The next High Day, Number 2 for me, is the Summer Solstice, which, according to the Farmer’s Almanac this year, falls on June 21, at 1:16 P.M. EDT. That happens to be a Tuesday, and I still need to adjust for my time zone. I know I’m jumping the gun here about preparations, but, I wanted to make sure I knew exactly when, so I could start planning now. The quarters, since they are actually astronomical events, need to be celebrated at that precise moment, not when it is convenient. I am fine with a social, commemorative ritual for large groups at social convenience, but for my private worship, it must be at the correct time. The cross-quarters are basically social events, and I’m fine with convenience ruling those completely.
I’m starting early, too, because I need time to look into the history, traditions, and archeology, and do some better research than I’ve engaged in to this point.
Now, mind you, my Hearth Culture is not rumoured to have spent much time celebrating the Solstices and Equinoxes, but, they’re important to me. Also, that doesn’t really set right with me; why all the stone circles, cairns and other monuments all over the British Isles set to the Sun, if these dates weren’t important? That doesn’t make any logical sense to me – they had meaning to somebody, obviously; one doesn’t marshal an entire culture to erect massive stone monuments for just something to do. They couldn’t have been THAT bored.
As for the matter that it wasn’t ‘Celtic’ or ‘Druidic’, well, it doesn’t matter a pin to me quite frankly; what matters more to me is that my family came from Gaelic Scotland and Northern England, and for generations upon generations, my ancestors walked that island, from Neolithic times – and they must have interacted somehow over the milennia with those monuments. The timekeeping and astronomical events these circles and standing stones had meaning to them, my ancestors. Therefore, they have meaning to me as well, even if I can’t pin a convenient label on them like ‘Celtic’ or ‘Gaelic’ or ‘Druidic’. I’m pinning ‘My Ancestors’ on that. HA.
I know the Druids as we know them did NOT create Stonehenge or many of the other monuments, but, quite frankly, SOMEBODY did, and I’m willing to bet it was the Druids’ ancestors; the Druids capitalized on the construction projects of the past. Waste not, want not. Nevertheless, that does not make the Druids wrong for using these sites, and weaving their own meaning and ritual into the warp of time. In my own head, that also includes the Druids of the Revival and the last few hundred years. It’s what we DO. We all do this, it is the human way, whether we are Druids, Christians, Muslim, Wiccan, or Tolkien Elvish or just plain whatever. Again, I haven’t seen anywhere in the definition of ‘ancient’ the word ‘superior’ or ‘right’ or ‘exclusive’.
Earrach (lovely name, by the way) has posted some marvelous thoughts with regard to this on the ADF website; I checked out two posts, one entitled, ‘What Would the Druids Do at the Summer Solstice?‘ and the second, ‘Timing: An Essential Element in Things Magical‘, and quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more. I can see we are on the same page about it; I was pleased to run across these posts after I had already put some of my thoughts down above. Heck yeah!!! I feel better already.