It was like a vision out of a fantasy novel, an imagining of times long past. That is how I experienced the summer solstice. Strangers gathered for ritual, lighting a bonfire on the beach, dropping their clothes in the cold summer fog, dashing into the ocean at sunset. Sky-clad bodies swaying to drum beats, the solstice flames reflected in their eyes, quivering lips chanting, singing, dancing, drumming.
The mental picture I took that night imprinted itself on my soul. I had come home into the strangest of realms that had been calling me all my life. It felt like an arrival that was only the very beginning. The shortest night celebrating the passing of my dark night of the soul into distant memory.
The teacher I longed for revealed herself in my life, a fulfillment of a prophetic wish uttered on a quest four years ago. I fell fiercely in love, discovering the sacredness of fearless intimacy. I howled at the full moon rising as the sun set into the ocean, standing on a mountain top surrounded by trusted strangers. The friend who would finally understand how music could transform into the caress of the spirit came into my life in a midsummer shower of shooting stars.
I blew the conch shell to call to ritual and sang in the Goddess Trio of the Spiral Dance. I awaited the sunrise in complete inner stillness in the pre-dawn Castle Lake woods. I walked the labyrinth on Mount Shasta’s height bathed in a blue moon, summoning a sister who would draw in the sacred light with me. The gates to the world of music flew wide open as tunes flooded my mind pouring forth poetry and song.
At the winter solstice I stood stripped of fear and clothing in the fierce December wind embracing the dusk of the setting sun, submitting my body to the merciless chill of the ocean’s waves. I emerged ecstatic seeing a vision of my past, my present, and the direction of future’s path. The longest night of the year I spent baking wild matsutake quiche with Starhawk, whose writings continue to shape my life. In the darkest hours of the solstice I was carried to a beloved place of worship I thought lost forever.
It is the place where the creator of all pulses with the drum beat of every heart and each cell of the body bows in wild abandon to the great mystery. Each breath draws in the bliss of a love the mind cannot fathom. I will do anything and give my whole being to the One whose presence consumes me. Magic has guided me from solstice to solstice and I tremble with deep fear and joy at the path that lies ahead.