Hi everyone and Happy Solstice!
I'm about to sit down to my Summer Solstice ritual. Things are all over the place this year, possibly because I've been meditating way less than I should be. I feel scattered. Although, maybe that's just the fibro-brain.
A friend of mine and her band wrote a song about Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere - listen here. It's basically how I feel about this time of year. It's summer, and that's fine.... why have we adopted all these winter-based decorations? Can't we just celebrate the season we have? It's a great time of year to have Christmas. You can put strawberries in your champagne. You can play cricket on the beach. You can sit up until the sun sets around 9pm drinking gin and tonic on the deck. It's a great time to get together with family and exchange gifts and celebrate. And it's not like Midsummer wasn't a big celebration and time of gathering for the Heathens. Though they may have held it later in the year. No matter; the summer holidays basically last through until February. No one is expected to be productive from mid-December right through January. We even have two days off for New Years, presumably because everyone is expected to have a two-day hangover.
It's sort of odd, having been a Heathen and of a specific form of Hedgecraft for so long at this point. I saw a post on tumblr that used the phrase "Celtic Yule blessing" and my brain turned inside out in an attempt to wrap itself around that concept. Celtic. Yule. I went through "The Celtic religions don't celebrate the solstices!" and then "Why would a Celtic Pagan use the word Yule? That's a Norse holiday!" to a point where I tried to work out how a Celtic Pagan would even adapt a Heathen holiday for their own use, and why they would want to.
It was hours later that I realised they didn't mean Yule, they meant eclectic-NeoPagan-Sabbat-at-the-winter-Solstice. Literally hours later that occurred to me. And then I got very slightly sniffy about it. Not of the "THEY NICKED OFF WITH OUR HOLIDAY NAME" variety, but of the "WHY WOULD THEY CALL THEIR HOLIDAY YULE IT JUST FUCKING CONFUSES PEOPLE" variety.
My brain still refuses to parse "Celtic Yule" as a concept. I just revert to "YOU CAN'T HAVE CELTIC YULE, THAT IS NOT A THING THAT HAPPENS". Then I throw up my hands and mutter to myself. Not a jab at OP, either; the person who posted the post was being helpful and is just repeating the basic ENP stuff that's been floating around for decades. It's not really vexing, it's just one of those things I find really odd and confusing. It probably annoys Celtic polytheists more than it does me.
I've been seeing quite a few hedgehogs recently. Mostly squashed on the road. Last week I saw a little one rolled up in a sleepy ball under a hedge, and tonight, while I was walking my dog, I saw a little dark shape waddling across the footpath. It was a snuffly little hedgehog and he disappeared into the grass. My dog did not know what to think. Are they naturally more active in summer, or is it hedgehog breeding time, or what? I like seeing them around. Sweet little things. Plus they eat slugs, which is a godly duty.
Anyway. Time to take out the candles and set up the altar. It's ritual time.