Welcome to the Mid-Summer Solstice festival! We have many long standing rituals and traditions here in Feyron built around the Solstices - the longest and shortest days of the year. Today is an extra special Solstice festival. On this night the normally silvery full moon will reflect the amber rays of the sunset creating the rare sight of the "honey" moon.
In honor of this special event, I'd like to share one of my favorite Mid-Summer Solstice rituals, the summoning of the Guardians. The following tale remembers a summoning from the not too distant past. I hope you enjoy it. :)
Excerpt - The Dreamweaver's Journey
Aideen stood within the circle made by the crowd around the Sacred Fire, but off to the side, away from the scholars as they finished the last marriage binding and waited for the parents to gather with new babes to be recorded in the Book of Ages. Soon it would be time for her to approach the Sacred Fire and attempt a ritual from the days of old. As the Dreamweaver, it would be her duty to summon the Guardians.
The ritual was as old as Feyron itself, given to the first Dreamweaver by the Leviathan, the Keeper of Time. According to the ancient scrolls, when performed the ritual summons the Guardians themselves, but the more recent texts from before the last Dreamweaver had passed had described a son or daughter from each Guardian appearing in the circle about the Sacred Fire to greet the clan lords and renew the magic.
For over three centuries the ritual had been lost, as there was no Dreamweaver to call upon the Guardians, and it had been centuries longer since the guardiankin visited the people of Feyron of their own accord. She supposed it was because the magic was fading. As the doors faded out in the Temple and guardiankin were lost in those Worlds Beyond, perhaps the guardiankin here in Feyron felt the loss, or perhaps there were just fewer here as well.
Clinging tightly to Nolan’s arm, Aideen squeezed his hand before moving to wrap her arms around his waist and lay her head against his chest. She was so afraid of this ritual, stepping into the flames. She was not really sure the enchantment that was supposed to be over the flames would protect her, or that studying old tomes had really given her an understanding of how to perform the ritual, but she was the Dreamweaver, and this was her destiny: to be the messenger between the Guardians and her people. She did her best to control her racing heart and her shuddering breath as she waited for the last babe to be recorded.
Nolan stroked her dark chocolate mahogany hair lovingly, the silky waves just reaching the small of her back, thin braids decorated with gold ribbons floating over the top and feeling like little ropes over the silkiness of the length left free. He closed his eyes as he held her tight, remembering the visit to her at the manor of Heron Hall a few weeks after the Solstice Ball.
Nolan started when the Master Scholar called Aideen’s name. He had not realized the namings were done. “Just one moment more, Master Scholar, please,” he whispered. Master Scholar Teagan nodded and returned to the other scholars before the Sacred Fire.
Holding him tighter, Aideen whispered into his chest, “Nolan, I am afraid. What if I can’t do this… What if nothing happens…” With a shudder she confessed her true fear, her voice barely audible, “What if I am consumed by the flames…”
Holding her tight, Nolan closed his eyes and concentrated. A warm, green glow surrounded them both as he tipped up her face to kiss her softly. “I would never let anything happen to you. My love will protect you.”
With a sigh she parted from him and joined the scholars before the fire. The glow of the protection spell surrounded her like a halo. Combined with the white gown it gave her the appearance of someone mystical, glowing white before the orange flames of the Sacred Fire. The Master Scholar read from an ancient tome as two other scholars tossed boughs and bundles of herbs into the flames, turning them a soft blue. Closing the book, Teagan bowed to Aideen and she stepped into the flames.
Although the fire burned bright around her, she felt not even the slightest heat, standing carefully in the center of the platform created by the boughs and bundles of herbs. Lifting her hands to the moon above, she began to recite the chant she had been practicing before small fires at the Temple since the age of ten.
Slowly, like a flower just beginning to bloom, the white light began to unfurl from around her, the flames like petals as they swirled and began to lay open so that Aideen stood bathed in white, the flames laying around the circle like a living, blue carpet. The crowd drew back in awe as the flames jumped and waved in the circle, but they gave off no heat, instead feeling like a cold breeze as they crawled over the grass.
The light built around her, the circle of white growing, spreading, until it filled the entire area the scholars had carefully placed the crowd back from, hiding even the dance of the blue flames on the grass. Only Nolan remained within the light, as even the scholars had fallen back as the magic spread, rippling out from Aideen. With a piercing cry, Aideen crumpled as the light shot straight up, a column of blinding force that reached into the heavens, and some in the crowd turned to flee.
Nolan rushed forward and scooped her up, cold, pale, and unconscious. He cradled her in his arms and saw, to his amazement, that as the light dissipated, the Sacred Fire was gone. He stood in the soft green grass of the lawn. Not a mark was left of the Sacred Fire, its pyre, or the herbs and boughs used in the spell. He looked to the sky in anticipation, but neither the dragonkin nor griffinkin appeared. In truth, he hadn’t expected them to, but it would have been wonderful to wake her and let her see all her efforts had been for a purpose. As he passed Master Scholar Teagan, he paused. “It was a great enchantment, Master Scholar. I’m sorry it didn’t work.”
“It has been several centuries, Master Nolan,” Teagan sighed deeply, “perhaps we did not perform the ritual correctly.” Looking across the Fertile Plains towards the Crystal Mountains, Nolan wondered if there were any guardiankin there to respond at all. Shaking his head, he carried Aideen back to her clan suite.
Happy Solstice Day!