Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Solstice

Is it just me or does it feel like Summer Solstice totally snuck up this year? I cannot believe that it is already Midsummer and honestly, it makes me feel like a bad Pagan for being so out of touch with the Cycle. Before you say anything....I know there is no room in Paganism for guilt, that is not part of our deal, but that doesn't change the fact that I do feel guilty...

So in order to offset some guilt I spent the morning thinking and reading up on the Summer Solstice. Here is what I think is so cool about the Summer Solstice....although it is not usually the hottest part of the year, it is officially the longest day of the year. For me that is the best part about summer, the fact that it stays light out until 9 or 10 o'clock. What is a bummer is that on the Solstice we start to lose daylight everyday, but at least it won't feel like it for a little while.

Many Pagans celebrate the Summer Solstice by creating charms or protective amulets and charging them over a summer bonfire. In fact having a bonfire is also a big part of the celebration, the heat of the fire representing the heat of the summer sun. And really what is more fun than having a bonfire?

The Summer Solstice is also a really great time to gather herbs for drying and storing the rest of the year. Of course you have to know what you are doing. You need to be able to recognize that you are harvesting not only the correct herbs, but that you are doing it sustainably.

Like many of the warmer season holidays the Fae are known to be out and about during this holiday. If you have noticed the presence of a wee one in your area (things gone missing, items being moved without explanation from one place to another, etc.), or if you want to make them feel welcome in your space, leave them a little offering of food. They love milk, honey and practically anything sweet.

For our family celebration we usually have a feast. I try and make bright colored foods that match the feeling of the holiday. Oranges, summer squash, lemons or lemonade, potato salad, any foods that are bright or remind you of the summer are great to have as part of the feast. We frequently have our feast outdoors, it is the kids favorite part of the celebrations.

This year none of the kids are home for Midsummer, so I don't have to worry about making my celebration 'kid friendly', but I have no idea what to do. There are several public celebrations happening in my area and I am seriously thinking about checking one of two of them out. It is always good to meet people in the community. Plus I am rather shy by nature and this always helps to force me out of my shell a little bit.

For now I want to take some time to acknowledge that Summer is here. School is out, the weather is heating up, my allergies are still kicking my butt, and Witchcamp is just around the corner. Perhaps today I will take a little walk around my neighborhood and see what the season has changed...

However you celebrate have a Happy Summer Solstice!!

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