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Summer Solstice From My B.O.S.

Posted by Cat High on June 3, 2008 at 12:44am

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Midsummer – June 21st

Life Events celebrated: Maturity and Strength
Other Names: Litha, Leitha, Midsummer's Eve, St. John's Eve, Grian-Stad, Alban Hefin, Summer Solstice,
Symbols: Spear, Cauldron, St. John's Wort, Sun Images, Faerie Images, Fires, Night of the Verbena (Vervain),
Colors: Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue,
Foods: First Fruits, Vegetables and Grains, Pumpernickel Bread, Ale, Mead,
Plants & herbs: Mugwort, Chamomile, Rose, Ivy, Wild Thyme, Lavender, Orchid, Yarrow, Oak, Vervain, St. John's Wort, Rue, Trefoil,
Incense & Oils: Lily of the Valley, Lavender, Lemon,
Stones: Topaz, Agate, Alexandrite, Fluorite, Moonstone, Pearl, Emerald, Jade,
Animals & Mythical Creatures: Butterfly, Frog, Toad, Wren, Robin, Peacock, Snakes, Serpents, Satyrs, Faeries, Firebirds, Dragons, Sylphs,
Appropriate Goddesses: All Love, Beauty, and Mother Goddess Aspects
Appropriate Gods: All Sun, Fire, and Fertility God Aspects
Decorations: Greenman, Wild Man of the Woods, Oak King, Pan, Satyrs, Summer’s Wildflowers,
Activities: Picnics, Leave out Food and Gifts for Faeries, Jumping Bonfires, Gathering & Drying Herbs, Masquerade Ball, Dancing, Making Music, Feating, Contests of Strength and Agility,
Spell/Ritual Themes: A time to perform magicks of all kinds. Healings, Love, Protection, Purification, Energy, and Fairy Magicks are especially suitable.

The name 'Litha' for the holiday is a modern usage, possibly based on a Saxon word that means the opposite of Yule, still, there is little historical justification for its use in this context. This is the longest day and shortest night of the year, when the sun has reached the Tropic of Cancer. The sabbat is reflective of adult maturity and strength. God is at the peak of his power, as is all of nature's bounty. The Earth is awash in the fertility of the Goddess and God. The Lord of Light having reached his zenith of strength, he crests, must giving way to his twin, the Lord of Shadows, God King of the dark half of the year.

Certain courageous souls might spend the night keeping watch in the center of a circle of standing stones. To do so would certainly result in either death, madness, or (hopefully) the power of inspiration to become a great poet or bard. (This is, by the way, identical to certain incidents in the first branch of the 'Mabinogion'.) This was also the night when the serpents of the island would roll themselves into a hissing, writhing ball in order to engender the 'glain', also called the 'serpent's egg', 'snake stone', or 'Druid's egg'. Anyone in possession of this hard glass bubble would wield incredible magical powers. Even Merlyn himself went in search of it, according to one ancient Welsh story. According to British Fairy lore, this night was second only to Halloween for its importance to the wee folk. In order to see them, you had only to gather fern seed at the stroke of midnight and rub it onto your eyelids. But be sure to carry a little bit of rue in your pocket, or you might well be 'pixie-led'. Or, failing the rue, you might simply turn your jacket inside-out, which should keep you from harm's way. But if even this fails, you must seek out one of the 'ley lines', the old straight tracks, and stay upon it to your destination. This will keep you safe from any malevolent power, as will crossing a stream of 'living' (running) water.

Other customs included decking the house (especially over the front door) with birch, fennel, St. John's wort, orpin, and white lilies. St. John's wort was especially honored by young maidens who picked it in the hopes of divining a future lover. Large bonfires were lit in England, thus “setting the watch” as the wards on city boundaries were renewed, with celebrants jumping over, through, or between bonfires for good luck. Revelers wandered from one bonfire to another, known as the “marching watch,” and were often attended by morris dancers.


Midsummer Blessing –

Father and Mother blessings be,
Nurture your world for me,
Open my eyes to better see
All that I may neglect unconsciously,
Bestow your gifts graciously,
And I will reciprocate thankfully.
© Cat High

At Midsummer I think of fields of wildflowers and butterflies flitting between each blossom. To me, this is a time to bask in the warmth of the God’s love and enjoy the Goddess’s Natural beauty at its zenith.

Description – The rich dark molasses flavor of rye combined with a slight savory sour taste, followed by the smooth, honeyed flavor from the ritual chalice as we toast the upcoming harvest season.

As I mentioned back at Beltane (my first Sabbat blog) ..... I will be posting a blog for each Sabbat, and try to post it to anticipate any of you who may want to use my blessing for ritual or personal use in your B.0.S. just list me as the author is all I ask in return.
Enjoy! and have a wonderful upcoming Midsummer Solstice.
Blessings Cat =^o^=



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