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Solstice at America's Stonehenge
The sixteenth annual Summer Solstice Celebration at America's Stonehenge
Sun. June 20, at 2:00 pm
America's Stonehenge, located just over the border in New Hampshire, is a big megalithic complex constructed over 4000 years ago. It is about one hour drive from Boston. The site consists of stone walls, chambers and standing stones that are aligned to the equinoxes and solstices
The solstice is a turning point. It marks the longest day in the year when the sun has reached its furthest point to the north before it starts its journey to the south again. It is the time when the sun is at its utmost strength and when the earth is opening to her full creativity, vulnerability and expression. It is in this moment of fullest light that we become aware of the change it foretells.
The intention of this year's ritual:
The Great Mother underneath us is churning and rumbling. According to the Dagara people of Africa this is an Earth year and she is speaking loudly from her depleted bones and the many sores on her skin. She has been shaking, erupting and bleeding from her arteries all in rapid succession. (Haiti,Iceland, Gulf Coast) There is loss, distress, and a profound awakening. The Great Mother's deep transformation process is affecting all life on earth. The vibration is being raised, no molecule is left unturned. We are being stretched as our ways are being redefined.
On solstice at this ancient site, a portal to help us navigate the deep changes, we gather to acknowledge the Mother. What is in our hearts as we bring ourselves to the Mother? How do we empower ourselves to contribute to the healing of her waters? These are the times our gifts are being called for.
*Katja Esser* and *Ann Sousa* guide you through this very participatory ritual that is focused on the reconnection with the Earth and the elemental forces of our living world. The purpose is to work with the major shifts that are happening and to feed the other world to keep it alive so it may feed us. Come with what is in your heart, with your praise and gratitude, your prayer, song or poems exclusively written for the Mother or her Waters. Even amidst the deep losses and changes we express beauty to feed the spirit world. We paint the Great Mother in glorious colors, drape her in a blanket of fragrant flowers and let her drink from the nectar imbued with life force from our deep love.
Also this year we will create a colorful procession through the site. We encourage colorful outfits to please the spirit world and express the beauty of our world.
This ritual is highly participatory and it is quite a production. We need your involvement during and before the ritual! Please come early to help to decorate the shrine with flowers, to set up the archways and the ritual space. We will be arriving around 11:00 AM to begin setting up the space. Helping brings your energy to the ritual. By 1.30 PM we will explain the details of the event.
We need drummers and singers to keep the energy up. Drummers please meet with us at 1.00 PM so we can review the ritual with you. We also like gatekeepers that escort people into the ritual space.
Gathering time for the ritual is 1:30 PM; please come early: Please arrive in the parking lot by 1.15 PM, so you may hike to the site. At the site at 1.30 PM you will get a layout of the event and your part in it. It is a collective experience.
Location and cost: America's Stonehenge is privately owned but is open to the public. The entry fee is $10.00 for adults(check for detailed rates).
In addition there is a suggested $5 donation per adult at the ritual site to cover expenses. America's Stonehenge stays open till sunset on this day. For details go to www.stonehengeusa.com .
This is an open ritual. We encourage children to come, as long as they are accompanied by adults. Bring a friend and please pass this information on.
What to bring: Water that has lost its aliveness, flowers with showy heads, and if it moves you, poems for the Mother, drums and bells if you have them, natural bug repellent, rain gear, and potluck food with your own plate, cup and flatware to prevent further accumulation of garbage. Bring a snack and water for before the ritual because it lasts a while. Leave your potluck food in the car until after the ritual, just make sure it stays cool.
Who to call: Please contact Katja at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann at email@example.com, if you want to volunteer.
Check out Katja's web site www.ritualexpressions.com for more info.
Directions: From I 93, take exit 3 in NH, take Rte 111 East (app. 5 mi., crossing Rte 28) to Island Pond and Haverhill Rds. (there will be a sign here for America's Stonehenge on your right). Follow Haverhill Rd. south to entrance. The earlier you come the more chance there is to park close to the building.
Katja Esser is an inspirational artist, mask and costume designer, ritualist, photographer and performer. She has exhibited her work in the Netherlands, New York and Boston. Katja has studied different forms of movement and voice. She has created sacred ceremonies for the seasons since 1992 for small and large groups of people of which the summer solstice at America's Stonehenge is most well known. She is very involved in African based spirituality with Malidoma Some and the East Coast Village which has brought her to Africa a few times. She creates rituals and gives talks at colleges and universities. Katja has sung with Bonesong, an improvisational sacred singing quartet that sings in a cave. She performs with the Theater Behind The Mask in schools through Young Audiences and at First Night. She created a performance around "The Hidden Life of Trees" with Ricardo Frotain which she appears in a full tree costume that took her a year and half to make. Katja has an extensive website www.ritualexpressions.com at which her work can be viewed.
Ann Sousa is a Shamanic Practitioner and Diviner, currently studying with Malidoma Some, a West African Shaman and is in community with the East Coast Village. Ann is a Certified Fire Walk Instructor Ann utilizes the element of fire to connect to the ancestor world. She has visited and traveled with Peruvian Shamans. She is a Shamballa and Reiki Master. She holds a degree in Mental Health and Science. Ann has done extensive work in the process of death and dying for the past 25 years and is an intuitive healer, channeling EN+R+GY with the ancestors and the universe. She practices daily sacred ritual with the ancestors through the gateways of fire. Ann utilizes her deep and abiding connection with the depths of Water for reconciliation and healing. She loves to dance in the magic and mystery of Nature while traveling through the womb of the Earth Mother. Ann grounds in the ancient remembrance of who we are from within the Mineral of our bones and DNA. At Shamanic Pathways Healing Center, Ann's goal is to assist you in bringing harmonic balance to all levels of your DNA being. Ann will track and reset patterns and behaviors from your own lineage as you release what no longer serve you. Being in alignment with the Ancestors, The Law of Attraction and the Elements can brings you to your inner joy. www.shamanicpathwayshealingcenter.com