Playlist for the Wheel of the Year: Mid-Summer

Over the years, I have created rituals to celebrate the Wheel of the Year with my wife and children. Music has been an essential part of the experience. Without it, it would be much more difficult to create the sense of sacred time and space and to evoke the experience I desire for each ritual. So I want to share with you my playlist for each station on the Wheel of Year. Here’s the fifth list. Enjoy! And share your suggestions in the comments below.

The Summer Cross-Quarter/Lughnasadh

Mythologically, at Lughnasadh, the Goddess and her Con­sort are disaffected from one another, due to the Consort’s ne­glect of his oath. The Goddess assumes her wrathful aspect. The Oak King is sacrificed by his dark twin, the Holly King, at the instigation of the Goddess. The Oak King willingly submits to his fate. Like the reaped wheat, his body is broken and eaten sacra­mentally.

“Force of Nature” by Thorn Coyle and Sharon Knight

Hail to the summer sky,
blazing fierce immortal eye.
Hail to the fire, burning in the earth.

Hail to the wind that blows
alive beneath the wings of crows.

Blessed be the mighty force of nature.

Hail to the water fall,
feeds the spring that keeps us all.
Hail to the standing stones that fill our hearts with awe.

Hail to the stars above.
Hail to the strength of love.
Blessed be the mighty force of nature.

“Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream

It’s getting near dawn
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you my love
To give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you, darling, soon
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling

I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

I’m with you, my love
The light’s shining through on you
Yes, I’m with you, my love
It’s the morning and just we two
I’ll stay with you, darling, now
I’ll stay with you ’til my seas are dried up
I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

I’m with you, my love
The light’s shining through on you
Yes, I’m with you, my love
It’s the morning and just we two
I’ll stay with you, darling, now
I’ll stay with you ’til my seas are dried up

I’ve been waiting so long
I’ve been waiting so long
I’ve been waiting so long

To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love.

“I sought the wood in summer” by Willa Cather

I sought the wood in summer
     When every twig was green;
The rudest boughs were tender
     And buds were pink between.
Light-fingered aspens trembled
     In fitful sun and shade,
And daffodils were golden
     In every starry glade.
The brook sang like a robin—
     My hand could check him where
The lissome maiden willows
     Shook out their yellow hair.

“How frail a thing is Beauty,”
     I said, “when every breath
She gives the vagrant summer
     But swifter woos her death.
For his the star dust troubles,
     For this have ages rolled;
To deck the wood for bridal
     And slay her with the cold.”

I sought the wood in winter
     When every leaf was dead;
Behind the wind-whipped branches
     The winter sun set red.

The coldest star was rising
     To greet that bitter air,
The oaks were writhen giants;
     Nor bud nor bloom was there.
The birches, white and slender,
     In deathless marble stood,
The brook, a white immortal,
     Slept silent in the wood.

“How sure a thing is Beauty,”
     I cried. “No bolt can slay,
No wave nor shock despoil her,
     No ravishers dismay.
Her warriors are the angels
     That cherish from afar,
Her warders people Heaven
     And watch from every star.
The granite hills are slighter,
     The sea more like to fail;
Behind the rose the planet,
     The Law behind the veil.”

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