Thursday 21 June 2012

Midsummer Solstice!

The sun may be at a standstill today, Midsummer Solstice, but I've been spurred into action.
I've been working with the Wildwood Tarot, created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews and beautifully illustrated by Will Worthington.  The Wildwood system is underlain by the Wheel of the Year, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the cards that sit on the Midsummer Solstice: the Sun of Life, and the Green Woman and the Green Man. All three cards symbolize fertility, and are associated with the element of Fire.

The Sun of Life... Without the heat of the sun, there would be no life on earth. It is the ultimate power. It lights our world...and its importance has been recognized for thousands of years. Think of all the sacred sites around the world that mark the rising of the sun at its point of 'standstill' - the word 'solstice' means the sun standing still.  At our midsummer (in the Northern Hemisphere), the sun reaches the highest point in the sky, and appears to stand still.  At both solstices, I'm always reminded of that point between inhalation and exhalation, the point where there's a moment of literal breathlessness - life standing still.  Here, at midsummer, everything is at its peak.  It's time to let our creative fires blaze, to let our inner sun shine for all to see! 

The Green Woman and Green Man correspond to the more traditional Empress and Emperor.

The images on these two cards are striking in their similarity; they feel like a real pairing. Both figures are adorned with leaves, both stand behind cauldrons, and both appear to be staring straight out of the card. They represent the feminine and masculine aspects respectively of nature, complementing each other. Both reflect creativity, fertility and protection - the Green Woman through nurturing, the Green Man through Guardianship. At Midsummer, our creativity is at its height.


  1. Welcome to the world of blogging, Alison :)
    Wouldn't these card be so much more powerful if the publishers had not insisted on modesty? :D

    1. The naked version of the Green Woman was spectacular, wasn't she? :D

    2. Haven't seen it... but would like to!

  2. Lovely take on the Solstice, Alison! As Ania said, welcome to world of blogging!! Funny how we picked nearly the same cards, isn't it? I like to say, sychronistic, rather than quirky or funny, but hey ho ;)

  3. Hi Alison,
    Lovely post - I hadn't realised solstice means when the sun stands still! Great how you connect it to that quiet place between inhale and exhale that is so often the focus of breath meditation :)

  4. Hello Alison (waves),

    You've been bitten by the blog bug too! Great post! Your words made me think about the old way of building and making a fire. My gran talked about using a tinder box and how she had to breathe over the embers before adding it to the kindling. Fire can't burn in a vacuum either, it needs oxygen. Once all the oxygen is gone, the fire dies :)