The Magic of Living the Sabbats
I felt to write this after the simplest, most humble yet possibly one of the most beautiful Summer Solstice sabbat. Sabbats are the marking points of the eight fold wheel of the year. Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lughnasadh, Autumn Equinox, Samhain, Winter Solstice.
I'm unsure ill find words to express these feelings but I will try.
Usually I attend a ceremony with our Druid tribe, light a fire at home, I now co facilitate one with a druid seed group I co run, I watch sunsets and if I'm awake early enough the sunrise, and often other events occur around the Solstice in honour of it too. Back in what feels like another lifetime we use to drive to Stonehenge or Avebury, Avebury was was my favourite Solstice location especially with the crop circles that occur.
This year I didn't do those things, I felt strange about it, like I was missing out, but I'm on call as a doula which is pretty special, and my partner wasn't well, so we decided to keep it simple and stay home.
I walked my dog through long grasses in the sun, I watched sunset from my bedroom window on solstice eve. On solstice day evening I walked my dog on the downs behind my house catching the last hour of the day as high up as we could walk, walking through the beautiful long grasses.. The skylarks flew up and shouted beautifully at us, we were clearly too close. I saw so many wild flowers on the downs, and wild grasses, elder flowers galore, butterflies, and other beautiful flying insects, some of which I don't recall seeing before.
My dog laid down in the grass after an hour of running, and I decided to join him. Ah, it was pure bliss. He rolled around in the cool grass beside me. I watched the clouds and skylarks.
It was beautiful. My soul felt fed. Here I was on solstice day, the longest day of the year really feeling its presence. Feeling the abundance of summer, the abundance from the intensity of our huge ball of fire that gifts us and our relations, the trees, plants, animals, birds, all energy.
Standing at the south of the medicine wheel, south of the sacred directions, the point of intense light, long warm bright days. The time of fire (in Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, fire is south). All life flowing and in fine perfect balance.
I reflected of the fight between the Oak king, and the Holly, where in druid myth they fight each other every solstice. In summer the Holly wins, takes the crown and begins to draw in the dark. In winter the Oak wins, and draws in the light. I must say that I think for the Oak its a slow death this year because the sun feels so strong and the flowers and nature feel in abundance, bringing back memories from when I was a child when nature felt fuller.
As I write this, I feel the most connected to Summer Solstice, or Alban Hefin (druid name), than I have for while.
I feel its because of simplicity, of feeling humble, and being on call for birth. I have to have to surrender and be a hollow bone for my clients. It has left me open to greater connection, of really feeling mother earth at this time. I feel my path in my bones, vibrating through me more than ever in my whole being. I need the connection to our earth mother, her cycles, seasonal marking Sabbats, to nourish my soul. This is turn helps me support my clients, birth clients, celebrant clients, and shamanic healing clients. It helps me support them because I am now truly living my path. I don't think I never truly knew what really living my path was until now. I feel it now. Just as I now understand what being a 'hollow bone' is for my clients. Although I am still learning.
The magic of the Sabbat when you take time to notice them, to feel them, honour them, to mark them. To really sense the changes of the natural world around you with all your senses at these marked points through the year, recharge you, your soul, spirit, body, they connects you. Opening to them heals you and aids stability in life. I feel home on this earth now too, I know my place more than ever.
We are part of this beautiful natural world, our bodies, our nervous system, our senses, are all designed to live within the natural world, our bodies and energies flow with the earths cycles. Our ancestors knew this, Shamanism is the closest you could probably put to this, but really its being human and being open to our senses and gifts.
Take time to notice the natural world, notice how the farmers work, what they plant in their fields, or cut each season. Notice what plants grow around your home each season, notice the behaviour of the birds, of the foxes. When you open your mind and heart to nature, and notice how your body feels too, you will see and feel a difference in yourself, in your mind, body and soul.
I'm going to leave you with a really fun and beautiful song by Damh the Bard.