Home : Holidays : Midsummer's Eve
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 Midsummer's Eve (June 21)
About
At Midsummer, the Holly King, God of the Waning Year, vanquishes the Oak King, God of the Waxing Year. Celebrate passion and success. This is a night of powerful magick. Laurie Cabot, in Celebrate the Earth, calls midsummer the sun's sea change, when the sun reaches its peak, and "in one magical instant begins to wane." A midsummer fire was traditionally fueled by the friction between two sacred woods -- fir and oak. The element of fire is an important component of Midsummer, possibly because the sun is blazing in the sky and the heat generates thunder and lightning.

Says Cabot: "The tradition of hurling fire wheels into the air or down from atop a sacred hill was a common practice throughout Europe up until the 19th century or even later." As at Beltane, herds were driven through the embers of Midsummer fires to purge them of disease. Rubbing the ashes from the Beltane fire on our foreheads at Midsummer heightens our magickal powers.

Herbs
At Midsummer, nine different herbs are thrown into the blaze -- mistletoe, vervain, St. John's Wort, heartsease and lavender are usually among the nine chosen, but the nine can be chosen from this list :

sage, mint, basil, fennel, chive, chervil, tarragon, parsley, rosemary,thyme, hyssop, honeysuckle, red heather, white heather, rue, sunflower, lavender, fern, mistletoe, St. John's Wort, mugwort, vervain, meadowsweet, heartsease, feverfew, iris, rowan, oak, fir, pine, aniseed, hazelnut.
Lore
Midsummer is a good time to seek protection and to purify space against negative or harmful energy. It's also a good time to divine in matters of fertility and love. In ancient times on Midsummer's Eve, young women galloped through fields of growing crops on broomsticks to ensure a bountiful harvest and personal fertility.

Protection rituals are appropriate at Midsummer. Some make protection amulets, charge them, use throughout the year and burn in the Midsummer fire -- making and charging a new one for the next year. I had a mini fire in my cauldron at the kitchen table (my altar for now) and burned Midsummer herbs and woods.

Make a small pouch out of white cloth. Fill it with any combination of midsummer herbs you wish. (Be sure to add them in threes). Tie the pouch with a red string. Hold the pouch in your hand. Concentrate on any problems, pain or illness you wish to be rid of. Picture these things going into the bag. Throw the bag into the Midsummer fire.
In Celebrate the Earth, Laurie Cabot invokes the sorcerer, Merlin (Merddin, Myrddin), who dwells in the spirit of the sacred Oak -- also the Faery Queen and flower goddess Vivian (Merlin's wise teacher) who was made completely of flowers in the Underworld.

Midsummer is a very magickally powerful night, and a classic time for works of magick. A good time to tackle the biggies -- spellwork that needs a lot of power behind it.

Midsummer is a great time for a re-dedication.

Rituals
Litha Ritual

Food
Since the longest day of the year is tied to fire festivals, love, beauty, passion and energy, cook spicy main dishes and fresh fruits deserts. Drink blueberry mead. Eat juicy fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and dishes with fresh herbs instead of dried (make sure to charge the herbs while cooking).

Pork, as it is sacred to Cerridwen, a goddess associated with the season.

Solstice Herb Bread
Blueberry Mead
 

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