I celebrated the Solstice with some wonderful friends in one of the loveliest settings you could imagine. The weather was questionable to begin with, but we were thrilled to see the overcast morning turn into a beautiful sunny afternoon with just the right amount of wind. Between the solstice fire and the pond was a wide expanse of green, where dogs played and humans exchanged tarot card readings and friendship.
As part of our solstice ceremony, each of us was given the opportunity to place an offering in the fire. Mine was mugwort and sage donated by a dear friend, a handful of rose petals from my garden, a fortune cookie message I found resonant on a half-forgotten difficult day and a hand written commitment to the things I mean to accomplish between this solstice and the next. Standing before the fire I released all the fear and insecurity I could muster and prepared myself for the new energy to come.
The rain held out until our gathering was about to close, then fell full-force, dousing our fire and rushing our goodbyes. Thinking about the day later in the evening, it occurred to me that each of the elements had been especially well-represented. This, I thought, has meaning.
Committed to my new journey and direction, I had approached this solstice as a student, reading about the old ways and the Wiccan connection between the Summer Solstice and the journey of the god. But I didn't want to approach Midsummer in terms of a single element or the masculinity of the solstice sun and in the end I didn't. Instead I experienced the living dance of wind and fire, the steady containment of the earth, the falling, clearing curtain of rain, and the sacred alchemy of fire and water.