The Spell of High Summer
Approaching the Summer Solstice, it’s important to take pause and breathe it all in. The skin should be given freedom to soak in light and water in abundance, cleansing the static that clings to the soul. The lungs should open and with them the heart center, allowing radiant patters of thought to flow outward, mingling with the energy of the world. The greater the challenges presented to us on this plane, the more we stand to gain from cultivating open hearts and minds, shedding old ideas like skins, clearing a path for renewal. Mindfulness begets mindfulness, and lights the way for those who come after us.
Proust said ‘the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ Summer vacationing isn’t required to align oneself between the Earth and Sky, we can do this in place simply be being present in our own bodies. All it takes to create this space within is an intention to do so, the slow vibration of matter will be there when you get back, I promise. In a recent entry on A Druids Garden, Dana speaks of the disenchantment of the world and how cultivating a sense of magic has the potential to heal;
“It is important to note for our purposes here that the ideas of capitalism and consumerism were ideas long before they were realities. In the same way that ideas become the realities of capitalism, so can ideas about enchantment and magic become realities again in our world. If humanity is to survive the post-industrial age, I believe they need to become realities again. The concept of the world as an enchanted place, concepts that have been with humans since the dawn of time, are not lost. They still reside in the hearts and realities of every person who takes up a druid path or similar nature-oriented spiritual practice. But if we look at so many non-mainstream movements: druidry, nature-based spirituality, neo-paganism, permaculture, urban farming, yoga/mindfulness, traditional herbalism–so many things happening right now, that new system where the world is sacred, where nature is valued, where the land is an enchanted place is already being tested, expanded, created. People are getting fed up with the “iron cage” and seeking a different path forward–they are working to bring the magic back in.”
I especially resonate with the idea of ‘working to bring the magic back in’, and we do this precisely by opening ourselves up to this moment in time, to the spirit of nature, and to what we have to offer one another. In my head, I am always at work relating standard American symbols and experiences to ancient correlates in an effort to better understand how we got to now. My hypothesis is that secular commercial culture already utilizes a symbolic language derived from historically pagan contexts, so this seems like a readily available and widely understood reference point for jumping off into re-enchantment territory. For example, I associate 4th of July celebrations with the ritual sun worship of Summer Solstice.
Not that we want to bring the consumerism with us, but that this pre-programming allows for a familiar point of access for understanding long forgotten ancestral ontology. I think we under-appreciate the scale of trauma that we are living through, and the hunger for a deeply rooted and meaningful context to make sense of it all by. Instead of feeling powerless in the face of our worst human compulsions, let us instead view the present as a crucible for change. Like cooking in a witches’ cauldron, let us keep adding herbs to neutralize the poison, making medicine by stirring the pot frequently throughout our spheres of influence. This is the great work of alchemy, and there are many cooks in the kitchen, so there is good company to be had.
This Summer, be sure to bask in the light, charging your spirit in the Sun. Dig your toes deeply into the Earth and root yourself to the present. S – t – r – e – t – c – h your mind, expand your consciousness and grow networks for good. We have so many proactive ways to make small changes that matter. We don’t have to feel trapped in a cycle of reacting to what’s beyond our powers, we can give ourselves permission to allow the power that connects us all to shine a light through us, illuminating the darkness. Rise to the challenge this Solstice and SHINE as an act of resistance, and in so doing, Re-land your spiritual practice.