Jodine Turner


Summer Solstice and the Visionary Fiction novel, The Hidden Abbey

It is the Summer Solstice. High summer and the longest day. A time of flowers and blossoms (can you smell them?!), bountiful fruits and vines, abundant fertility, vitality, and the greening of the fecund earth.

This is the time to celebrate this lush season!

What is coming to fruition in your life?
What do you think is coming alive, coming to fruition, in the world?

In my Visionary Fiction novel, The Hidden Abbey, we see what the Summer Solstice meant to the young priestess, Marissa:

Ringed in a semi-circle behind the three young women sat a group of younger students. Marissa listened as they giggled and whispered amongst themselves in their excitement to observe the day’s lesson. The Elders, Alianore and Vanora, sat in front of the group and clapped their hands lightly, bringing them all to attention.

Vanora spoke first. “Today we will talk about the upcoming Summer Solstice Celebrations. Summer is a time of fecundity both in nature and in the bodies of the young women who have started their bleeding cycles.” She pointed to the younger girls. “You are here to begin learning about your role as a priestess in the ritual. For the future, when you are eighteen summers old, like these three.” She pointed at Marissa and Ciara and their halfling friend. “And you three, as newly initiated priestesses, can help us teach today.”

The younger girls, none of whom had experienced their first blood flow yet, tittered and looked around shyly. Marissa had heard these lessons since she was a young girl, like the ones who sat behind her, and could recite the teachings by memory. She rolled onto her side and leaned over the spring, running her fingers through the iron-tinged water. The spring burbled, its flow continuous since time immemorial, and its waters cool and clean.

At the head of the well, a gnarled hawthorn tree and an apple tree shaded them all from the noonday summer sun. Marissa breathed in the scent of their perpetually blooming white and pink blossoms, feeling the vibrancy of nature’s fertility stirring her belly and blood—perfect for rousing the desire needed for the upcoming Solstice Ritual, when young men and women celebrated the mating rites of summer. Too bad her mind and heart weren’t aligned with the greening vitality all around her. She’d always looked forward to participating in the mating rites for the first time, but they wouldn’t be the same with anyone but Michael. And he wasn’t here to participate. She looked down, fighting the longing that had only grown since he’d left Avalon, taking her heart with him. Now she shielded her sorrow with a veneer of prickly brusqueness. She couldn’t help it. It was the best way she knew to protect her broken heart.

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