Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

This ancient solar fire festival of the Sun celebrates the longest day, the zenith of the Sun’s powers, and paradoxically its decline. It is a celebration of the solar logos, of light, energy and magick, for a double paradox exists in the Sun’s entry into Cancer, a water sign, ushering in the cooling, healing empathic energy of this feminine element. Fire and water, an alchemical marriage of the spirit, not a harmony, but a fusion of polar opposites. Prometheus brought us wisdom in the form of fire; Ra, the Phoenix, re-births us in his celestial fire. Horus is the Egyptian form of the rising Sun; Seth, the Lord of the dying Sun. Many of his other names and forms are known to us throughout the eclectic mythologies of the world, here is to name but a few: Shamash, Ba-al, Belanus, Apollo, Ahura Mazda, Mithras, Azazel, Shemzazza, and of course Lucifer……………all shining beings of light, the Lux Mundi, light of the World.
Many Kings and Heroes adopted solar attributes as sympathetic magick and by dedication to their deity. Examples of these are Lugh, Llew, and Marduk; interestingly, the Anglo-Saxons did not worship a solar deity, which to them was feminine, but preferred instead to elevate their Gods of war to prominence. The solar wheel, the spinning disk, traversing the heavens, represented almost all of these. This symbol evolved into the simple equal armed cross within a circle, immortalised in stone as the ‘Saxon Cross’, which itself became surmounted upon the phallic upright Godstones, to provide the final form we now see as the pillared monoliths, union of the symbols of Sun and Phallus.

To our own ancestors, fire too has played a most important role; as hereditary priest kings, the dragon [serpent] lords of smith-craft of all Smith-Craft, we are therefore called upon to hallow these symbols of his power and to celebrate all their aspects that have shaped our craft over generations and millennia.

For thousands of years mankind has worshipped the Sun, its mysteries were practised by many ancient cultures and priesthoods: the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Hindus, Chinese, Japanese, Canaanites, Moabites, Persians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Syrians, Greeks, many North and Central Native American Tribes, Vogul and Siberian Shamans, and of course, Druids. Interestingly many of these correlated the generative power of the Sun with that of the serpent, becoming synonymous over millennia. Thus, Helel-ben Shahar, ‘Sun’ of the Morning star manifests the sexual potency within the megalithic orthostats that scatter the landscape of the entire earth.

Everywhere, examples of these phallic sunstones, the erotic energy of the cosmos ranging in size from the tiniest of several mm [worn as amulets and talismans] to several metres, monuments and objects of worship and reverence. These single standing stones, often called Herm posts or Godstones, worshipped as phallic images are emblematic of the solar life-force. Maintaining an earlier ancient connection to the stars as the ‘Axis Mundi’, centre of the world and our ladder to the Stars, flaming torches/wands were waved high into the air, tracing out secret symbols by the priests as they invoked these stellar powers. These were perceived as guardians of the thresholds between heaven and earth, that later became replaced by solar and lunar cults, absorbing and retaining these original functions.
In Sumerian mythology, Mammu, the original mother Goddess of the primal deep [the apsu] births heaven [Enlil] and earth [Enki], but she bequeaths her own watery powers to Enki, the god of wisdom, sorcery, magick and seduction…………primal power, emotional empathy and re-generative fertility………..No small wonder that our ancestors worshipped him as the ‘Lord of this World, of sweet waters, wisdom and magic.’
In Vedic mythology, the Sun is also perceived as the creator, redeemer and preserver of mankind, the Lord and Saviour. Fire is the active, male generative spirit force, water is the passive female principle within creation……….however, these are curiously worshipped with a baptismal rite [the force of water] upon the linghams, the phallic ‘Godstones’ of Shiva. Moreover, the trident of Shiva, a phallic symbol of creativity endorses a rite that equates with that of Priapus in Greece. Circle dances, fire rites and orgiastic dancing prevail within this joyous celebration activating many levels of consciousness, through sexual, emotional, physical and spiritual synthesis. In Greece, a similar rite was performed, where water was poured upon a stone phallus of Pan.
Superficially, these may be seen as simple acts of fertility, but they do conceal a deeper meaning. Many Gnostic sects [including early Christianity], performed rites of baptism, of anointing the body with water, during high summer in emulation of these ancient rites. John the Baptist, a noted Essene, [select Gnostic priesthood], viewed by many, including the Templars, to be a solar deity, has a birthday around the Solstice. It is noteworthy that within Enochian Freemasonry, the inheritors of much Templar lore, both the Summer and Winter Solstices are the two most important tides of the year.

So to summarize, the themes are regeneration, baptismal, healing, and most importantly………..joyous. It is probably the ‘lightest’ within the ritual year [pun intended], and should of course be held, if possible sometime between sunrise and noon, being very much a daytime rite. Even better, is to truly set the scene by travelling to one of the many ancient sites around the county that has a ‘Godstone’, in situ. This can be combined with a picnic and a light-hearted paddle/water fight [weather permitting].

Thus we celebrate all that is good in life…….

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~ by meanderingsofthemuse on June 19, 2012.

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