It’s almost the longest day of the year. In Scotland that means is doesn’t get dark to around 11pm, and in some places it doesn’t get completely dark at all. Here in the Applachains we have the glorious rise up of the fireflies every night, I enjoy their ritual of leaving the day behind, entering into that magical threshold before cycling into night.
These thresholds like the ones of dawn are sacred, their magic tangible – as is the greater threshold in the wheel of the year – the solstices.
To me the summer solstice has always been about pilgrimage to my favorite place Carman Hill. Strewn boulders are all that remain of an Iron Age hill fort and the rocks themselves are criss-crossed by ancient markings etched by crawling ice ages.
Aborigines describe the earth’s sacred power as the ‘Dreaming’ of a place, because anything that occurs in a particular location – leaves, seeds, myths or images are the unseen vibrations that provoked the place into being in the first place. AT Mann
In climbing up the slopes of bracken and wet peaty bogs filled by trickling tributaries a wonderful view comes into being – to the North Loch Lomond with it’s dotted island chain of the Great Highland Boundary fault rising to the sacred eights of Ben Lomond – and beyond numerous mountain peaks. To the west flows the broad expanse of the forth of Clyde – the domain of the goddess Clutha.
No one ever had to tell me this was a sacred space, you can feel it with every sense. There’s dips in the land where you can see nothing but sky and you feel held in this hollow of silence. With each step you walk further into a deep feeling of tranquility. Everything takes on a heightened awareness – a kestrel swoop or hare dash. Peaty aroma’s and rich smell of the Bog Myrtle smell intoxicating.
I would often wonder why I’d always return to this place but it itself is a threshold – and as I climb I leave the day to day reality behind, time slows down and we enter into another realm. This threshold is a gateway into a sacred realm – that’s why our ancestors places stones and burial mounds (some which were razed and churches erected). These are sacred places because as we enter into them we come into contact with the sacred.
Such sacred spaces trigger a spiritual recognition, awaken an ancient memory and we all filled with a tacit knowing that we are in the presence of something greater than ourselves. Here with all daily worries stripped away we can feel what our soul yearns for and we can walk away refreshed, rejuvenated – kick-started and walking into days which can lead to heightened creativity.
The summer solstice is a gateway, a threshold which takes us onto the darker half of the year. Take time out of time to just be, what do you want for the rest of the year, where are you currently in life in relation where you want to be – create a sacred space, wither it’s an altar or a walk in nature and tune into the divine – as it’s tangible and all around in her flapping, squawking, shining, growing greening inspiration!
and tell me how will you celebrate mid summer?