Co-Authors: Jamie, Tristan and Sarah
During this ritual we call the quarters and speak to the different energies of summer.
If during the ritual, you start to feel adrift, look at something that reminds you of summer and gently allow yourself to come back to center.
For this Summer Solstice, we invite you in to The Ritual of the Summer Storms…
Here, now, we cast this circle round
A sacred place
A protected space
Here we stand in perfect love, and perfect trust
Our circle is now cast.
Calling the Quarters:
We call to the North, the spirits of Earth – to the great forests, dense with leaves and mystery. Hail and welcome.
We call to the East, the spirits of Air – to the wind in the high mountain passes, cool even in the height of summer. Hail and welcome.
We call to the South, the spirits of Fire – to the vast deserts with so much life hidden just below the surface, sheltering from the heat, where cactuses bloom. Hail and welcome.
We call to the West, the spirits of Water – from the giant kelp and sunlit coral reefs to the weird, luminescent life shimmering in the inky depths. Hail and welcome.
Spirits of Summer:
And now we call to the spirits of Summer: you who revel in the heat, the long days and the warm nights, the bursting of life everywhere. We invite you to join us on this longest day of the year to celebrate the turning of the wheel.
Stillness of Summer:
Life in the stillness of summer can be relaxing and even freeing, but also stagnant. There’s the freedom of youth, being able to choose what you do all day instead of being confined in the structure of school. But there’s also stagnation, especially as we get older. The need to continue working a crappy job, for instance, can feel as stifling and oppressive as the heat outside. Sometimes it may seem as though the positive and negative aspects of summer are at war with each other. We may go from spending a quiet, still afternoon outside, soaking in the sun, to going back inside and returning to the stagnation of a home that may not feel welcoming to us. Our circumstances are all different, but it’s certainly clear that stillness is, for many of us, a complicated thing.
Life in the storm is relentless – passion, joy, sorrow, longing, fleeting fulfillment, then on to the next thing and the next and the next. On the edge of a wave – paddle quick, don’t drown – if you stay on the crest you can see where you’re headed, driving like a warship, the deep surge of righteous indignation and desperate need holding you up in a driving rain of cynicism and doubts. Hurry – for all those beautiful causes shining like stars beyond the cloud wall – no one knows quite how long we have before all is lost. Hold tight to whatever you’re sitting on or pretending to steer so you don’t get tossed into the breach. Look left and right before crossing the front line. What does it even mean to watch out when it’s coming from all sides? Life in the storm is noise so constant that your own thoughts are but a susurrus. I have swallowed the storm as it has swallowed me.
But what is life in the stillness AND the storm? In both at once? Perhaps it starts with the moment before the storm – that moment when everything suddenly hushes but the heat feels alive. It surprises us – the air feels electric even though nothing has changed. This is potential. What will we do with it? Then – the tops of the trees start to move. The sky feels the wind even as we stand firm on the quiet ground. When will the wind make its way down? Will we be safe? In one direction the sky is blue, but from another the dark, heavy clouds blow toward us, the wind in the treetops at last coming down to meet us. But our feet are still on solid ground. We stand where lightning will not strike even as we feel it crackle through the air. We live inside the power of both storm and stillness, in a creative and constant renegotiation of boundaries; a dynamic tension.
In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet for just a moment…
There is activity in reflection and stillness. When we sleep, we dream, and when we rest, our bodies repair themselves.
We search for meaning in our lives, but searching without rest is self-destructive.
When the storm settles, scry the flotsam and jetsam for meaning. A constellation is a choice.
Choose a family that is welcoming and safe. Create home.
The stillness embraces and protects us, even as the storm’s wind propels us forward.
Where is the stillness?
Where is the storm?
What is the balance?
*** Musical Interlude ***
What is the stillness beneath your feet?
What storm still lingers inside of you?
Where do you stand?
Thanking the Spirits of Summer:
Spirits of Summer, thank you for your full and joyful presence tonight. Hail and farewell.
(Now, if we could release the West)
Releasing the Quarters:
Spirits of West, the sunlit reefs and luminescent depths, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.
Spirits of South, the life-filled deserts, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.
Spirits of East, the high mountain winds, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.
Spirits of North, the lush, mysterious forests, thank you for your presence. Hail and farewell.
This circle is now open
But never broken.
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again.