In the Wicca (or Pagan) calendar, the year is divided by eight Sabbats, or holidays (Holy Days) marked by the earth’s journey around the sun. Summer solstice 2017 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 9:24 PM on Tuesday, June 20 and marks the first day of summer. The days have been growing longer (more daylight) ever since the Winter solstice on December 21. On the Solstice the time of light and dark are equal (at the equator) and now we begin the journey into darkness, with each day having less daylight.
This is the beginning of the time of growing, which will lead to the harvests to be celebrated in August, September, and October. At the Spring Equinox we were invited to make resolutions, to decide what dreams to pursue in the coming year. Now is the time to do the work of nurturing and feeding those dreams. Summer is the time to attend classes, learn a new skill, do the tiring work necessary to pursue dreams.
If your goal in Spring was to change careers, now is the time to acquire the skills and training needed, to apply for jobs, to take the risk of ending an unsuitable job or unfulfilling work. If the goal was to form a new love relationship, now is the time to sign up on dating sites, visit places to meet a new interest, and clear out all the old aces-in-the-hole that stand in the way of your availability.
This is the time to develop patience. Just as the gardener doesn’t pull up new plants to check on their growth, we must simply do the work, and stop the constant measuring and evaluating that are so much a part of our training.
Summer’s work is difficult, frightening, and tests your resolve. It is the time for the leap of faith, of taking chances and living your dreams. It is time for the work of planting and fertilizing, of watering and waiting. It is the very epitome of faith and hope; acting without knowing, and acting as if all your dreams are promised. There are no promises. All the work you have done to date – researching possible choices, learning more about yourself, then deciding on a path – may lead to a dead end of despair.
When the Harvest festivals of Autumn arrive, you will take stock, and discover then whether your work has borne fruit. Sometimes, no crop comes in. It is hard to let that be okay! The challenge is not really to set a goal and accomplish it, but to understand when a goal is not really for you, to recognize a wrong path, to do the work and then to let go of the old goal. Standing in a field, with sweat rolling off you in rivers, only you can decide if you have chosen a false path, and only you can dig for the courage to start walking a new path.
We are never alone at this crucial decision point. The Goddess is with us, holding us as we wrestle with the desire to continue on the wrong path, to avoid wasting the years of preparation. The Goddess - and our highest selves - stand just around the bend, beckoning us to attempt one more journey. The angels cheer when we admit defeat and, as the song says, “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.” All the experiences of “failure” will provide wonderful stories, better judgement, experience and wisdom.
Rita Mae Brown said, “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement”. Summer is the time to focus on building good judgement!
The summer solstice, or when the sun “stands still” before beginning the descent into darkness, is also the beginning of the work to make all your dreams come true! This pagan holiday starts the time of nurturing dreams and preparing the self for a new life. The time between summer and fall is time best spent fertilizing the ground of hopes and goals.
Tess Pender is an ordained Interfaith Minister, active in 12-step programs for over thirty years. Her spiritual practice began with Native American Sweat Lodges, and continued with a series of Vision Quests. She led a Teen Spiritual Education Program, and regularly teaches classes on accessing intuition. She practices Earth-Centered Spirituality. She can be reached on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Rev-Tess-Interfaith-Minister-1333335763419...