Happy MidSummer!

From: Si (SIFAN)21 Jun 04:56
To: ALL1 of 1
MerrySolstice!


Hi, Deanna!

This solstice marks the official "beginning of Summer" as declared on most modern calendars. Yet, on the Olde Calendar, Summer was reckoned to begin earlier, on May 1st, with Beltane followed by May Day. Back then, Summer Solstice was celebrated as "Midsummer" and, by many, it still is.

The old, traditional solstice date was fixed at June 24th. In modern times it is usually taken as set according to when the sun is actually 'farthest North', when the northern hemisphere of the Earth is most tilted toward the sun, usually on June 20th or 21st. In 2018 the Solstice happens at 5:07AM Central Time early on the 21st.

"Solstice" means 'a stopping or standing still of the sun'. For several days the sun, which has been slowly moving up in northern skies, appears to be stationary. Summer Solstice is the longest day and shortest night of the year. From now until Winter Solstice, when the sun is farthest South, the days will steadily shorten. (South of the Equator the situation is reversed and today is the Winter Solstice. Brrr!)

Celebrated as Wicca's Litha, the day is also observed as St. John's Day, Gwyl Canol Haf, Sun Blessing, Day of the Green Man, Alban Heruin, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheathain, The Day of Cerridwen and Her Cauldron, All-couples day, Whitsuntide, La Festa dell'estate', Vestalia, and Feast of the Fairy Queen Aine of Knockaine.

We are at the high point of the solar year when the forces and energies of nature are at their peak. Everything is abundant and flourishing. Flowers smell their sweetest, colors are their most vibrant, trees are their greenest, berries are their sweetest, and faeries are their most playful. The Oak King, who has ruled the waxing year, is finally crowned; but, alas, he then falls to his darker aspect, the Holly King, ruler of the waning year.

Old "Midsummer" has been a great time for clan and tribal games and feasting gatherings since ancient days. Festivities were often boisterous with morris dancing, singing, storytelling, pageantry and feasting around a bonfire. Among the druids, it was the marriage day of Heaven and Earth, which persists as the belief that June favors weddings.
 
 
Activities
Gathering herbs, which are said to be espicially potent at this time. (Royal Fern or "Raithneach na Ri" seeds which are gathered on midsummer are said to make the possessor invisible.)

Making a pledge to Mother Earth of something that you will do to assist nature and then carrying it out.

Placing food and drink out for faerie folk.

Cutting new divining rods, wands, and staffs.

Decorating your home with fennel, orpine, St. John's Wort, and birch branches and wreaths tied with feathers.

Having a magical gift exchange with friends.

Burning your Yule wreath in a Solstice bonfire.

Exchanging songs, chants, and stories with others in person or through the mail.

Wearing braided circlets of clover and flowers (women) or chaplets of oak leaves and flowers around the head (men).

Decorating livestock with garlands made of flowers, foliage, and oak leaves.

Doing ecstatic dancing to drums around a blazing bonfire.

Be well this longest day! 


Foods
Mead, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Blackberries, New potatoes, Lettuce, Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Onions, lemons, limes plus teas or other drinks including Anise, Carrot, Lemon, Nettle, Orange


Herbs and Other Plants
St. John's wort, Tarragon, Chamomile, Sweet woodruff, Hyssop, Lovage, Mint, Vervain, Heartsease, Lavender, rue, Yarrow, Thyme, Anise, Fennel, ..., Oak, Elder, Trefoil, Wisteria, Ferns, Roses, Sandlewood, Heliotrope, Mistletoe, Lemon, Honeysuckle


Colors
Yellow/Gold, Tan, white, Red, Green, Blue


Symbols
The Sun, Fire, Sunflowers, Feathers, Blades, Oak Trees, Sun Wheels, Stone Circles, Faeries
 

Stones
Emerald, Jade, Tiger's Eye, Lapis Lazuli, Diamond


From ...
Citadel of Dragons
The White Goddess
The Wiccan Garden
Spring Wolf's Pagan Path
Witch Vox
Old Farmer's Almanac
Summer Solstice Facts