The Great Wheel has turned once again and the longest day, the Summer Solstice, offers opportunity to stand in the heat of Solar Flame, cast the strength of our Inner Sun into the spotlight and bask in the expansive culmination of the prior months’ hard work and efforts.
Many celebrate the Summer Solstice with the story of the Oak King and Holly King. The Oak King having been crowned at the Winter Solstice is filled to bursting with the energy and power of solar energy and light; and it is He who draws the sacred seasons toward the bounty of Summer’s fullness. The Holly King has lain silently in his space of renewed slumber and HE waits to rise again at the time of the Summer Solstice. On the sacred day of the Solstice, the Holly King emerges to claim his own and triumphant in the battle for dominance with his brother now reigns as the keeper of death and rebirth. HE stands in command as the harvest is reaped and the silence of the cold and snows fall upon the lands. HE knows that he will only have half of the year to weave His magick before the battle ensues once again and the world will bow to his brother, the Mighty Oak. They are one and the same but each work their will wearing the appropriate face and archetypal energy in accord with the ebb and flow of the seasons, the expansion and contraction of the energetic state and the necessary demise of one so the other may reign supreme.
It is this same action that is applied to our inner spiritual workings. We work diligently with goal of increasing and expanding the flow of energy that moves within and ultimately arrive at the temporary state of that form of energy being dominant. This dominance must surrender to the gradual giving way towards a new form and a re-birthing (or re-crowning) of what will then serve us in continued growth. And, similarly it often does become an inner battle when we cling too fiercely to the comfort and familiarity of the old way of being. With this thought in mind, I would like to share another way in which to honor this season.
We can use this dynamic of energy to call forth our Inner Sun and the energetic changes that have occurred in concert with the increasing of the outer sun’s strength and have brought us to this midpoint of peak. To consciously engage the energy of the Solstice as a tool for enlivening our inner light is similar to the pulling back and tautness of the slingshot band forming its own state of temporary imbalance in order to send the stone straight, steady and fully propelled on its intended course. It is the tipping of the scales towards one extreme of expansion before the necessary contraction that draws all into a state of equilibrium and (temporary) balance at the equinox. This cycle of expansion and contraction- balance and purposeful imbalance- occur in a pattern of alternating the center of focus and the point of expression.
We find ourselves drawn to the longer days that have been gradually moving towards the apex of this day of the longest hours of light. We feel ourselves emerging into the fullness of this Light filled with the realized potential and life sustaining energy of the sun. We are infused with its power and take pleasure in opening our senses to the full experience of being lit from within and shining that magick on all we encounter. This is the center of our focus and we cling to the last vestiges of daylight before the cycle moves towards the waning time.
And, it is from this place of extreme that we drink in all of the light we able to hold to carry us forward in the days and months ahead, knowing they will bring increasingly shorter hours of daylight and longer times of nightscape. This absorption of the catalytic fires will be the fuel that will burn throughout the months ahead as we move into the space of darkness, cold and introspection and become the lantern of that light.
I usually craft a personal working for the solstices and the equinoxes using the solar energies as the continuous energetic thread. Below is a simple ritual that you may use to celebrate the Solstice as an awakening to and reaffirming of the solar energies that are part of our inherent make-up. Each of the workings I do serves to enliven and increasingly strengthen the solar current. It is this current that I use for energetic protocol and workings. And, it is this current that supports the lunar work that I do. In this way, I maintain the tools that are needed so that I may remain in sync with the energetic tides that flow around me and have as my foundation the Inner Sun that will Light the way.
A Ritual of Awakening
For the working:
1/Gold or Yellow Pillar Candle
1/White Pillar Candle
1/Black or Dark Pillar Candle
Candle snuffer (optional)
Place the candles in a triangular shape on a small altar table. The White Pillar would be the point of the triangle with the Gold on the Left base and the Black on the Right base. A white or gold altar cloth would be suggested. Something plain is preferable rather than a patterned cloth. Everything should be very simple, uncluttered and clean with the candles as the central focus.
Sacred space is prepared is whatever way is compatible with your path. Invoke those Patrons, Guides or Deity that you work with and wish to have witness and support this rite. For my ritual I would use RA, as the sustaining light and Anpu as holder of the dark and the midnight Sun. I also work regularly with Het-Heru (as the Ureaus) and would call Her forth as inner anchor for the energy.
Make statement of your intent to enliven and awaken your Inner Sun that its flame may burn brightly in the months ahead. You want to speak this aloud, so that all of your subtle bodies may respond to the physical vibration of the words you are setting forth.
Begin by lighting the Gold candle. Declare this candle as the energy of the Sun (RA) held in its peak of potency and life sustaining properties. It is the catalyst that bursts forth at the dawn of each day. It is the strength and fullness of light as the midday sun. And, it is the drawing of the solar energies into the belly of night; still burning brightly as its mysteries are held in the Midnight Sun. Take some time to connect with these energies and envision this solar cycle in whatever way presents and feels natural to you. Breathe in deeply, feeling the expansion of your lungs and imagining this expansion as the heat and warmth of the growing sun.
Next, stand before the White Candle (Het-Heru) . Make declaration that this candle represents the pure illumined energy of your Higher Self and the power and strength that is held within. This candle represents your Spirit and the true nature of your being, that flows with the cycles of nature, the seasons, the Universal and Cosmic laws. Feel its resonance within you as you speak each work of description. You may also wish to say your mundane and magickal names, affirming your identify in Spirit and Matter. Using the Gold pillar as Source, light the White candle of your Being. Place the Gold pillar back on its stand. Return your focus to the growing flame of the White candle as the brilliance of Light that is held within the solar fires that have burned so hot and so pure that nothing remains except that which holds All. Breathe your energy into this candle feeling the resonance and connection to the core of your inner sun. And, inhale deeply the reciprocity of its energetic return spreading throughout your body. Allow this enlivened energy to move through your body as it will and making note of where it settles. You may experience a pulsating feeling at the center of your solar plexus or feel something like a sun-filled liquid warmth moving gently through you. Just continue to breathe gently as you envision the circuit you have created of inhale and exhale, receipt and return.
Move to stand in front of the Dark Pillar (Anpu) . Make declaration that this candle represents the coming season of darkness and decrease in visible light. This is also the power and the mystery of the Midnight Sun and the spark of potent flame that lay within the depths of all that gives illusion of shadow. Take a moment to feel the raw energy of this darkness and the imposing silence that reaches long into the night. Using the White Pillar, light this candle. As you do so, declare this as the quickening of the darkness so that it may nurture and hold strong the spark of catalytic flame that will burst forth at the Winter Solstice. Place the White Pillar back on its stand. Return your focus to the Dark Candle and breathe into its flame and open to connecting deeply to the contrast of white/blue flame and dark wax. Envision the lantern of your own Inner Sun lighting the paths of this darkness. Envision the reality that on this earth plane; night and day occur simultaneously with only the designation of geographical location as the determining factor as to what we name as dark and light.
Come to stand at center point in front of these three lit candles. Allow your gaze to move from one to the other, remembering what each represents and the energy of connection you have made. Soften your gaze, and allow the stream of light emanating from each to interweave. Breathe deeply and fully as you relax into this weaving. Soften your gaze further and see these three streams coming to a central point directed towards you. Breathe into this co-mingling of energy feeling its point of connection at the same place you felt the settling of your inner flame previously when connecting to the Gold pillar. Feel the strength of the Sun (Gold Pillar) , Your Inner Sun (White Pillar) and the Midnight Flame (Dark Pillar) coalescing as a singular Source of Light to bring forward and light the paths of your own inner darkness as the year wanes.
When you have received all that is needed, offer up gratitude for this experience. Offer up service to the nurturing and tending of this Fiery energy within and the gift and blessings of the Solar Flame you have received. Stand once again before each of the candles and offer thanks to their individual energies and then gently use a snuffer to extinguish each candle in turn. When you have extinguished the Dark Pillar, take a deep breath in and gently breathe out in exhale of release allowing whatever excess energy you may feel to gently fall away, leaving you feeling renewed and empowered.
Thank the Deities and those seen and unseen Who have offered their witness and support. Close down your sacred space in whatever way is in keeping with your path. Be sure to get something to eat and drink immediately following to ground and center. If necessary, connect with the earth or floor beneath you allowing any excess to drain into the Great Mother.