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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Midsummer

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I watched fairies dance
in the midsummer twilightb2ap3_thumbnail_fairydance.jpg
waltzing with fireflies
and skimming through treetops.
It is true that they could have
been moths,
but as I stood in the shadows
with my children
all of us gazing upward in wonder
the sky deepening to night
I saw the certainty shining
in their faces,
the enchantment in their eyes
and I knew
without a doubt
that we were seeing the true nature
of these winged creatures.
And we will never forget what
it felt like to watch
real fairies taking flight
right before us
as we dared to name
the magic in the night.


Last week, my sister-in-law hosted a fairy tea party for our little ones at the river. We had an enchanting time eating tiny cupcakes and drinking sparkling raspberry-chamomile tea while wearing fairy wings as the sky dipped toward twilight. Then, we headed home and the kids asked me to stay out and catch fireflies. As we did so, a "fairy" suddenly flew across the sky in front of us and it is this experience that I share in my poem above. It was a priceless, magical, powerful moments with my son and daughter. The next day they wrote tiny notes of thanks to the fairies who let us see them and set up a fairy-sized tea party with tiny cups of cherry juice as an offering beneath the rose bush.

b2ap3_thumbnail_35922919_2107213349490876_2399942611637895168_o.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_35924543_2107578882787656_3993992012419301376_o.jpg

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Search of the Sun

How does one weather a soggy Summer Solstice, anyway? Looking forward to one of the big Sabbats of the year is what most Wiccans and Pagans eagerly anticipate reveling in. As I peered out my bedroom window this morning, however, my brow furrowed. Overcast, cold, and rainy. Again. Granted this is Wisconsin, as everyone here loves to repeatedly point out, as if that makes it alright. News flash: it doesn't. My allergies have not appreciated this unduly wet and cooler year thus far. If it wasn't so damp, it wouldn't be a big deal. Even though I'm prone to heatstroke, I don't begrudge the truly hot temps, even when you get the double-whammy of humidity (more extreme wet stuff). I just pace myself accordingly, and don't attend the Ren Faire in a heavy costume, lest I be carried out on a stretcher. I'm beginning to suspect I would do much better in an arid climate, but that's a story for another time.

Back to the Solstice. I often nostalgically recall my first and only attendance to the PSG in 2000. It started out bright and sunny that day, but by mid-afternoon, we all had to seek shelter in our tents due to the thunderstorms rolling in. It wasn't so terrible. Wine, cheese, and a cozy atmosphere all helped. Earth-minded folk tend to be resilient. Things finally cleared up around nine that evening. Eventually, curiosity seekers began to creep and crawl out of their tents to the damp grass, lured by the sound of drumbeats. The natives were restless from being cooped-up the better part of the day and needed to get their dance on. So drum and dance we did, as planned, around the bonfire, until the wee wee hours. It was ecstatic and frenzied and sweet. It was continuing our celebration as planned, and not allowing Mother Nature's mood swings to rain us out completely.

So my best advice today, if it looks dicey outdoors, is to go about your plans the best you can and not lose hope. I'm determined to set up my annual outdoor "Zen Den," whether my hammock gets soaked, or not. If my partner and I can't sit outside and enjoy the sunset later, I will still cook up the ritual din-din as planned, and we can crack the windows and listen to the raindrops. Candles and incense will be lit regardless. I will still bake homemade cornbread and perform my yoga sun salutations on this day, because, why not? I believe it remains important to honor the significance of the actual sacred day and the deities associated with it. The main thing to keep in mind when following an earth-based belief, is that being flexible with Book of Shadow plans and adjusting them when necessary is key. Happy Solstice, everyone, whatever plans that you honor today.

References:

Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
Summer Is Here!

There’s not much mistaking it anymore is there? Summer is definitely here! Depending on how you count it, today is either the first day or the midpoint of summer, the longest day and the shortest night. In Britain, the summer solstice has been known traditionally as both Litha and Midsummer, with the former coming from the ancient Celts. Included below is all our content related to the festival as well as various cool tidbits we found around the web. We hope you have a great summer!

--Aryós Héngwis

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A Midsummer Invocation to Earth and Her Two Husbands

Midsummer dark, Midsummer bright:

the longest day, the shortest night.

 

(Horn)

Let us lift up our hands.

 

On this Midsummer's Eve we call

to Earth, mighty mother of us all,

and we praise you for your great good gift of fruitfulness.

We ask that through the summer to come

our gardens may bear abundantly,

so that through this season

and through the winter to come

we, your people, may have plenty to eat.

So mote it be.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Hail, the Magnificent Sun!

Whose warm love flows across the land each day

Stirring Life, the world’s magic, arms yearning up,

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Summer Solstice: Celebrating Modern Minoan Paganism

Here in the northern hemisphere, we're coming up to Summer Solstice, the height of the Sun's power over the yearly solar cycle, a time to celebrate the Minoan Sun goddess Therasia and the solar year-king Dionysus. In the Mediterranean, where the ancient Minoans lived on the island of Crete, this was (and still is) an incredibly hot, dry time of year - the Sun's power is overwhelming.

As modern Pagans, we have multiple options for what to focus on and how to celebrate this special point in the year. Most of us probably don't have the resources to put on a huge Midsummer mystery play the way the ancient Minoans probably did at their big temples. But we can celebrate with modern-style ritual that focuses on the Minoan deities who are associated with this time of year.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Dance of Oak and Linden

If you're looking for a magical dance with which to crown your Midsummer's Eve, here's a new one made of ancient parts: the Dance of Oak and Linden.

In Baltic lore (in the Baltics, Midsummer is still the biggest holiday of the year, bigger even than you-know-when), Oak is considered a male tree, Linden a female: two trees, two genders of beauty and strength.

The Midsummer connection is strengthened by the fact that Oak is also held to be the tree of Thunder, most virile of gods, and that the Linden—known as Basswood in the US—perfumes the White Nights of Midsummer with her spicy flowering. You could think of them as the Midsummer equivalents of Midwinter's Holly and Ivy.* 

The Dance of Oak and Linden is a simple round dance, and better it be if danced around a bonfire, or one of its eponymous trees. At its most basic, men bear oak sprays, women linden. (I'm sure that you don't need me to tease out the various possible permutations for you.)

Bearing your oak and linden, then—or whatever the equivalent trees in your landscape are—you join hands and dance.

Here's a song to go with it, dating from circa 1300, the oldest song in English to which we have both words and tune.

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