So here I am again furiously typing and writing trying to catch up on what has been going on , I have pages from books, corners from diaries and sticky notes forming all the notes I need to convert into blog posts before they become sensless gibberish.
Week nine has us looking at the second high day for the wheel, in my case in the Southern Hemisphere that is Summer Solstice or Midsummer.
Midsummer from a Heathen perspective can look at things like the tales of Baldr, who in a lot of modern resources is linked to Midsummer, a number of groups burn a model viking long ship with offerings inside linking to the Gylfaginning saga where Baldr is killed. Likening his life cycle and role in the destruction of the world at Ragnarok and participation in making a new one afterwards to the role of the sun in other IE traditions.
Midsummer for me means that it is a hot, dry time and that we are beginning the slow march to the wet cold months, it means weeks or months without any rain and the promise of glorious summer thunder storms. It is also a time of danger, of being alert, not only due to the increased snake activity but because it is the beginning of the peak fire danger period, where any day you could find a out of control bushfire threatining your home and community.
Midsummer isn’t really a time of year I look forward to normally, as I am not great with any heat over 22 degrees celsius as a general rule. However this time, I was really excited about Midsummer, it is the second High Day I’ve celebrated with an ADF grove since I became a member, and it is a part of my continuing learning.
By the time Midsummer rolls around the days have been getting longer and hotter, the air is drier and you can taste summer in the air, a dry dusty flavour tinged with woodsmoke and ozone. We’ve often had our first big storm for the season and everything has either turned golden and brown or is well on the way as heatwaves roll in.
The grove I have been attending always sees a drop in attendance for ritual at Midsummer, apparently it has been that way since the very beginning. They seem to treat it is a much more relaxed ritual, there is a sense of festivity in the air as everyone is getting ready to spend holiday time with their families. They still follow the usual format of pre-ritual breifing and assigning of roles, ritual and then post ritual picnic near the nemeton where everyone brings something to share and we eat, chat and enjoy each others company.
So now I have supposedly written my next High Day essay, in reality this is just the beginning I think but it is nice to have taken a look at the festival before hand and to have something to draw upon for the actual essay.