Friday 21 June 2019

New Buds on my Yule Tree on Summer Solstice Eve

On Summer Solstice Eve I noticed new buds on my Yule tree for the first time this year. It seems a poignant sign that the Wheel of the Year is turning.

Today is the longest day of the year. People are celebrating the middle of summer, with hopefully weeks and weeks of glorious sunshine to come. Yet, after today, the nights lengthen and we slowly get fewer and fewer hours of daylight. In six month's time, my little fir tree will be indoors again, decorated for the Winter Solstice.

Some pagans celebrate the Summer Solstice Festival with a symbolic battle between the Oak King of Summer and the Holly King of Winter. This is when the Holly King strikes a victorious blow against his rival and takes the crown to lead us on into autumn.

To be honest, although I've enjoyed watching Oak and Holly ritually fight in the past, it has always felt a little out of sync with the seasons for me. I prefer the Beltaine and Samhain battles of the summer and winter dragons at Glastonbury. However, I can certainly celebrate the renewal of a winter king at the Summer Solstice, just as I honour the rebirth of the sun at midwinter.

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