Summer Solstice Ritual
June 21st, 2015
Deities of the Occasion: Bel and Danu
Offerings: oil / sun wheel
Omen: Othala – Laguz – Peorth
Return flow: lemonade
Just me and Gen at Fire Watch, and with the grass so overgrown (Lyn thought we were coming the following weekend) I didn’t even try to walk down to the fire circle, so no actual fire. I again question why we’re scheduling an event that people keep telling me is a vital Grove tradition that we must continue to do, and then nobody but me and Gen shows up for it. The next two Fire Watches are already on the calendar, so I don’t want to cancel those, but next year I will once again suggest that we need to stop having it, or more accurately, stop pretending to have it. (Except for Samhain, which is the one time people actually show up for it.)
Okay, enough complaining. Other than that continuing issue, the ritual weekend really was a great one. My sister and brother-in-law were in town for the weekend, so after breakfast with them, they dropped me off at the nemeton around 11:15. I finally got to the site as early as I used to back when I had a car! The mosquitoes were out in force, but the repellent I used mostly worked on them, and I got to spend some quality time in the quiet, muted light of the pre-ritual nemeton. After a week of predictions of scattered thunderstorms, the weather we did get was far better than I had hoped for.
Folks did eventually arrive (I could hear Rodney weed-whacking the grass for some time before he came down to the fire circle) and things got set up on time… -ish. Rod didn’t get the road sign out until 1:45, by which time a group of visitors from Michigan Council of Circles and Solitaries had arrived and thought they were lost. Thankfully, they did find us!
This was the first High Day ritual led by Serena. We encourage our new ritualists to begin at one of the two solstices, as Bel and Danu are always very appreciative of anything we do to honor them at those rites, and the folk are just as laid back about it. Nobody treats them with the personal intensity that some have for Samhain or Imbolc, and in this case, that’s a good thing. Rod and I have been teaching her how to do ritual, and there’s still a lot more for her to learn (Hek, there’s still a lot for me to learn), but I think it was a good first effort, and now that she’s taken a turn in the metaphorical driver’s seat, she’ll be even better at the next one.
(I’m still not sure whether we should have put accelerant on the sun wheel when she breathed fire on it, though.)
The omen was good, the gods and the folk were pleased, and we shared the Lemonade of Life, as is our custom for this holiday. It was good to meet the folks from MCCS and the other new people who attended, and I look forward to Lughnasadh in a few weeks, and hope that the weather will be as good!
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF