Saturday was Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Summer Solstice is also connected for me, both in time and theme, with LGBTQ pride festivals. And where I live, this Saturday was also the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Festival.
A friend of mine who's a Novice with the Order of Perpetual Indulgence had asked me if I'd hench (act as a henchperson) with the Sisters for Pride. I said yes.
So I spent Summer Solstice with the Sisters at Pride. It was pretty fabulous. I carried bags, took pictures, helped herd people when instructed, danced in the parade (who knew this would be part of my job?), helped a Sister with a wardrobe problem, helped set up for tea, served food, welcomed people, had lovely conversation with other henches, and shared lots of smiles with everyone there from the Order and all sorts of random other people. At the end of the day, I was very tired and very content.
It was surprisingly simple and satisfying ministry.
It was also pretty close to exactly what my soul needed. I came home very tired physically, and spiritually re-invigorated for everything on my plate these next few weeks, including my FLGBTQC co-clerks email (I'm about to start a term as Recording Clerk) and a Roses, Too! Tradition Summer Solstice Celebration on Sunday.
In ecofeminist Witchcraft, a lot of what the Sabbats are about is what's happening in nature around us, where we are, right now.
Some things to think about with Summer Soltice:
- What's happening with the light? What time does the Sun rise? What time does it set? How many hours of daylight and of darkness are there right now, where you live or where you are?
- What's happening with plants? What plants are growing, have bloomed and are done, are blooming or fruiting now, are yet to bloom or fruit? What foods are available that haven't been yet this year, that won't be again soon?
- What's happening with the weather? What are the temperatures like? Has the pattern of rain (or snow!) changed since Beltane or Spring Equinox?
- What's happening with animals? Where are different animals where you live in their life cycles? Who's migrating right now?
There are other possibilities.
One of the easiest ways to engage with what's happening in nature right now on this longest day is to track sunrise and sunset. You can figure out ways to measure this yourself, especially if there are children in your life; you can look up when sunrise and sunset are where you live, or where you are. (You can do both!)
The US Naval Observatory has several very useful data tools on their website, http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/index.php. Here you can look up sun and moon data for one day or for the whole year.
TimeAndDate.com also have all sorts of interesting astronomical data available, and on their web page, you can look up sun and moon data for a day, a month, a year, and more: http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/.
How did you spend Summer Solstice? How are you honoring it?
As someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or an ally, how are you celebrating Pride?
How are you celebrating and honoring social justice and work for social justice in your life right now?
Remember, you are fabulous, and the Goddess adores you.
Thou art Goddess.