Summer Woolly Mammoths
As I said in a recent post, I look forward to the summer solstice for what most would think is an odd reason. It’s the day when Sol begins to slowly diminish his warm embrace, from now through the winter solstice six months away night begins to increase. So, yes, on this day of dances around bonfires, this day of Midsommer, I celebrate the dark.
That’s not say I’m not in the moment. As a long time gardener, a part-time phenologist and a mountain man, I’m glad for the sun, for the growing season begun on Beltane and now six weeks underway. At Midsommer we get naked and dance to the music because the wheat and the carrots, the onions and the garlic, the tomatoes and the beans, the corn and the rye have taken root, have reached for the sun.
If we want to add a little sympathetic magic with our partner, all the better. An article from CNN, Summer Solstice: It’s All About Sex, reports that “A lot of children are born nine months after Midsummer in Sweden,” says Jan-Öjvind Swahn, a Swedish ethnologist and the author of several books on the subject.”
We’ve finished the pine pollen season, at least I think we have, and that’s an immersion in the sex life of the lodgepole pine. There are also, up here in the mountains anyhow, many babies enjoying the delectables of the recent growth in both plant and animal life. This is the season of fox kits and mule deer fawns, mountain lion cubs, elk and moose calves. It’s a time saturated with the joy and promise of new life, the circle of life turning through its reproductive phase.
One of the odder summer solstice gatherings occurs at Stonehenge where “druids” and other pagans celebrate. I say odd because, although Stonehenge probably aligns for sunrise on the summer solstice and sunset on the winter solstice, no one has a clue as to the rites observed when it was built, well over 4,000 years ago, long before the time of the druids.
I feel better because my own soul aligns more with darkness than light, more with the winter solstice than the summer and today marks the six month shift as we move toward the longest night.