Celebrate the Sunrise

Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop. For the full Blog Hop master list, visit here.
You can visit the blog prior to mine, Teresa Deak’s, here.
When you finish here, hop over to the next in line, Caroline Cushing, here.

RWS FoolCelebrate the Sunrise is the theme of the Summer Solstice Tarot Blog Hop. This morning at dawn people will gather across the world to celebrate the sunrise of the longest day of the year.

The Summer Solstice means different things to different people. It is the first day of summer, a joyous occasion for schoolchildren everywhere. It is midsummer, a time for faeries and frolic. It is the end of the Light Half of the year. After today, the dark hours of night will increase and the daylight will diminish.

I celebrate the Summer Solstice as the holiday of Litha. One Litha tradition is to build a fire and toss flower blooms into it, signifying the beginning of the Dark Half of the year, and the end of the Light Half. For me, Litha is the most somber holiday on the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Celebrating the sunrise is not my first inclination today.

I am from the Northeastern United States; land of snow and sleet. Four years ago, I honored my lifelong dream and escaped to Florida, aptly named “The Sunshine State.” As a New England Pagan, Litha was a reminder that, although the summer was just beginning, it wouldn’t last long. There was no way to prevent the coming winter. Litha was a wolf at the door, howling and laughing. Summer was a frantic time; three months of enjoyment before night descended again.

I’ve had to reframe my Wheel of the Year for South Florida. Here, every season is beautiful. Food and flowers grow all year long. Seasonal changes are marked by the food that falls from trees onto city streets; coconut, mango, avocado, loquat. Here, my Litha holiday is somber in theory only. My one concern about moving to Florida was that my observance of the Wheel of the Year would suffer, because I wouldn’t feel its turning so directly.

Here’s what’s really happened. Now that I don’t think about the changing weather, I find myself thinking about something deeper. Today is the longest day. Sometimes, the Wheel of Fortune turns in our favor. Sometimes, opportunity is at the door. Sometimes, we can seize the day and make it ours. If we don’t jump at the chance, the Wheel will turn again, and our opportunity will be lost.

Another lesson is about surrender. We relinquish the light to the dark, and the flowers to the flames. There is an opportunity here, too. It is the opportunity to release that which no longer serves us, and to accept that which we cannot change. It is the opportunity to find the gifts in all things.

I spent years living in fear of the unavoidable winter. Now I understand that the lesson of Litha is to jump without fear, like the Fool in tarot.

For this year’s Litha ceremony, I’ve written a new chant.

The wheel turns
The fire burns
The dark night will soon return.

The shortest night
The longest day
Gather flowers while we may
While it’s ours we’ll seize the day.

So how will I celebrate the sunrise of the longest day of the year? Like the Fool, I will look to the future without fear. Like the Wheel of Fortune, I will honor the changing seasons without remorse. Like the Sun, I will seize the opportunities that are mine, without hesitation. Like the Hanged Man, I will accept that which I cannot change, and surrender my attachments.

Tonight, when the last bit of sun is gone from the sky, I will light the fire. I will drum and dance. I will chant my intention to seize every opportunity. I will joyfully relinquish the old in favor of the new. I will find value in the dark, as well as in the light.

Today, I will celebrate the sunrise without fear. Tonight, I will throw the flowers to the fire.

Thanks for stopping by on the Tarot Blog Hop. Continue by visiting Carolyn Cushing’s blog here.