contributed by Jacqueline Greer
It’s been hot today, but it’s finally cooling off as the sun sets. You decide to take a walk. The sun illuminates the dirt road into an endless ribbon. But appearances are deceiving. The road soon becomes a path. The path leads to the edge of a meadow of tall grasses.
A dark granite standing stone, etched by water and time, stands in the clearing. Tiny flecks of quartz glisten in the setting sun. Captivated, you approach the stone. In an instant you are part of an invisible clan, at one with each seeking soul who has approached this portal. You realize this is a place of reverence. Energy sparks through your hands, up your arms and into your heart, and they begin to speak.
“Don’t be afraid. The veil is thin, and we welcome you to celebrate this glorious night with us and the sidhe. Join us as we celebrate the Sun God in all his power.
You grow dizzy. Time shifts. Colors whirl around you. You find yourself in the midst of the meadow. The sun is suddenly radiant again, powerful, yet your skin does not burn and your eyes adjust easily to the light. It is confident, erotic glow, the physical manifestation of confidence and joy.
You gasp as you realize the flecks in the rock have become tiny, perfect souls. You see familiar faces, faces you loved while they were physically present to you and love even more now that they have passed from that incarnation.
“Come, join us. Feast at the Sun God’s table,” you hear. You turn, and a wooden plank table groaning with fruits, breads, cheese, and ale—such wealth you can scarcely take it in. Kegs of mead rest alongside the table.
Your hostess approaches, perfect in form, her silver gown glowing. She appears as young as a maiden yet carries the wisdom of age.
“Welcome, friend. I am Danu. Please, fill your cup and your plate and nourish your body and soul.
You shyly accept a wooden horn filled with mead, light and sweet and sparkling. It fills you with effervescent lightness and joy. You accept a wooden platter and fill it with fruit, bread and cheese.
As you eat, you look around you and become one. The souls you love laugh, dance and talk. You gaze in amazement at the community united in celebration. Dryads, spirits of the trees, some young and smooth with silver, glowing hair and others with lush greenery surrounding wise, gnarled faces, circle rhythmically. Nymphs, delicate and almost transparent, dance in their flowing way. Fairies whirl and circle so quickly you see only trails of glowing color. Elves dance on light, lively feet. Dwarves hop and hobble, released from their mines deep in the earth to celebrate the sun. You sit on the cool meadow grass and refresh yourself with food and drink. After a while you join the dance. You move tentatively, hesitantly, for the first few minutes. Then something breaks free inside you. You laugh and whirl, your energy soaring and your soul at one with the Goddess.
Midnight approaches. The music slows to a gentle, lyrical melody; then a hush falls. You look up. A gnarled, ancient oak bears a face you have not seen before. It is gentle yet strong, full of wisdom, ancient, yet full of power.
The face speaks, and the celebrants fall reverent.
“I am Jack O’ The Green, John Barleycorn, the Green Man, the Ancient One. I am the one who connects you in the Universe’s timeless web. You have shared my power, my essence, my fertility, not just physical joys but the fertility of creation, of new life, of new strength, of joy and healing. You celebrated my birth at Yule; now you celebrate the peak of my power.
“However, the wheel must turn again. This night sows the seeds of the coming harvest. As you harvest herbs tonight, their seeds fall to their resting places deep in the Earth. I must do the same. Tonight I wish to give you my greatest gift, that of being able to treasure and value all parts of the circle, waxing moon and waning moon, joy and pain, birth and death. No pain is forever and no joy is forever. Simply BE in each moment, aware of my presence, of the Goddess’ presence, accepting our power and joy in good times and our comfort and strength in bad. Realize, too that “good” and “bad” are labels with only passing meaning. Everything is a part of life’s circle; everything has meaning and nothing happens by chance.”
The Green man smiles and lifts his arms in blessing. Your heart swells with love and joy. “So simple, yet so few grasp this,” you think, and resolve to share the God’s message with those you love—and act on it.
tinges the joy as you move with the crowd toward the standing stone.
Time and place shift and colors whirl again. You find yourself in
the clearing. The moon, pregnant and glowing, has risen on the horizon.
You look up, smile and whisper your thanks. After a few more moments,
you walk away at peace and refreshed.