Friday, June 29, 2007

Mid Summer Kinky Pagan


I am not a pagan, per se, but I do believe in rituals and definitely have some pagan belief systems. Always have, always will.
Summer solstice was yesterday. This is a traditional holiday celebrated around the world. Midsummer, when the North Pole of the earth is tilted toward the Sun. In Europe thousands of Pagans and non-Pagans go to places of ancient religious sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury to see the sun rising on the first morning of summer. We in the northern hemisphere receive more sunlight and it's summer. It is a time to celebrate growth and life but for pagans, who see balance in the world and are deeply aware of the ongoing shifting of the seasons, it is also time to acknowledge that the sun will now begin to decline once more towards winter.
Many more people throughout the world hold small ceremonies in open spaces, everywhere from gardens to woodlands. Bonfires are lit as darkness comes and effigies and fireworks are thrown into the fires.For many years,in the same spirit of pleasure and fun, our family carried out summer solstice on the beach below our home in northern California.
During the day, we would gather dried brush and leaves to make a Jack Straw man. Formed out of two strong tree limbs, we would wrap the dried hay and brush around the frame, making a scarecrow type of figure. That night the kids and their friends and my friends too, would haul it down to the beach and place it in a deep hole dug in the sand. Little slips of paper, with our worst fears written on them, were tied onto its frame. In the spirit of madcap revelry, the kids would really get into it.
Nothing was too bizarre to write down. “Don’t let ‘Ratigan’ (a Disney charachter) ever come into my room at night,” said the youngest.
“Make my teacher pick on someone else,” says middle daughter.
“ Don’t let mommy divorce daddy” one of their friends wrote.
“Allow my money worries fade away” I write.
“Release me from doubt about making all the house payments” from a girlfriend. and “Help me not feel alone all the time”
Finally, when the sky turned dark, usually, a match was taken to the Jack Straw guy. I would turn the portable tape player on and crank the music up. David Bowie was always a good one.

'Let's dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues.
Let's dance to the song they're playin' on the radio
Let's sway you could look into my eyes
Let's sway under the moonlight, this serious moonlight '

As the Jack Straw figure caught fire, our little heathen group swirled in the sand, mesmerized, by the light and the heat. Afterwards, more logs were thrown on the remains while we sat around the fire talking about what fears we burned and why. A storytelling night, each one more extravagant and rich.We learned a lot about each other especially when we then talked about our hopes and what we wanted instead. Each year was different, a new group, new friends. So many memories.
Sometimes, like yesterday, I remininsce about that other life and that other time. I called my son in Texas last night. “It is solstice today, honey.” After a long pause he laughed. “Gee mom, you don’t still burn the Jack Straw guy, do you?”
“No, I don’t think the Czechs would like a burning cross on their river,” I replied. “Probably remind them of some Nazi torture ceremony.” He seemed relieved. “Yeah, my friends thought you were some kind of witch back then. But they always wanted to go back to the beach with us. It kind of embarrassed me, to tell you the truth. You were such a kinky mother.”
“Still am, honey, and I don’t think I will ever change.”

2 comments:

Josh said...

It's nice when our adult children think we're interesting....or, in your case kinky...cool.

Peter said...

Winter solstice kinky tunage:

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