The end of the year, the beginning of winter, the year’s darkest days, the period we commonly think of as Christmastime – this is undeniably a magical time. As the cold and darkness surround us, we are warmed by our spirits and our companionship; facing the difficult days ahead, we are yet filled with mirth and even hope. The shadows that creep in at us with increasing ferocity actually seem to do so in a way that brings us comfort, brings us closer to our inner longings and shadowy internal essence. The death of the leaves and the grass, the end of all things that comprised the preceding year, all this serves to strip away the bullshit, laying bare the true and the essential. It is undeniably a magical time.
And though it is not as uniformly celebrated symmetrically, either here in the West or elsewhere around the globe, this time, these days of Midsummer, are no less magical. In some instances, they prove even more so.
Here in the shadow of the mountain, it is during these days more than any other that we fall under the sway of the Forest Creatures – and may, in part or in whole, become one ourselves. It is a time of mischief and (mostly) benevolent tricksterism. It is no accident, after all, that Shakespeare set his wild tricky dream-play during this time of the year, and not the opposite. We are drunk on the sun, drunk on the summery beer and white wine and Bloody Marys (okay, that last one is just me). We’re high on an atmosphere filled with bursting green life, grass that begs to be mowed, moths that beg entry to our homes, and the mist from rivers that rise and fall with each thunderstorm.
If the winter solstice provides its revelation by stripping away, the summer solstice sheds light on our lives by, well, shedding its light. The blaze of glory of the year’s longest days, the satisfaction of a planted harvest, the ability to look back and see just how far we’ve come since the snows melted, in this particular case less than 12 weeks ago. And we’ve come a long way.
Let the season wash over you. Let go. Let go enough to be carried away a little, to celebrate a little, to find some people you don’t usually see and have a little joy with them, because that’s the shit that will sustain you in the seasons to come. Reflect on what’s been done because at this point, everything that’s coming up ahead is going to be the product our actions have now prepared.
The time of planting is over, but not the time of magic, wonder, and mischief. In fact, there’s a couple weeks left for all that. Don’t miss it.
* * *
My ex-wife says wizards can’t go on hiatus, and she might be correct about that. I thought about calling this a sabbatical, but since I’m not actually devoting myself fully into a book or other singular all-consuming project, I don’t feel right about it. In the end, I suppose the semantics of it matter less than the fact that I haven’t exactly been living up to my self-defined self-imposed wizardly duties and responsibilities over the last six months, maybe even longer than that. All I’m doing here is making official what has long been the de facto truth.
So let’s call it a summer vacation. Don’t expect to hear much from me between now and the time all the kiddos go back to school. This year, the wizard joins them.
I won’t be idle, however. I’ve helped to launch a new web publication, Communique New England, at which I will be focusing my political energies and assisting Socialist Alternative and the Lowell-based Community Advocates for Justice and Equality in communication efforts. Simultaneously, I intend to return to some spiritual basics with regard to reading, poetry, and meditation. This is necessary for several reasons, chief among them the fact that I will cop freely to having lost my focus over the last year or so.
In the process of regaining it, I will be evaluating the work I’ve done as wizard of this blog (and this mountain) over the last three years. I won’t be deleting any posts, but I’ll be archiving the majority of them while preparing to promote the pieces which, even after undergoing the test of time, manage to shine – at least in my eyes. And I’m going to be producing content, even if I’m not posting it. I’m going to build up my arsenal of spiritual and creative expression in order to relearn how, exactly, to be the best wizard that I can be.
When I return, we’re talking about a full-on site relaunch. New look, new feel, and refocused purpose. You won’t see much in the way of politics on here, anymore – though I encourage you to follow CNE and my consistent political writing over there. As wizard, my intention is to provide you with focused, regular coverage and insight in terms of the world of spirit, soul, music, myth, religion, the changing of the seasons, and, as always, a constant exploration of how in the god damn hell any of us is supposed to survive.
Not only do I look forward to coming back, but writing this is actually making me rethink my own vacation. I’m going to go through with it though, because it is quite evidently necessary for the purposes of my own development and my future capability to serve you – yes, I must always remember, serve – in my self-appointed, self-defined capacity as wizard.
Enjoy your summer. And if you want to reach me, drop a line. I’m not really going anywhere.