Friday 21st June at 16.54 is the Pagan Celebration of the Solstice, the moment when the sun enters the constellation of Cancer. In the Northern Hemisphere, it's the Summer Solstice viewed as the triumph of light, the ecstatic culmination of the sun, yet the start of growing darkness. Old traditions included: Making a bonfire on a hilltop, sing, drink, laugh and time of merry-making. Processions with torches and lanterns, rolling wheel down hill to mark the start of the sun’s descent, blessing cakes and wine, waiting for the dawn and greeting the sun when it rises, sleeping by a spring, rolling naked in the dew of the summer sunrise!
There will be thousands at Stonehenge to welcome in this turning point in the year. See https://stonehengetours.com/summer-solstice-celebrations.htm who also offer an inclusive coach tour from London and Bath for the Thursday sunset and the Friday sunrise. However, the year I went, when there were about 19,000 others, you could just drive there and enter free other than parking charges (£15 for a car, £5 for a motorobike) - if you;d like to make your own way and join in see English Heritage Stonehenge Solstice details. It is an unforgetable experience.
Last year around 30 of us gathered at the Clandon Wood Nature Reserve to watch the sunrise, my friends Olga and Gary will be hosting this again on Friday 21st June, between 04.00 & 07.00 (I will be there from around 4.30), details here: http://meetu.ps/e/GHMsp/158vg/f, but I think it will be full. Best to book early next year if you like the sound of it.
Clandon Wood is near Guildford, Surrey.
Here are pictures of last year. We enjoyed an amazing sunrise with a mystical cloud formation over the horizon.
After sunrise (officially 04.46 although it was getting light at around 4am), we enjoyed a guided meditation followed by a gong bath courtesy of Gary Evans and Olga Terebenina, Holistic Healing Therapy. Photo below from last year when there were less of us.
You might be wondering, did we all roll around naked in the dew afterwards? If so, there are no photos ...
Thursday 20th June – Tuesday 2nd July is the Bootids Meteor Shower, predicted to be less active this year, peaking on Sunday 23rd June (see Blog entry under 23rd June). For advance notification (before the 23rd June Blog is published) see June Celestial Forecast