Related Deities: Mother Earth, Father Sun, the fey and fairy-folk
Related Herbs: Rue, roses, vervain, trefoil, St. Johnís Wort, chamomile, lavender, mugwort
Related Stones: Amethyst, malachite, golden topaz, opal, quartz crystal, azurite-malachite, lapis lazuli
Also known as Summer Solstice, Litha, or St. Johnís Day, this festival is the celebration of the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. Since the Sun reaches its peak strength on this day, the God takes His place as Father Sun, The Goddess, in turn, becomes Mother Earth. And itís in these guises that both work long and hard to keep the Earth green, lush, and bountiful.
For this reason, Midsummer isnít just a solar festival Ė itís a celebration of ser-vice, of sharing, and of giving our due to the planet. Itís a celebration of doing our parts to prepare for the harvest season, and itís not just the agricultural harvest that concerns us at this time. We will be harvested, too, and we must be ready. This involves sharing with our communities, giving back to those who have helped us, and performing random acts of kindness toward those less fortunate than we are.
Fortunately, we have help at Midsummer. With the Sun at His peak, so are the fairies and fey. And we are the objects of their labor. Sometimes disguised as lightning bugs, they flit to and fro, greening our hearts and tending our spiritual gar-dens. They lighten our steps and fill us with the warmth of joy and laughter. With the fey working overtime to point us in the right direction, we see things in a different light. And suddenly, itís not as difficult to do nice things for other people; in fact, itís downright easy.
However, everything has its price, and so does the help of the fey. Just as we honor the Lord and Lady on Midsummer Day, we must pay homage to the fairy-folk on Midsummer Night. To do otherwise is just asking for trouble and undue chaos. Think Iím kidding? Itís all chronicled in one of the most famous literary works of all time: A Midsummer Nightís Dream, by William Shakespeare.
Midsummer Circle Notes
Use a green or white altar cloth, and burn blue and yellow candles, Decorate with fresh herbs, flowers, and seasonal greenery, and wear some in your hair. Burn Mid-summer Incense (a mixture of chamomile, lavender, mugwort, and rose petals).
Tie tiny bells to the wand with colored ribbons to appease the fey, and use it to cast Circle.
Midsummer Circle Ideas
Rise before dawn and welcome the Sun King at daybreak. As the Sun appears on the horizon, toast him with orange juice, saying something like:
Mighty Sun King, round and bright
I welcome You into my life
I honor You upon this day
As You warm us all with golden ray
Decorate trees with solar symbols tied by yellow and blue ribbons. As you tie each symbol, say something like:
Mother Earth and Father Sun
We honor You for a job v ell done
The Earth has greened and so have we
Youíve brought back perfect harmony
Mother Earth and Father Sun
Pour out Your blessings one by one
Upon the Earth and on us, too
As we tie these ribbons of yellow and blue
ē Kindle an outdoor bonfire of oak, fir, and St. Johnís wort, and jump over it to bring good health and good luck for the rest of the year. (Alternatively, kindle the fire in your cauldron.) As you jump the fire, say something like:
Good health and fortune await me
As I will, so mote it be
ē Make beeswax herb candles in Circle. Just take a sheet of beeswax and sprinkle a tablespoon of herbs on top. Place a wick on the outer edge and roll up tightly, while chanting something like:
Herb and wax now meld and mix
Within you, magic I now fix
Then offer them for the work of the Lord and Lady, and the fey, by saying something like:
These candles are my offering
To ease the workload as You bring
The seasons into play each year
I offer them with love and cheer
Burn one candle with the change of every season.
Leave a plate of food outside for the fairies. Drizzle it with honey, and say something like:
Fey and Fairy-folly alike,
Leprechauns and Flitting Sprite
I pay due homage now to Thee
Upon You, may all blessings be
Since Midsummer is the celebration of Summer Solstice Ė the first day of summer Ė festival dates vary year to year.