Glorious Blessings of Summer Solstice,
Litha and Midsummer to you all!
What a beautiful weekend it has been, perfect for celebrating Summer with all my weird and wonderful friends..... yeah sadly like, so many other things right now that didn't happen, but hey we're still here and there is always 2021 - it's already booked! Usually I would have been away camping up in the hills with like minded friends, all living in a tipi for a few days meditating deeply, practicing sacred arts , weaving magick and wait, who am I kidding? Drinking cocktails, making rude jokes, laughing like drains and generally having a whale of a time!
This year of course, that wasn't an option, we all needed to stay safe so instead I created my very own solstice camp in the garden....
My kitchen became a place of frenzied activity, Solstice Bunting became a must have thing for the patio and the tent, a wall hanging was quickly knocked up, oops I mean lovingly created, wreaths were adorned with suitable summery fripperies and ribbons, the cats took over the tent and himself looked on bemused and nodding indulgently, I promised cider and he was in agreement..
Hey presto, we had a Lockdown Camp of our own!
Hurrah! I even managed to persuade himself to join in some crafting with me as we sat enjoying the peace of the afternoon. We made a sun wreath - weaving our whispered wishes and intentions for ourselves and loved ones into it, smudge sticks filled with ingredients from our own garden and full of love and joyful vibrant decorations for our very own ancient scared cloutie tree - AKA the patio Olive tree!
I did have some ideas of a simple ritual at the garden 'altar', some crystal healing and a meditation but the neighbours had the audacity to have a barbecue and socially distance with guests, so plans changed a little, I won't be giving this camp site a 5 star trip advisor rating! Nor could we see the sunset, although we did simultaneously watch the live stream from Stonehenge along with 90,000 others, not quite as hectic as the real thing with 21,000 people 5 years ago I hasten to add. Instead we sat round the fire chatting with a refreshing beverage or two and set our intentions onto the fire to carry them to the Goddess during which I managed to burn the hairs of the back of my hand trying to film it!
So the sunrise, well Goddess help me I woke up switched my alarm off and snored happily in my tent until about half past 6! Himself had got up for the loo at 3 and went crashed out in our room instead! Proper Pagans we are! You've got to laugh.
Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the point where the sun is closest to the North Pole - this year was on 20th, some people watch the sunrise, some the sunset, some mark the longest day, the shortest night, none of it, all of it! Then on top of that we had Litha - usually observed on 21st is a Neo Pagan Celtic Fire Festival most likely based on an ancient rite where farmers would ask the Gods and Goddess for blessing on their cattle and crops. Until recently and when I say recently I mean yesterday, I thought that was Midsummer too. But no! Great excitement, it isn't!
Midsummer is actually 24th June (and is also know as the Christian Feast day of St John the Baptist) and is still celebrated in some parts of the world.
In the now sadly defunct magazine Goddess Alive! Midsummer was linked to the Irish Goddess Aine (pronounced On-ya) - the link will take you to the archived copies, well worth a read!
It's association with fairies is strongly tied to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream but it does predate it, the ancient fairies not being so sweet as we may like - some more downright malevolent than mischievous! So with that in mind, I'm off to watch a streamed performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream from the Globe and with plenty of honey to leave out for the fairies I am going to welcome in this Midsummer's Day tomorrow... Wish me luck!!
Have a Blessed Week!