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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Midsummer
Burning the Bones: Bonfires at Midsummer

It’s Midsummer, a day of feasting, bonfires, and dance. It’s a celebration of solar powers at their greatest, of warmth and bursting fruits and the year’s longest light. Like other holidays, it has gone by different names throughout its long history, and various spirits and gods are honored and receive sacrifices at this time. In Southern Slavic countries like Bulgaria, Midsummer Rusalia is celebrated at this time to honor the rusalki, female spirits of water and fertility. According to the folklore, these spirits are the souls of dead young women of the community who never spent their fertile powers during their young lives and therefore have the power to confer that fertility to the earth and their living community in death. Feasting and dances entice them, invoke their powers, and channel those powers into the fields and the bodies of those who wish to have children (Barber 17).

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Summer Solstice With Dad

Dads don't always get a fair shake. They have to take a good deal of kidding around, and often aren't as idealized as Moms. They aren't always the first parent that kids run to when they need nurturing or advice. Let's be honest—they often are the recipients of lame gifts. There are ways we can shift some of these attitudes and routines, however. What are the positive aspects of a father? Protection, safety, and security are strong associations. How about gifting you the confidence to do things on your own? Fathers can be great mentors in this regard, teaching you how to master a task, then stepping aside to let you take the wheel. This Summer Solstice think about ways that you can honor the fatherly aspects of the Oak King, the Holly King, and your own Dad.

Consider a cookout or camping trip with your Pop. If you do plan to camp, check your county and state parks' rules ahead of time this summer. Many have changed due to COVID-19, and most campgrounds require you to make a reservation in advance online. It's still all about the outdoors for safety right now, so even if weather is a little dicey, try to plan so that you'll be under a picnic shelter or tarp if necessary. You might need to take a deep breath and be flexible with your plans, if Mother Nature has others in store. Keep the mood light and fun, for everyone's sake. For a really unique theme and an open-minded Dad, try an Incan Summer Solstice ceremony and menu. Bring a locally bought or home-brewed beer, mead, or wine to share with him. Play a favorite card game that you used to growing up (might want to don the face masks for this one, though). To this day, my family is still cultivating some fierce Uno players. Set up a bean bag toss that the young ones can join in. Despite any rumors, badminton remains a nice no-contact sport. Likewise with that old-fashioned croquet set gathering cobwebs in your garage. Enjoy reminiscing about some of your more comic adventures growing up. Share a toast to more good times to come.

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Sesame Asparagus in a Tamari Reduction

This is a good recipe for big, horsey, late-season asparagus, served either chilled or at air temperature: just the thing for a Midsummer picnic.

 


Sesame Asparagus in a Tamari Reduction

1 bunch asparagus

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

¼ cup tamari

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Midsummer Dawn--a Regional Pagan Event

Midsummer Dawn is a low-tech Pagan gathering for those of us who miss events like Ancient Ways. We’ll do a couple of (non-theist) rituals in the evenings, but mostly focus on socializing and building community. Two nights under the magnificent stars in the exquisite Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma County, California! There is a waterfall we can hike to, and simply beautiful land to enjoy.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT. Saturday was not available.

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The Turning Wheel: Folk Tradition and Myth

 

There’s a house across the hill from mine that has a wagon wheel mounted on a post in their front yard. It’s painted white with eight spokes, and in front of it is a small garden bed with flowers. I’ve seen wagon wheels in yards and even mounted on house exteriors before, but I never thought much about them until recently. When I noticed this particular wagon wheel on the way to my son’s school one morning, it struck me as one of those old traditions that have been practiced consistently for so long that people have forgotten what they mean. But still they use them, out of superstition (a code word for lingering belief in folk magic and religion), a love of tradition, or both.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Does Your Litha Garden Grow?

The first day of summer is tomorrow, and I for one, am imagining lush green plants and foliage. What better way to honor Midsummer than with a Litha garden? Even if you live in an urban setting, you can get adventurous with the right size pots for roots, some potting soil, and cages for the vines to grow correctly.

When thinking of sun colors, I would definitely plant some tomatoes. If you’re in the Midwest, you should still be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor come August, and now there are so many varieties to choose from. Pretty multi-colored heirlooms, lush romas, or the ever versatile and easy-to-grow cherries are all good options. Likewise, some nice orange or red bell peppers would do well planted now. The tomatoes are the ones that need extra room for roots and wire cages to help the vines grow properly up top. For an inexpensive potting option, purchase some large plastic bins from a hardware store like Menards and drill holes in a circle along the bottom. Fill with nutrient rich plant soil and be sure to secure the roots of your tomato plants deep within it. Watering is of the utmost importance, and if you don’t live in a naturally rainy climate, you really need to keep up with this every day. A good amount is needed to truly keep the soil moist for a healthy, thriving plant.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    After Thanksgiving last year I took the pumpkins off the front porch and set them against the back fence. I have some pumpkin vin

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Midsummer Retreat

Sometimes the activity of the waxing year come so thick and fast that by Midsummer you can feel a bit ramshackle. Part of it is due to the aging process. But also, I am the sort of person who needs a good chunk of quiet time to process the emotions around events. So what happens? I get a little bit sick, a virus, just sick enough to take me out of the fray to ponder the imponderables, to think around the large and small circumstances of life, and to put them into perspective.

I felt a bit like this ramshackle old glasshouse seen on an open garden day at Colebrooke House, near Enniskillen in Fermanagh. When spirits and physical energy run low, sometimes it is only a garden and flowers that can be this Bee's balm. That was about the last day we had overcast, cool weather in June. We have experienced surreally hot and dry weather for Ireland in June. Seeing that I am not genetically engineered to withstand more than a quarter of any hour's strong sunshine, I have been indoors. Without pollution our sun is particularly searing. A Factor 30 sunscreen could not protect me for a half hour out on the beach last Friday. Yes, I am that much of a shade plant!

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  • Deb
    Deb says #
    I love this post and can really relate with what you said. As a transplant from the northern area of the USA to Florida for the pa

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