Monday, 21 June 2010

Solsticial Greeting

“A Witch’s job is to turn the wheel”, as Sister Hecate is fond of saying-and she’s right.

There is a necessity for certain people to be among the population, marking the points in Earth’s orbit, year after year, turn of the spiral after turn of the spiral. We didn’t always call them Witches, of course.

But as long as there were folk marking – even celebrating – the high and low apparent positions of the sun, then that sun would continue to rise.

Do I really believe this? Yes, I do.

Taking note of the natural world we live in is as necessary, I feel, for humans as eating and breathing. We don’t live if we don’t do it. I’m continually surprised that there exist humans today who can’t tell a solstice from an equinox, who seem terminally confused about the very mechanics of the planet and the solar system of which it is a part. How can you not know these things? I want to ask them, as I shake them. How can it not be of primary importance to you?

How, indeed? Humans would not have become the rampant force that they have been on this planet (for good or evil) without some curiosity, and thus learning, about the motion of the sun, moon and stars in the sky – especially the sun. We know when to plant and when to reap by the height of the sun in the day, the time it gets up and the time it sets. We plan our agriculture – and before that, our hunting and fishing – by the solar season as well as by the moon. For a person to not know –or want to know – how this works, is beyond me.

Fortunately, we’ve always had the Witches amongst us – even when they were called something else, like Druid, or Shaman, or WiseMan. In latter centuries, the numbers of these keepers of the flame have dwindled heavily. Post ‘enlightenment’ the most likely person to be marking the solar year was an astronomer – a natural scientist who, like as not, saw it as a purely mechanical exercise, with nothing of Spirit or Soul invested. For that, we are now the poorer.

Fortunately again, this trend has reversed, and I daresay there are now more Witches and Druids observing (in every way) the passages of the Holy than there ever has been. And for that, I am profoundly..err…hopeful.

For between the Sacred aspect of the Solstice and the Profane I have oscillated all my life, until I came down, during these last few years, finally on the side of the Sacred. And I find, slightly to my surprise, that the only difference between these two views resides in the Soul of the observer Herself, and it is that Soul which thrives or falters thereby.

Happy Winter/Summer Solstice to All. Io, Evo! He!
Pic: A bunch of Wise People I once knew.