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Summer Solstice 2009

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008

I stayed at Castlerigg to watch the sun rise this morning.  There was a large crowd of a few hundred and a great festival type atmosphere as small groups of other visitors entertained themselves with drums and singing around a few camp fires.  Later on I went to Long Meg where there was a total contrast.  There were far fewer visitors and they were all sat quietly calmly apprectiating the moment and surroundings.

I will post some pictures when I am not quite so tired :)

What the rest of you do?

Seannachaidh (not verified)

I spent midsummer's eve setting up a sundial.  Midsummer's morning I climbed Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh then visited the "sideyways oak" in the woodland there.  It's a huge, ancient oak tree that fell over decades ago because it is on a steep slope, but has continued growing even though the trunk is now horizontal over the slope below.  It's easy to climb very high up in the branches, and has lots of comfy spots where you can lounge and look at the sky and watch the birds come and go.  Midsummer's afternoon I slept, 'cos twilight began at 345am this morning, and the dawn was 445am, LOL.  Won't be dark till after 11pm, which is good 'cos I'm going to a cake and ale outdoor festival.

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Joined: 2 Mar 2009
Did some witchy things in

Did some witchy things in the early hours and then spent the rest of the day out with my father giving him his special day. Funny when the sun went down today, the sky was a wonderful shade of purple. Hardly anyone celebrates it up here...


Seannachaidh (not verified)
As a pagan it never seemed

As a pagan it never seemed odd that the midsummer festival to the All-Father ended up as Father's day, until I lived in america, where they have father's day and mother's day reversed. 

Its still celebrated in Scotland, just isnt obvious, I suppose.  The holdovers from those pagan days of honouring the All-Father are seen in the trials of strength and skill at Highland Games, livestock competitions, choosing of the best lads, and in the lowlands with Common Riding festivals which have many of the same events as well as riding the bounds.  It's all very warrior-like, LOL.

Do you have any festivals near you which epitomise the best in all that is masculine?

Neil Boothman's picture
Neil Boothman
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008
I spent my Summer Solstice

I spent my Summer Solstice at work (albeit sitting in the garden sipping iced cordials). I enjoyed reading and watching the news coverage of the celebrations at Stonehenge though was disappointed at the amount of detrius and litter left behind.

I read somewhere that it was in fact the Winter Solstice which was the big deal for old-school pagans. Perhaps modern pagans just prefer lounging around in warm weather. :-)

Anyway, I like the Solstices - a celebration of the magnificent physical forces we have no control over.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008
I am not sure how many of

I am not sure how many of the thousands that descended on Stonehenge would have been Druids or even pagans.  The stonehenge solstice has appeared on a festivals website as a free festival.  It was weekend and the weather was good, so perhaps some people just went for the experience.  As for litter, Castlerigg was covered in litter when I left it, though I did see some people starting to tidy up so I am sure it would not have been left in a state.  Long Meg however was litter free and a joy.

Seannachaidh (not verified)
Yeah, winter solstice is the

Yeah, winter solstice is the HUGE one for me.  Modronacht.  Boat burning for the Vikings, wicker bull burning one year, 15,000 torchlit procession through Edinburgh (most were tourists) fireworks, storytelling.  All incorporated into Edinburgh's Winterfest now.  Lots of customs go with this time of year, every day during that whole period is a different aspect of the festival. 



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