At the very heart of shamanic living, dwells the understanding of the profound significance of doing ceremonies. And now comes round the turning time called the Summer Solstice and here we offer some examples of what Circles might do to celebrate this Seasonal shifting of the Wheel of Life.
The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Following this Solstice, the days get shorter, the nights longer. The dark slowly begins to take over the cycle until we arrive at the time of Winter Solstice. In some cultures, Summer Solstice is also known as “Midsummer’s Night” and the ceremonies begin with twilight. For others, the ceremony begins with Sunrise, continues through the day and the night. While in the Far North, the Sun shines continuously – a blessing for those who endured the long, long months of darkness. Here celebrations may continue for several days.
At Summer Solstice, the Sun and Earth align in such a way as to assist all growing things to come into their fullness. Thus, the Summer Solstice ceremonies are often full of dancing, singing, costumes and theatrical performances, feasting. It is a time when Earth and all her inhabitants join in mutual celebration and ecstasy. A time of rejoicing for the blessings bestowed from the marriage of Heaven and Earth.
Unless a Circle is already part of some ongoing shamanic tradition with traditional Solstice ceremonies, it is usually best for a Circle to journey and discover what ceremonies and celebrations to do. Just as individuals are learning from their helping Spirits new ways of doing shamanic healing, special dances and songs, so also Circles can learn from Spirits new ceremonies appropriate to them and to this time in which we live.
With the thought that some Circles might not have done Solstice Ceremonies before, here are some suggestions of how you might focus your intentions as you plan your activities. Generally speaking, shamanic Summer Solstice Ceremonies focus on the themes of fulfilment, enlightenment, abundance, sharing, and the joy of living on this beautiful EarthHome.
These are examples of journeys for what to do once you have gathered, prepared your place of gathering, called upon the Spirits to join you, and created the container within which to do your Circle ceremonial activities. Again, we suggest journeying before the Solstice so that you can then include what you are shown in your Solstice gathering.
Journey for ceremonies that have as their focus:
One of the most important things to remember about ceremony is that it is a way for humans to give back to Creation some of the energy and blessings that we are always receiving. Mother Earth constantly gives us two leggeds and other creatures a surface on which to place our feet. The Sun’s warmth provides the heat necessary for all living beings to prosper. The relationship of Earth, Sun, and Moon is the matrix within which all living beings evolve during their sojourn here on Earth. All ceremonies bring an awareness of this Unity with the larger Web of Being and Becoming.
“As Above, so Below” and “As without, so within” reflect the understanding that ceremonies are most powerful when the intention and the purpose of the ceremony is to align ourselves with what is occurring within the larger Web, the greater Pattern.
Just as the Solstice signifies the time when MotherEarth is at the fullness of her strength, fertility, and abundance, so we too can celebrate the strength in joining together, pollinate our spiritual consciousness through sharing, and do ceremonies of thanksgiving for the abundance in which we partake daily. We can offer prayers for those who go without the body’s essentials for shelter, food, and nourishment for their spirits. Prayers for those caught up in our human conflicts that lead to war, exile, and disintegration. Seek guidance from our Spirit helpers and with our Circles on how we might bring more prospering to All.
Calling All Shamanic Circles to Gather in Summer Solstice Circling
Now comes round this turning season
Once again the Sun stands still
Once again the Call goes forth
Heard across the plains and sea
Every Circle come together
Weave with Circles everywhere
One great Web of Celebration
Shining forth our Spiritual Light
Tenders of this Earth are We
Circles Tending Sacred Fires
Tending Sacred Circle Fires
Tending Tending Tending
Encircling the Earth with our love
With our Joy
Touching the Fire in the Sky
Touching the Fire in the Earth
Touching the Fire within all Living Beings
Illuminating our relationship within the Web
of Being and Becoming.
We invite you to join in this Solstice Celebration. We have been connecting the spiritual leylines of Circles around the Earth so that on June 21st, from first light breaking through last light leaving, there is a continuous thread of Circles that will be gathering. This thread will weave a Web around the Planet, fires sharing the smoke of other fires, like hands touching hands, encircling and embracing Mother Earth.
If you had not planned to gather on the Solstice as a Circle, perhaps some in your Circle will. Remember there are many people hungering for such opportunity to give thanks for all that we have received. Some are thirsting for connection with others who are walking the shamanic path – they may think there are no Circles near them with which they can gather. The need to witness to one’s blessings and make prayer for future generations is as basic as the need for food and shelter. They are not inseparable. If both needs are not addressed, we will wither away.
Earth and all our relatives are hungering to hear our Voices singing forth our recognition we are One with All Beings. Together we can change these hungry groanings into mutual songs of delight and dance together.
We know there will be local, regional, national, and international Solstice Circles gathering. By joining us and connecting together, we honour the boundless geography of the Spirit, can sing to one another, and together we can sing our Souls One Song, our Bodies’ One Song: the Song of Earth and Sky.