Mark Green's Atheopaganism Blog

Living an Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science

A Ritual of Ease for Midsummer

My circle met at my home yesterday.

I’ve been circling with the same group for 27 years as of this upcoming Hallows (Samhain). We started as a group of six, and over time have expanded to ten, but all the original members are still here. It’s pretty remarkable.

Dark Sun circle is my family. I don’t have blood family any more, so they are it when it comes to celebration of holidays, sharing of confidences, shared grief and celebration. We’ve been through marriages and divorces, all sorts of life changes. Thankfully, no deaths, yet.

So it was wonderful to see them. We’re kind of far-flung, so we only get together every 8 weeks or so, and each time is a celebration, with great food and drink. Usually, we do a ritual for the season or for some other needed purpose. But this time, we didn’t.

That wasn’t really an accident. I had racked my brain about what kind of sun-honoring ritual we might do when the circle came up, but all I can see of the summer solstice is the Season of Ease, with abundant fruits and vegetables, the hard work of the fall harvests not yet upon us, the days long with languid evenings of temperate breezes.

To sit in the back yard in a circle of chairs, to eat stonefruits and new garden vegetables and roasted meat and drink wine and feel the soft breeze and catch up with the dearest people in my world: that was the Midsummer ritual that felt best and most appropriate to me.

My point, I suppose, is that ritual doesn’t always have to be Ritual with a capital “R”. There is certainly a time for more formal ceremonial celebration (what some in my circle sometimes call “waving a stick around”), but social gatherings are their own kinds of rituals, with welcoming, creation of a container, working, resolution and departure.

Enjoy the long days, my friends (if you’re on the northern half of the planet). They pass soon enough, and must be seized while they’re here.

Happy Midsummer!


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