was also when preparations for the Olympic games were said to begin.

Each Midsummer’s Eve, I light the sacred fires in my  backyard at sundown, and then again at sunrise the next morning. I call on the power of the Sun to bless our land and home, and to give thanks for all that we have.

Fire is transformational. It destroys, and out of that destruction comes creation and new beginnings. This year’s Summer Solstice was even more auspicious than usual since it also coincided with the New Moon; another time of transition and new beginnings because the New Moon marks the start of a new lunar cycle.

As a devotee of Hekate, She is honored at every transition of the lunar phases. This Solstice celebration was especially powerful and poignant due to the celebration of the Solstice and New Moon together.

As I lit the flames that Midsummer’s Eve, I began my incantations to the Sun, and to Hekate. Thunder pealed overhead from a storm that was passing just to the North of me. I love thunderstorms; the raw power of the thunder and lightning  is awe-inspiring and electrifying; and while that particular storm wasn’t directly overhead, it’s power was still very much felt, acknowledged, and honored.

summersolstice2020

Photo © 2020 Melissa McNair, The Torch and Key

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