But why discuss sacred sites at all in relation to your unique and personal magical and spiritual journey, why are they relevant?
For us here at Magic Self and Spirit, an independent spiritual and magical journey can be greatly enhanced by the spirituality and mythology attached to many of the world’s sacred sites. We wear the masks of different initiatory spiritual practices in order to trigger spiritual growth and magical initiation internally, thus building our knowledge and power.
After centuries of suppression, the knowledge of alternative spiritual experience, no longer so fettered and distorted by monotheistic oversight, is more realizable and we can experience the power of the summer solstice in the temple of the sun, Stonehenge
Summer Solstice Stonehenge
English Heritage produced a photographically beautiful blog post about the enigmatic Stonehenge of south-west England.
When Stonehenge was donated to the British nation from private ownership in the second decade of the twentieth century, English Heritage was formed to manage and protect on behalf of the state.
As the article indicates:
“Stonehenge has inspired people to study and interpret it for centuries, yet many questions remain to be answered- about who built it, when, and why.”
While historians argue about its origins and archaeologists struggle over scientific proof, there are other ways to relate to this solar temple of the druids.
In terms of practical Pagan spirituality, spending time at the monument of stones (and working with it as a Pagan ritual site,) as the sun rises at the solstice and connecting with the sun gods and goddesses when the light is at its zenith, is a phenomenal experience.
100s of people gather on the land, sing and dance to the rhythms of the drums, some experiencing the magic and the energy as the ley lines passing through the land buzzing with ancient magic connecting us to our ancestors, while we wear a pagan ritual mask (both literally and symbolically depending on how you’re working) others have come to party and enjoy the celebrations.
Yet as the English Heritage article eludes to, there’s a deeper spiritual and magical experience that we can work with:
“It is believed that this yearly [sun] cycle is what inspired Neolithic people to construct Stonehenge - a monument aligned to the movements of the sun...At the Summer Solstice, around 21 June, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone and its first rays shine into the heart of Stonehenge.”
Litha (Summer Solstice) the time of fire in most traditions, although in some it is seen as water, is the time of the magic of purification. The sun can be celebrated as god or goddess depending either on the tradition you’re working with or the reason for your magic.
For the sun is warmth and light, it brings light and comfort, yet the sun at its height can also be about death and destruction and this time of year can also represent the burning away of the old so the new may grow.
Litha represents the time in the year when the sun god will start his descent to the underworld, every day following there will be a little less light until we reach the autumn (fall) equinox and the darkness will become prominent.
We’ve reached the halfway point of the year and just as all things must be balanced within us for our magic to thrive, the year must be balanced between light and dark, life and death for rebirth and the natural cycles to play out their beauties and dramas, these are indeed the mysteries of Immanence.