Eve (June 21)
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
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.
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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