I heard the first cricket of the summer on Solstice Eve and she's been chirping ever since. We always wonder if things like this are happening earlier or later than normal so I try to write them down in a little nature daybook -- under June 19 I'll enter "2016: first cricket-song". Also, the chickadees fledged and amazingly, house wrens took over their house the next day so that'll go in the book too. I'm glad birds can time-share like that.
Starting with lighting a fire for s'mores with my family on Solstice Eve, I've been enjoying simple rituals each day since and will continue through Midsummer's Day. I'm calling these six days Solitary Solstice as I'm circling on my own for the first time in 25 years. If you have ever wanted to create a spirit ritual but felt you needed to be in a group of people or a special place for it to be successful or meaningful, you are mistaken. I am going to be exploring ways to deepen my solitary practice in the days and weeks ahead.
The Green Woman is the connecting energy between plants and humans -- and she is definitely here. Yesterday she called me to the wild(er) side of our back yard, directly to the patches of lemon balm, Melissa officinalis
. I sat on the ground, sank into the green, hummed, sang and pinched enough lemon balm tops to fill a quart jar. I filled the jar again with cold water and topped it with cheesecloth and a screw-on metal ring. I placed it on the altar in the Buddha garden to be infused with the energies of both the full sun and the full moon. Lemon balm water
melds the elements of moon (water) and sun (fire) to enhance meditation and is one of my favorite summer rites. The Green Woman is a taskmaster -- she also reminded me that the motherwort flowers are ready for tincturing soon. And the perennials in pots on the front porch needed to be given homes immediately, among other things.
Later I remembered my unfinished moon cloth with stones and a lemon balm leaf and began to rework/simplify it. (The Green Woman needed a rest, I know I did.) I'm thinking it might make a nice patch on a pillow cover or a bag.
Today she guided me to the St. Joan's wort, Hypericum perforatum
, in the Buddha garden -- a circular area with entrance paths at the four directions and the Buddha altar in the center. After smudging with white sage and rattling to invoke directional spirits, a circle was cast, a candle lit. I sat on the ground by the St. Joan's wort, accepted and absorbed the heat of the day while bees of every size and color worked Joan's starry yellow flowers. It is mighty hot here but the humming of bees soothed me and my own sweat cooled me. Fire being the essence of transformation is often used to purify or let go of things in rituals. Instead I used it to call in change, igniting my desires written on slips of paper, one by one. I sipped the warm lemon balm water, taking in pure green light. Singing softly, I plucked Joan's yellow stars for an oil of magic and healing. The one thing I know for sure is that plants love to be sung to. More about St. Joan's wort
There are three more days until Midsummer's Day on June 24 -- each day presents its own opportunity for a bit of growth and magic. Mostly it's spontaneous but one thing is already in the works -- a faery offering on Midsummer's Eve.
Thanks for visiting and Happy Solstice -- I'd love to know about your Solstice traditions.