Once again, there are several things I want to talk about, and they keep piling up before I decide what to talk about and when. So I'll start with the first one I can think of and move on from there. Sometimes, it is best to begin at the beginning.
An obligatory post-solstice note. On the eve of the solstice, I spent hours of the day divining with my oracle cards. I wore a "witchy" outfit to rehearsal and got back to the house around 10pm. Grams asked me to fetch the mail, so I used that as an excuse to spend a few extra minutes outside in the dark--after which I composed this Tweet:
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Oh, and afterwards it was still light out at 6:30pm, so I went to the lake by my old house where I had celebrated Litha last year at dawn, and where Willow resides. The beach has been grown over a lot by grass, and algae creeped along the water line so that I had to search for a section of water I could wade into. I shared freshly picked strawberries and blueberries with the fish, and left some for Willow, as well. It all made me think of the song we had listened to in church that morning--"Canned Goods" by folk singer, Greg Brown. This is the video of it that we watched during service.
Fast forward to Monday evening at rehearsal, and the director and I were walking toward the back door to get something from her car when we passed by the tech director. The director asked of him, "How was your Solstice soirée?" He proceeded to describe how he and his kids (two of my cast members) went to a show reunion party and then to the Observatory Park for the solstice event. Then he asked me how my solstice was. Mind you, I have not told anyone there that I'm pagan, though I do wear pagan jewelry every day, so if they know what it is, it's visible. No one's ever said anything, though. So I told him, I was supposed to go to a group celebration but we just watched a documentary instead and no one wanted to do a celebration, to which he responded, "Oh, TELL ME they didn't blow off an esbat for a documentary!" Not just everyone in the world knows the word "esbat." All in all, this summer working with the show has been a lot better than last year when the young kids always managed to work the topic of dying into the conversation, which was followed up by going to Hell, the devil, Satan, and so on. This year, I've received multiple compliments on my pentacles (I wore a few different ones over the past three weeks), heard about a cast member's love of Greek mythology and who her divine parents would be if she were a demi-god, and had a short conversation about everyone's solstice/esbat plans. The director has always randomly talked about solstices and full moons, all the years I've known her, and she wears a lot of crystal jewelry. But I never let myself assume that meant she was pagan/a witch/anything similar, whatever the term. And I was never aware if she knew that I was. But it certainly is an interesting feeling to have someone whose religious affiliation you don't know, ask you casually about your sabbat. Through years of being met with strange reactions, I got used to editing my statements so as not to startle people. I even said "celebration" instead of "ritual" when I described what I did, just to feel it out and see what was really going on. Might I live in a world where finally, a question like "How did ritual go?" is as commonplace as "What did you learn in school today?"
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Blessings, and I hope you had a Happy Solstice~