Last night the Temple's Inner Court, together with friends and potential Outer Court students, gathered at the covenstead to acknowledge the Summer Solstice, the time of the year when the God, in his guise as Solar King, is at his strongest, having reached the peak of his power. In honouring his beauty and brilliance, we also acknowledge that the Goddess is revealing her wonderful bounty all around us.
For our part, we can harnness this abundant energy and put it towards our own hopes and dreams, visions and desires that we have been carefully nurturing since the seeds were initially planted almost half a turn of the sacred Wheel ago, at Imbolc, the commencement of Spring.
Part of this year's ritual, participants were invited to place something upon the altar that they wished to charge up for the coming year, making the most of the Sun's power and energy. I thought it was about time that the gris gris bag (a charm bag made from cloth and filled with various herbs and talismans) that I carry with me had its energy renewed ... considering I can't remember exactly when it was actually first constructed.
All I can say is that within 12 hours of the ritual that extra energy appeared to have kicked in, not once but on two separate occasions, much to my delight.
Participants of last night's ritual also took away with them another talisman, a stone with the runic symbol for sowilo drawn on it. Sowoli relates to good health and fitness, and energy, as well as being the "spirit of life" and the "energy of the sun". Being known as a victory symbol, it can be used as a force of attack. Spiritually, Sowilo symbolizes clear vision, and the victories of light over darkness, good over evil.
After the ritual, we enjoyed each other's company as we feasted .. and what a feast we had. Such a perfect way to end a simply wonderful evening, that is until the mosquitos can out in force.
It is always a pleasure in being able to share special events such as the Sabbats with friends, espeically those who we only get to see maybe once or twice a year due to external circumstances and life commitments in general. These events also provide a wonderful opportunity for potential students to meet the Inner Court members and to get a feel of what ritual could very well be like should they wish to continue their studies with us.
Now with the Temple technically "closed" over the Summer break until just prior to Lughnasadh, it will now be time to clean and polish ritual impliments, to wash and iron altar cloths, and even reorganise and fill the apothecary cupboard.
But this doesn't mean that there is nothing happening over the Summer months - on Monday, 9 January 2012 we will be holding our annual Yemaya Full Moon and Blessing of the Waters ritual at Grange beach. More details about this wonderful ritual can be found here.
Further, with applications for the 2012 intake of the Temple's Outer Court not closing until 15 January 2012, there will be a number of "meets and greets" happening as well. More information about the Temple of the Dark Moon's Outer Court training circle can be found here.
A busy time ahead in readiness for the new calendar year but one I gladly take on. And now is the perfect time to draw upon the strength and energy of the Sun in order to carry me through.