#SpankAtoZ – V is for ….

Today is a Vanilla day. So I’m writing about something completely different.

This weekend the summer solstice occurred, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s all to do with zeniths, tilts and the longest day. The tilt is important. Without it, no solstice or seasons.
The sun rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west. The longest day. Apologies to those in the Southern Hemisphere – you’re having your shortest day.

stonehengeI love it. If we get good weather, clear skies, the sun never seems to set. As a child I would lie in bed, bright sunshine streaming through the curtains and wallow in a warm glow. Being older, it’s nearly dark when we go to bed at the moment, but I can still see a faint ray of sunshine on the horizon for ages.

Midsummer’s Day is on the 24th.

A Celtic festival day and it is to this date that Stonehenge was originally aligned. Confused? Me too. This date has been opted as a St. John’s day since paganism declined. So it has Christian and Pagan roots.

The rituals performed at Stonehenge are the only occasion pagans have to get close to the stones.

Here is a description of the day from Yahoo News:

Yesterday at Stonehenge. Perfect for seeing the sun rise between the stones.
Yesterday at Stonehenge. Perfect for seeing the sun rise between the stones.

At Stonehenge there is a sunset ceremony for people who arrive on time. Following this, Druids get into a circle to process around the stones three times as a way of acknowledging the sacredness of the site and as a means of introducing themselves.

As morning approaches, Druids find a spot to set up small circles, which is then opened by one person – called casting the circle – who declares it to be a sacred gathering. They then call to the elements, starting with mother earth in the north, air in the east, fire in the south and water in the west. The elements are symbols of energy. They also call to the shining ones of legend, the fairy folk, to be present and any bright spirits including the ancestors and the great ones.”

After a speech and any announcements people want to make, the Druids turn to face the direction of the rising sun and raise their hands. A drum is beaten slowly to start before picking up speed as the sun rises.

“At the first glance of the sun people cheer. Traditionally the druids blow horns and there is then a chant, where you are raising energy and focusing it from the circle and radiate out around the world – it’s a group prayer, not high magic or anything. Sometimes we recite the Druid’s prayer. We close the circle by saying thank you to the spirits and the gods that have been present with us and say farewell to them.”

Other than enjoying the long days – which seem to go so quickly – we don’t have any rituals, unless you count BBQs. How is the solistice celebrated in your part of the world?

wiccan blessing

Keeping on going and visit other bloggers participating.

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4 thoughts on “#SpankAtoZ – V is for ….

  1. Enjoyed reading this Jaye, very interesting. Thank you for sharing. Hope you are enjoying some lovely summer weather. Winter for us … sigh

    Hugs
    Roz

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