The Solstice of The Hormonal Duck
Blessed Litha!! Midsummer Blessings To You All....
Mid year blessings to you all! Litha, Midsummer or Summer Solstice - the turning point in the wheel where we reach the longest day and the shortest night. This fire festival has been celebrated for millennia. I celebrate Litha as a mixture of reflection and thanks for my blessings this year, reflections on what I wish to achieve, a chance to reevaluate and/or reset goals and naturally, a mid year riot of fun with friends and loved ones. This year was no exception. Family celebrations and gatherings, A beautiful Oak Grove wedding and of course the institution that has become Summer Camp. Always a riot of laughter, craziness and wonderful company - this year was no exception.
|Our Solstice Camp Mascots|
So, hormonal ducks - I know you are desperate to know where they came from, well if only I knew! This year I managed to persuade my lovely friend Maria to camp, I was quite impressed with this feat....She's not normally a camping kind of girl. Camping then became glamping, "it's only a bit more..." in a lovely big Yurt, with beds and duvets, electric points for phones and straighteners (like I need them!) Anyway modern pagan-ing it became, which my back thanked me for and to be fair it was a lot nearer to the loo.
The Hormonal Duck Cocktail Bar
Our gorgeous Yurt normally known as the 'Festival' tent was home to 4 other campers, 2 of whom were pregnant, one at 8 weeks with twins and one more worryingly, at 8 months, add to the mix 4 peri, mid or post menopausal women and we became the Hormonal Tent. Someone asked about bringing their dog, which was a no, so we joked about bringing a rubber duck. Carmel posted a picture of a rubber duck she had, the next day Shirley added a photo of one she bought to keep it company. This kind of snowballed. By the time we got there there was a real badling (fabulous archaic collective noun) of ducks, complete with a pool and hook-a-duck (with a hoop, not a 'lady of the night') complete with fishing rod, we became The Hormonal Duck tent. Add to this a wide variety of exotic alcoholic beverages and the Hormonal Duck Cocktail Bar was born - luckily no babies were - or created for that matter! Mid Summer Madness ensued....
Midsummer Moonlight - Courtesy of The Lovely Carmel Nettleingham
When we weren't being completely crazy hormonal duck ladies and terrifying small children or drinking cocktails, though to be fair they were fascinated by our duck collection and by us, we were just a bit crazy and laughed until our sides hurt, like teenagers on a school holiday. Silly in house jokes stuck, the ruder the better and we laughed like drains. The best medicine possible for all of us. I'd love to say that Carmel's amazing photo above reflects a peaceful night time tent, but that that would be a lie. Even asleep, we were riotously noisy - snoring, farting, snorting and mumbling to ourselves. Awesome.
The Glamorous Glamper En Route To The Standing Stones
In an attempt at some serious pagan-ing we walked to the remains of a local long barrow, the enigmatic (and much beloved by me) Kits Coty. We took with us a stick pentagram we had made as a Solstice Offering for the ancestors buried there, decorated with feathers, flowers and leaves we had gleaned from the camp site. I've known this place all my life, leading the way and we headed for another local menhir, The White Horse Stone, with me boldly navigating on a pathway I'd discovered. It appears that I am a hormonal duck that is directionally challenged. We had a nice walk in the woods, we discovered new paths. Yep we got lost. Yep I got us lost. We decided to head back for lunch instead. Cue more laughter and snorting. Let's just say, I know next year at least one joker will bring a map and compass for me or even a label with 'if lost please return this pagan to...' on it. If they are talking to me by then that is....
Our Offering To The Ancestors
So the ducks, hormonal or otherwise, why did they call to us? Apart from sheer insanity on the campers behalf, they are symbolic. Ducks are symbols of relaxation and going with the flow, of being in the now. They are also symbolic of being prepared and of knowing ancient wisdom. Wonderfully appropriate it seems for reflecting, re configuring and enjoying the here and now at Solstice. Who knew?
What a beautiful, laughter filled Solstice. Older friendships strengthened, new friendships blossomed. Deep musings and reflections mingled with laughter. Healing and Balm for mind, body and soul. What a complete joy and blessing.
Have A Blessed Week x x