The June solstice marks the first day of summer and the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, however, this is the winter solstice, making it the shortest day of the year. In 2017, this will happen at 10:07 UTC (3:07 AM here in Arizona – PDT).
As I do not plan to be up at that early hour (or late, if one stayed up all night), I will be doing the June solstice and despacho fire ceremony tonight – June 20.
This year’s despacho (loving message to the spiritual realm) is dedicated to my main Andean spirit guide – Apu Huascaran. With his help this past Sunday, I recharged the kullas in my mesa, according to the “prescription” he gave us (Inca shamans) during our June 2009 pilgrimage (see PERU 2009: CONVERSATIONS WITH MOUNTAIN SPIRITS).
I prepared the despacho this afternoon with a lot of love, flowers, incense and sweets (inside – see the pics). After I decorated it and wrapped it up like a birthday present,
I will now keep it until it is quite dark tonight. At that point I will send the despacho to Apu Huascaran and my other spirit guides by burning it in fire ceremony. (For the uninitiated, that is how shamans send their messages to the spirit realm – through fire).
The Coke bottle you see in the above photo is sort of a special artifact. I saved it after a conversation we had with the Andean Mountain Spirit (Apus) in Maras, Peru in July 2008. The Apus actually toasted us by popping the tops of the the sealed bottles like that Coke from the inside, and then taking a swig from them. Two of those tops dropped on me, both in 2008 and in 2009, and I saved them to be part of my shaman’s mesa.
I don’t care for Coke or any other soft drink or beer, but tonight, I plan to open that well aged (10-year old) bottle of Coke and toast Apu Huascaran and my other spirit guides with it. I’ll let you know what this “sacred Coke” tasted like.
SOLSTICE CEREMONIES AROUND THE WORLD
The June solstice is celebrated in different ways in many parts of the world. In Peru, for example, this day is known as the Inti Raymi, or “Festival of the Sun.” This was a religious ceremony of the Inca Empire in honor of the sun god Inti. It also marked the winter solstice and a new year in the Andes of the Southern Hemisphere.
One ceremony performed by the Inca priests was the tying of the sun. In Machu Picchu there is still a large column of stone called an Inti-Watana, meaning “hitching post of the sun” or literally for tying the sun. The ceremony to tie the sun to the stone was to prevent the sun from escaping.
You can see yours truly in the above pictures in 2008 performing his own “communion” with Inti Taiti (Sun God) through the energy of the Inti-Watana (the hitching post of the sun). Three years later, I learned that I was actually doing these kinds of things at that very spot some 500 years before when I incarnated as Hatun-Watana (the Great Post), the high priest of the Inca Empire.
Many will also celebrate this solstice sunrise at Stonehenge in England Why?
Stonehenge was built in three phases between about 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C., and its real purpose still remains a mystery. However, it’s known that if you stand in just the right place inside the Stonehenge monument on the day of the northern summer solstice, facing northeast through the entrance towards a rough-hewn stone outside the circle – known as the Heel Stone – you will see the sun rise above the Heel Stone, as illustrated in this image.
Maybe I won’t need the fire? Perhaps I should just leave my despacho in full sun? 🙂
UPDATE JUNE 21, 2018
It was a wonderful fire ceremony last night. I have not done one in a long time, not since moving back to Arizona from Maui in February of last year. And it felt great to connect with my old Apu friends and guides – the Andean mountain spirits.
And yes, I did take a few swigs out of that 10-year old Coke bottle I saved from Peru: Conversations with Mountain Spirt in 2008. It still tasted like Coke but some of the fizz was gone. I shared the rest with the fire and with Gaia-Pachamama. And, of course, saved the bottle – the third now that will be in my mesa.
Here are some photos, including one of our entire world at the exact moment of the June 2018 solstice…