I spent the Solstice high in the mountains, communing with the luminary sol, the light-bringer, the first fire. It lit a torch deep down that was sleeping, some part of me that was tucked away over the winter and unable to shake the frost until just then.
I lay in the moss beds dotting the vernal pools low on the side of the mountain, and left my offerings in the nurse logs of cedar, decaying at their bases and blooming at the top. I was visited, in the bright dapples of light between firs and pines by two spirits; a hoard of bats who quietly circled above our sacrificial fire on their way out of the caves for breakfast, and a small black beetle who crawled into the cauldron when the first prayers were sang and shuffled away just as the fires were put out.
Nothing material was taken from the wood that day, nothing disturbed carelessly. I had expected to find my enchanter's nightshade, gather some rotting cedar and pine resin but instead I left as quietly as I came, feeling the kind of completion I only feel when I'm out in the wild. When the solstice was over, we both made the long drive home in silence, reveling in that kind of peace and contemplation you feel after you've communed successfully with the spirits and the land in harmony. That harmony is the core function of my spirituality, I am renewed by it.
Some religions function out there without a real feeling of connection to the land, or to the spirits that permeate all life, not just human. I'll never understand how that works. Nature, all of nature in this world and the cosmos is a function so grand and magnificent it steals my breath sometimes. My faith that there are an eternity of mysteries out there keeps me grounded and spiritual. Marveling at the world growing and heaving and shifting around me, breathing and absorbing, groaning under our weight and flexing her strength, I wonder to myself why so many seek god so far up and so far away; why need seek a god at all if you don't want to, when there is so much around us in existence to honor above all?
“Our ancestors worshiped the Sun, and they were not that foolish. It makes sense to revere the Sun and the stars, for we are their children" -Carl SaganThe sun, fiery and inspiring is the luminary of this day. This illumination is one of strength, life-giving, godly power and sacrifice. To the sun, I honor with fire and flesh. For all the warmth the sun gives, so much is burned away. You can't ask anything from the spirits without offering something in return; even the smallest considerate gesture can change the way you come to perceive all the living and non-living entities around you. I stuffed the straw doll with my sacrifice in flesh and blood, and lit it ablaze, and strew the ashes in the most fertile path of undergrowth and wild flowers I found in the vernal pool forest; in a patch of sunlight so bright it illuminated my soul.