Merry Meet my friends! This last couple of days here in Ohio have been really wonderful! Very warm, rains coming and going, everything is so green, flowers are blooming…. it’s starting to feel like Summer! I actually had to turn on the A/C..yep…it was that warm 🙂 My ferns are now hanging on the porch and I’m pulling out the summer cushions and pillows tomorrow for the porch as well. My hubby has our new shed mostly painted..it’s sooo cute….and we will finally be planting our flowers this next weekend. This week I’ll buy my new patio pots..big ones!….and will transplant my herbs that I grew from seed outside as well. We are spending more time outside now that the two full weeks of rain is gone and I’m looking forward to getting Summer started!
The Summer Solstice..or Litha is June 21st this year. I love the Summer Solstice..the longest day of the year!
“Nights are warm, and stars shimmer in the sky like a blacktop road in the noonday sun. Roses spill over garden gates, heavy with bees and perfume; field and forest are lush and teeming with life. Faerie-folk gather in the woodland glades, and frolic beside moss-banked streams; the fires of summer burn green and gold, and everywhere there is high magick afoot!”…………………..Michele Morgan “Simple Wicca”
Isn’t that the most delicious description of Summer…I couldn’t improve on it so I quoted it.
Summer Solstice, Litha or Midsummer’s Eve..whatever you call it…. means that the Sun God is at his strongest, the height of his reign, but now He begins his decline, as the days give way in the coming months to darkness. The Goddess is now pregnant with His child. The Earth’s bounty is in full swing…gardens are growing, everything is green and lush, trees and shrubs are fully bloomed. Animals are scurrying, enjoying the warmth and Sun but at the same time..collecting food for the winter. Litha is a fire festival! It is also when the realm of the Fae is most astir. Faerie magick is about! It’s a time to romp with the faeries! Put out gifts of food and libations for the faeries. Fresh milk or cream, butter, wine, cakes, and honey are all much desired sustenance in the realm of Faerie. Gifts of coins, ribbon, or colorful stones are also fancied. Leave your offerings in the garden, near a stream or pond, or beneath a tree in your woods or yard.
In ancient Norse countries, the people celebrated the battle between the Oak King (God of the waxing year) and the Holly King (God of the waning year). Of course, the Holly King wins, for it is he who will reign until Yule, when he gives way to the rebirth of the Child of Light, the baby Oak King.
Handfastings, or Pagan marriage ceremonies, are commonly held at Midsummer. Hum..I wonder if that’s where the June Brides come from? Spells of transformation and purpose are often done on this Sabbat. Other customs include lighting a ritual bonfire, sprinkling it with magickal herbs, and dancing round the flames, asking for the blessings of health and prosperity. Harvest your magickal herbs on Midsummer morning, and hang them to dry for use in spellwork in the coming months. Catch a jar of fireflies, whose green glow represents faerie fire deep in the heart of the forest. Make wishes upon the tiny creatures, and then release them to carry your wishes to the Goddess.
*Symbolism-Crowning of the Sun God, death of the Oak King, assumption of the Holly King
*Symbols/Tools/Decorations-The Sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies, fire, seashells, summer fruits and flowers, sun wheel, sun dials, circle of stones, bird feathers, Witches’ ladder, love amulets.
*Herbs-Anise, mugwort, chamomile, rose, oak blossoms, lily, cinquefoil, lavender, fennel elder, Mistletoe, hemp, thyme, nettle, wisteria, vervain, St. Johnswort, rue, fern, wormwood, Pine, heather, yarrow, oak & holly trees.
*Incense/Oils-Heliotrope, saffron, orange, frankincense, myrrh, wisteria, cinnamon, mint, rose, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, pine.
*Colors-Blue, green, gold, yellow, red.
*Crystals/Stones-Lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green gemstones.
*Customs/Activities- Bonfires, all night vigil, singing, feasting, herb gathering, handfastings, rededication to the Lord and Lady, beginning of the harvest, honoring the Sun God and the pregnant Goddess.
*Foods-Honey, fresh vegetables, lemons, oranges, summer fruits, summer squash, ale, mead, Pumpernickel bread
*Gods-Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, Arthur, God is at peak power and strength.
*Goddesses-Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, All Goddesses of love, passion, beauty and the Sea, Green Forest Mother, Great One of the Stars
*Spellwork/Rituals-Nature spirit, fey communion, divination, love and protection, rededication of faith, rites of inspiration, nurturing, relationships, fire.
Every year, at Midsummer, I do two things. I re-dedicate myself to my faith. It is a ritual I look forward to and doing it outside, on the longest day of the year, when the night is warm, fireflies are about, faeries are flitting, the Moon is shining….it connects me to the Goddess in a most amazing way! The other thing I do is to make up a new witches protection bottle and my outdoor protection talismans, salt circle etc. I usually do this on the Full Moon in June. Again, it’s all about being outside and really connecting my magick to the Goddess. Of course a bonfire will be going at the same time and I’ll have something cool and fruity to drink 🙂 Then I will just sit under a tree, feel the warmth of the Earth beneath me, and just appreciate the humming of life going on all around me. It’s magick!
So it’s time to think about this wonderful Sabbat coming soon and really plan for a fun, outdoor celebration! Future posts will include recipes, my altar, ritual etc…just like I always do 🙂 If all you do is have a bonfire and have your family or friends over for a cook-out..you are celebrating! On the Solstice night, watch the Sun go down! Consider the re-dedication, I can’t tell you how great you’ll feel afterwards….it is so rewarding and emotional! Summer is coming and the Summer Solstice is a fabulous way to get the Summer fun started!
“Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me,
who could ask for more?”
– Bev Adams, Mountain Gardening
Blessings and Light, Autumn
*Sources….internet pics, Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan, and my BOS!