Happy, glorious Midsummer Day!
It didn’t feel so happy at 5AM when I woke up after less than 4 hours of sleep. I had thought of having a bonfire to greet the sun this morning, but my 5AM self vetoed that idea. In fact, it made a very good case for just turning off the alarm and going back to sleep.
But no… there are only 2 sunrises every year that are as important as this one, and I would forever regret missing my first Midsummer Sunrise as a Pagan. So I took my bleary-eyed self out into the darkness to wait.
There was already the tiniest bit of light in the Eastern sky. The moment of sunrise wasn’t until 6:02 in my area but you have to get up way early to beat Mr. Sun this morning. The birds were calling him with a riot of songs – literally every bird in my neighborhood had to be singing.
I couldn’t help thinking back to this moment 6 months ago, at my first Yule. After the longest night of the year, the moment of sunrise felt so amazingly profound to me. This didn’t feel quite that profound. I think perhaps the bigger symbolism will come at sunset tonight.
It did, however, feel very meaningful, even more so because of the experience at Yule. With the birds all raising such a ruckus it definitely felt exciting, joyful and significant.
Of course, it takes a few minutes between the actual moment of sunrise – which is defined as the moment the disc of the sun breaks the horizon – and the moment I can see it over the trees and such. But Midsummer is about celebrating the growth of the things we’ve planted. For our ancestors, it was literal survival. The crops in the fields had to be well on their way by now or people wouldn’t survive. For us it can be literal plants or more figurative seeds of growth. Spiritual, financial, emotional.
For me, I wanted to be among the plants I’ve planted in my ritual space, even if that meant less of a view. But as I sat and reflected, so many things in my life are lining up with the Wheel of the Year. My job, for example, was in a very precarious position back during the winter. At Yule, one of the things I wanted to leave behind in the old year was that stress and worry. My pay had been cut, but I was still clinging to a job.
At Imbolc, which I didn’t really understand until I actually did the ceremony, there were things beginning to sprout. My company is launching a new project, and had just gotten to the point of reaching out to investors. We’d started laying the groundwork. I took it on faith in that moment that just like the seeds in the ground were germinating, so was my financial future.
And now, at Midsummer, investment has come through. My employment has shifted to the new company, and I’m back at full salary – literally as of this past Monday.
And of course, this blog is all about my spiritual path and how that has blossomed over the last six months. Yes, I definitely feel tuned into the natural cycle of the year, even though I don’t have to survive by what I can grow or hunt.
I have a lot planned for today. Already, before the sun gets too high and the temperatures get to hot, I spent some time planting some flowers I bought on clearance yesterday. Gotta love a sale. But I have a lot to be thankful for, a lot of abundance and fertility and success to celebrate. Since it’s such a long day I figure I’ll do several posts about the different things I have planned. I’m going to try my hand at making Mead, the honey wine. It will start today and be ready next Yule – if it works out I may make it a semi-annual tradition for each solstice.
Then tonight for sunset I will mark the beginning of the darker half of the year with a ceremony, a cake baked for Aine, an offering for the fairies, and a bonfire.
But first things first: Right now I need a nap.