by Maeven Eller-Five
As the Great Wheel turns again here in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer Solstice is upon us once again. This Thursday, June 21st, the sun reaches its’ zenith at 6:07 a.m. here on the East Coast. This is the exact moment when the Earths’ axis leans closest toward our planets’ star. It marks the time when Summer begins, beckoning to each of us to come and play in seemingly endless lazy afternoons and warm heady evenings. This day is also celebrated as Litha, Alban Hefin, St. John’s Day, Feast of Epona, Midsummers, and by many other names around the world.
All around us, signs of Summer are in the air. There is a wildness associated to this time of the year that beckons us to seek out the mystery and magic around us. It reminds me of the lush eldritch forests and all things seen and unseen awaiting me there, of running down winding trails, and night time bonfires so bright the Gods themselves smile down. It’s no wonder Shakespeare himself was drawn to write multiple plays about this time of the year, with so many myths surrounding the mischievous Fae who come out to play. It’s said to be one of the best times to contact and interact with the Faery realm.
While there are many ways to celebrate this turn of the wheel, I’ve always sought to observe the Sabbot in the way I believe my Ancestors did. Just as the Native Americans cling to their tribal roots on this continent, many of us still seek to understand our tribal ancestors of Europe and the way they honored this sacred day, each day brighter and longer than the last.
My bloodline hearkens back to the British Isles. I’m of Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and British decent. Those blood truths have called to me across time and place for as long as I can remember. As a child, before any such evidence existed, I knew I had Irish blood, and could not be dissuaded. These intrinsic truths have shaped the pathways of my adult life, for all of my days.
Just this morning, my friend Gus, who lives in Ireland, sent me the good news that this very month, the Celtic Druid Temple of Ireland has been recognized as a Religious Body by the Office of the Registrar General of Ireland.
In a press release from June 6th, 2018 the Celtic Druid Temple said, “Nature based Spirituality has now achieved full recognition in Ireland after a lapse of many centuries. Men and women, young and old seeking to express their Celtic Spirit can openly declare their own direct link to Nature as Supreme Being and seek guidance from the Spirits of the Ancestors.” It’s been a really long time coming. This is the blessing I will hold in my heart as I celebrate Midsummers this year.
Summer Solstice marks the rise of masculine energy associated to the Sun. Many traditions are born of those of our Ancestors. As an example, the name for the month of June comes from Roman traditions where they honored Jupiter’s wife, the Goddess Juno. She was known as a protector of women, of childbirth and weddings. Couples who married in June were thought to be blessed with prosperity and good fortune. Junes’ full moon was known as the Honey Moon, and the tradition of making Honey Moon meade. This is, of course, where the term honeymoon was born, and has been carried forth into modern times.
“O most honored Greening Force,
You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel that that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.
You are enfolded in the weaving of divine mysteries.
You redden like the dawn and You burn: flame of the Sun.” -Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 1179)
There are many ways to incorporate the energies of Summer Solstice into your own observations this year:
- Greet the Sunrise in prayer or meditation
- Make a crown of flowers
- Place your crystals, gems, and sacred jewelry in the Sun’s light to charge them
- Make solar water by placing spring water under the Sun for several hours
- Light a bonfire and share with friends
- Dress in fiery colors of orange, yellow, reds, and gold
- Leave offerings outside to the Fae of honey, wine, and shiny things
- Recognize the places in your life that need more balance
- Carry Citrine, Rose Quartz, Carnelian, Labradorite, Topaz, and/or Sunstone
- Burn herbs associated to Summer Solstice in your brazier or bonfire
- Attend a drum jam, an outdoor event, or ritual
You could also join us for Litha, Saturday, June 23rd from 6 – 8 pm, at Mystic Elements for a ceremony lead by Roger Lockshier and Rachel Wurz. Mystic Elements is located at 4403 Park Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403.
From all of us at Mystic Elements, we wish you a blessed Summer Solstice.