We celebrated the summer solstice yesterday on the Fox River at the Voyager's Landing Pavilion of the Kane County Forest Preserve.
The forecast was for rain and thunderstorms. In the morning, however, it was sunny. And, the weather was still quite nice when we arrived in the afternoon.
That didn't last, however, as the skies did darken and we heard the rumble of thunder as the rain began to pitter patter on the river before us. It didn't stop us from barbecuing hot dogs or from lighting the firepit for our ritual and, of course, it didn't stop us from spending a wonderful afternoon together.
As can be seen in some of the pictures, spirits were with us. Midsummer is when the faery folk are most active out in nature and can even be glimpsed. After we ate, we lit the firepit and created sacred space. Everyone had a chance to make offerings by throwing tobacco, sage, lavender and mugwort into the sacred fire. The children made offerings to the faeries and then made wishes.
Since, Father's Day was the next day, we included a blessing for all Fathers present:
BLESSING OF THE FATHERS FOR FATHER'S DAY
Priestess: The need for positive male role models in the lives of boys and girls has never been greater. So, we honor these men and the strength of their commitment to children. As we stand in the heat of Midsummer and the shining light of the Sun King, we wish to honor and bless all fathers.
Priest: Father of Life, you whose voice is the rumble of thunder and the shifting of the earth beneath our feet, you bring change to the lives of us all! We ask you today to embrace the men here who are raising children, help them walk with sure footing. You who dazzle us with light from the distant stars in the heavens, help these men see the beauty of their ways and the great good they are doing for their children and all future generations. Great One, we give thanks for the power of slow and lasting change that is your blessing. Seed Sower, you who rise with the grain in the spring, we thank you for sustaining our bodies and feeding our souls. May your blessings take root and grow to abundance in the lives of the fathers here, so that all the children in our circle will be nurtured and cared for as they grow. Speaker of the unspoken truths, Challenger at the gates, you who listen to the greatest and the least among us in equal measure, with your help may we teach our children to listen, to be compassionate, to fight for what is just, to love with passion and live without fear.
Priestess: Father God and Mother Goddess, we ask you today to dwell in the hearts of these men, these fathers. Give them strength every day. Let them know love and praise, and let them love and praise themselves as well. Stand with them today and every day, lighten their hearts and ease their burdens, help them open to the love that is all around them, especially the love from their children, who are so blessed to have them in their lives!
Blessed be the Fathers!
Blessed be the Sun King!
Blessed be the Summer Solstice!