Monday, June 20, 2011

Midsummer's Eve

Midsummer Eve.  Also known as St. John’s Day, Midsummer was Shakespeare’s term for it; Wiccans refer to it as Litha. Such a special time of the year. The Summer Solstice is a very important event for many people around the world.  Its name comes from, Sol, meaning Sun and Stice, meaning to stand still, which is what it appears to be doing in the sky.  The Solstice heralds the longest day of the year and the shortest night of the entire year; it is  the midpoint of the summer season and is still celebrated by many people throughout the world, with the Northern hemisphere celebrating in June while at the same time, in the Southern hemisphere, the celebrating is occurring in December.

During the Summer Solstice our ancestors celebrated the Sun and its cleansing powers. This was done by lighting huge bonfires and jumping over them on Midsummer's Eve. It was believed that the fire would help keep the sun alive and  that by doing that, one could protect themselves  from evil spirits for the whole year.  Indeed, the our ancestors considered the night before the Solstice was considered to be a special magic night when all bad creatures were free to roam the world..

Girls made wreaths and released them in the waters to see if they would swim or sink. According to the wreath's behavior,  a girl knew if she would find a husband in the coming year.  Morning dew was considered to cure a lot of ailments, and also, after this night, swimming in the rivers, creeks and seas was considered safe. The ancient Druids believed that this day was a marriage between Heaven and Earth, thus the belief that June weddings are lucky. They gathered at spiritual places or on Holy Ground to celebrate...

...and, speaking as a Druid, this will be an especially exciting Solstice as this year the Druids in England will be celebrating it for the first time as a mainstream faith; hence, when the white-robed Druids gather at Stonehenge, they will be worshipping at the prehistoric stone circle monument as members of an established religion under British law. This new classification , a huge step forward, means that members of the ancient Pagan tradition now have mainstream status equal to the Church of England.

It really is a magical time for which we should all be grateful, for it is a time of renewed life in nature and in life itself. It is a time to celebrate the light and life in its fullest. The Summer Solstice shows us how to connect with the past and appreciate the present through simple celebrations.  Anything that brings you closer to the connection with nature and fills your spirit with connection to the ancient guardians of tradition will make good ways to celebrate the Solstice.  The following are some of my favorites.

Stay up from sunset on Midsummer's Eve to sunrise on Midsummer's Day.  There was a time when I loved doing this, especially when I was young and in the country.  We had a large open porch with a swing seat, and I would sit there waiting for sunrise to go to bed.
Adorn your hair with a flower.

Do some kind of divination, and have everyone pick a rune, for the coming year, and read its meaning.

Have a dessert of Strawberry Shortcake or Watermelon.  As much as I will miss my shortcake, this year will be watermelon in honor of my WW diet.

Put out some honey and cream for the fairy folk.  

Enjoy the birds, and if you're lucky enough to have hummingbirds, take the time to enjoy these magnificent creatures.  

Summer flowers and sun colored decorations of gold, red, and orange should be much in evidence.

Gather a few summer herbs into a pouch. Hold the pouch in both hands and mentally pour into it all your ills, sorrows, and troubles. Bury the pouch in the ground where you can never dig it up and bring the contents back into your life.


  1. This Midsummer's Eve is going to be very powerful indeed and I for one cannot wait!

    How Awesome that the Druids are now a recognized religion!!!

    Happy Solstice Sister! :)

  2. Wonderful news about the English Druids! Every step counts for all pagans! Loved your beautiful post here, great ideas for Litha! Hugs and blessings on this most warm and de-Light-ful sabbat!!

  3. Great Post :D
    thought you might like my King Arthur’s Summer Solstice at Stonehenge machinima film
    Wishing All a Joyfull Summer Solstice Alban Hefin Litha /|\

  4. A joyful summer to ALL and to ALL a good night.:0)

  5. Happy Midsummer's to you dear Mary!

  6. I tried to leave you a message earlier today but Blogger ATE IT! So I'll try again now . . . . Have fun dancing with the faeries tonight!

  7. Happy and magickal Midsummer to you dear Mary xo
    here the Winter Solstice is chilly & cold. I have candles lit in my windows.. just as my ancestors did :)

  8. Happy Midsummer to you my friend! We will have Watermelon on our plates and eat outside with the birds, squirrels and chipmunks.