(Winter Solstice/Yule for those in the Southern Hemisphere)
Our Universe (which we are part of), gives us unique gifts for each of our 8 Sabbats (and other days as we choose). This time, ramping up for Summer Solstice 2018, it’s the planet Mars!
We are not only coming up on our closest approach (which happens every two years), but this one is closer than usual. Like all planetary orbits, Mars has an elliptical orbit, so it is sometimes closer to our star, the Sun (at perihelion). When our closest approach to Mars happens near Mars’ perihelion, we are closer to Mars than at other close approaches. That’s why this is the closest approach since 2003. Mars will be bright in the morning sky from now into August. It will be brighter than Jupiter, but of course still a small point of light much smaller than the Moon (ignore internet hoaxes which may say otherwise).
The ways that many of us are celebrating were published a few weeks ago. Some of us may be lucky enough to be celebrating at Stonehenge today, but for those who are not, remember that there are at least hundreds of other stone circles in Europe, and many others on every continent (except Antarctica, of course). That includes the United States, where they are often known as Medicine Wheels – as well as many recently made circles, like the small stone circle we made in the woods behind our house. Just a few years ago, I held my Summer Solstice ritual next to the ancient earth circle in central Indiana (which has a Summer Solstice notch). Two years ago, I made a spiritual pilgrimage to Stonehenge. Though it was not on the Summer Solstice itself, it was just a couple weeks after the Solstice, and I was deeply moved by watching the Sun rise over the heelstone.
In whatever way you are celebrating, Happy Summer Solstice!
This is an updated version of our annual Summer Solstice post.