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In the Summer Solstice we enter the Season of Shawnodese, the time of the Noonday Sun. This is the time of the Coyote - the trickster aspect of Creator. During this season we are again presented with an opportunity to heal the doubt and fear blocking our heart's function. Growth, Trust, and Love make up the spirit path, the path of power of Shawnodese, from the outer circle of the Wheel of life to the inner circle where the power of life is focused in the elements of Creation. The summer is a time of rapid growth and maturation. Its colors are the green and gold of the ripening corn.
Here are some of the elements you might include in your ceremony to acknowledge this season, whether you experience it personally or in a group:
A pipe ceremony where the second to the last pinch is for the time of Wabun, just past, and the last pinch is for the time of Shawnodese, just now upon us. Begin offering the pipe to the West and end with the South. As you offer smoke to the East and invite that energy to be part of your circle acknowledge the gifts of the season past. As you greet the South, invite those energies to be with you now and through the time to come. Pray for the guidance to move with rapid patterns of growth now being presented. We often do the ceremony in our garden.
At noon we will do a grandfather sweat - a thanksgiving, following the same pattern when inviting in the directions and let the prayers be ones of thanksgiving for the energies previously shared and those to come. This should not be a personal sweat where your main focus is to get something for your self (healing, guidance, vision, etc.), rather this ceremony is an offering to the universe in thanksgiving. It is a time for giving thanks, for giving the waters of our sweat glands back to the earth, and for giving our acknowledgment, our appreciation, and our love to all Creation. We are thankful for our lives, for all of life, for our teachers, those who have taught at gatherings, and all teachers in Creation including those who come in dreams and vision. We are thankful for the turning of the seasons that sustain life, for the beauty of Earth Mother, and for increasing strength of Father Sun. And we are thankful for our children and for everything else that comes to our minds and hearts. We are thankful for our sacred path, and for all of you.
We will go to our Earth Mound to move the turtle's head from the eastern position to the southern position, with chants and prayers for Mother Earth, her growth and healing. It is at this time that we join spirit with all those who are praying for peace on earth.
It is good to honor the rapid growth that is taking place in the plant kingdom. We will spend an hour or more in our gardens together as a group weeding (much of which we use for salad) and mulching and watering and tending this source of the continuance of life.
Since water is so essential to the fruition of Summer we also take time to honor the water spirits. We will be talking to the spirits of our springs, ponds and wells as well as to the thunder beings, thanking them for their precious gift of life, acknowledging our total dependence on the water beings in order for most life to continue on Mother Earth, and asking for enough water to care for our gardens during the coming summer.
At this point we all need to be more conscious of water on the planet. During these times of upheaval one of the "increases" the Earth Mother will withhold is water. Unless we are in tune and conscious we will see a powerful drought cycle continuing.
We close any day of celebration with a spirit feast/party. We prepare our meal and before we eat we make up a plate with a little bite of everything that will be served. Then we either bury or burn the food as an offering to the Spirit realm, or we leave the plate outside. Next we each take one sip of water for the Spirit realm, then one bite of vegetable, one bite of fruit, one of grain and one of flesh, all for the spirits who cannot share with us directly. Then we share our joy with each other.