Welcome back to my new virtual corner, here Elhoim, and here is a new post made for you.
The wheel of the year continues to turn, and as long as the wheel turns, we who live in it will find all the reasons and motives to celebrate it.
The wheel of the year is the calendar for the celebration of sabbats and cosmic events that influence the rhythms and movements of mother earth, each occasion is a reason for celebration and/or veneration, between solstices and equinoxes our wheel moves and allows us to celebrate together, and in different ways, the natural events that influence the passing of days (light, climate, vegetation, tides, and thus even the economy, our daily routines, and our state of mind.)
During the last weeks of June, we celebrate the Summer Solstice in the North and the arrival of winter in the South. This energetic moment marks a powerful change for all of us in the way our daily routines begin to influence everything around us, the warmer days or colder days directly influence the way we dress, the food we find available in the market, the hours of sleep, and all this has an enormous weight on our moods, without leaving aside the fact that all these routines influence our magical rituals, and for many, perhaps even the way in which they manifest or express their own individual power.
“The Summer Solstice, one of the four minor (or lesser) sabbats observed by Witches and other Pagans, occurs approximately on this date each year. The traditional herbs associated with the sabbath include: chamomile, cinquefoil, elder, fennel, hemp, larkspur, lavender, mugwort, roses, saint john’s wort, wild thyme, and verbena”
~ GERINA DUNWICH,
Herbal Magick: A Guide to Herbal Enchantments, Folklore, and Divination.
Ostara and Beltane have just happened, even the flowers that emerged with the last full moon are in sight, and squirrels and seasonal birds are moving around. The days have gotten warmer and the mornings have that bright golden hue that reminds us that the horned god watches us from the window and watches over us from a safe distance.
The Summer Solstice is here and it is time to celebrate it, this Wiccan sabbat is a time of sowing light, because the next festival, Lughnasadh (Lammas) is coming very soon.
This is the most beautiful moment to focus on celebrating the presence of the sun in our lives, the daily light that accompanies us and warms the path, the light that is reflected in the butterfly fairies in each park and on the surface of the waters. , the rivers, the beaches, and the lakes.
The importance of adapting the Celebration to your Life, and not the other way around.
“Litha, also known as Midsummer, is the celebration of the Summer Solstice. It typically occurs on June 21, opposite of the winter solstice. A fire festival, we see the gods in their full glory after the death, sleep, and rebirth that occurred during fall, winter, and spring. Litha is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere when the sun is far north as it is ever going to get.”
~ Temperance Alden, Year of the Witch: Connecting with Nature’s Seasons through Intuitive Magick.
Following Temperance Alden’s instructions in her best-selling Year of The Witch, I have created my own Year Wheel. For me, the month of June was for many years a month of study, of going on vacation to visit my uncle to take extra math classes during the vacations, and later, they became (June and July) my months of much preparation, constant physical training in military school, and living in a tropical country with eternal summer, celebrating the arrival of the solstice does not make much sense.
Venezuela is located on the dividing line of the equator, although it is «geographically» (or rather, geopolitically) a South American country, we are not so far down the hemisphere as to receive or even perceive the arrival of winter at that time, In any case, we are closer to the north, because the days do feel warmer, throughout the country except in the Amazon, which is an absurdly prosperous season for the vegetation in the humid forests.
Although I read in all these old books on Wicca (written mostly by men, that we are not the best to understand or talk about natural cycles), that it was time to celebrate the arrival of summer, nobody in my coven celebrated it, for us it was just one more day of the month of school vacations, probably just another day to visit one of our hundreds of beaches full of tourists, sunbathing, and eating tostones (a typical dish served on the beaches of Venezuela, consists of baked ripe plantains and later covered with huge amounts of grated white cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise, and sometimes caramelized onions).
For me personally, the two weeks before the summer solstice, and the two weeks after, are a time to remember the beaches, the typical food of my country, and folk music (more out of nostalgia than pleasure, huh!).
It’s my season to prepare baked arepas, fried empanadas with cheese, dulce de leche, sweet pawpaw slices, guava taquitos, beet salad with potatoes, and bean soup with pork and lots of cilantro.
Books, Rituals, and Charms
Thus, there are hundreds of books with hundreds of well-crafted rituals to celebrate the solstice and take advantage of its energy. I like to focus on very recent books (with a more modern perspective) and especially those written by women (who are born experts in everything related to natural cycles, right?).
As far as rituals are concerned, those who have been initiated and ordained into the Wiccan religion conduct their celebrations in covens, some in public and some in private. For those who are not Wiccans, the sun and the hot days invite them to go out and walk through the parks, through the mountains, and visit natural places where they can appreciate the magical and mystical splendor of natural light bordering all things that exist, and remember that each particle of that light has traveled incredibly long distances for a long time to reach us, to nourish us, and to warm our soul, heart, and skin.
If you are at home, white and gold candles, herbal incense (not floral), and a banquet with food that represents the vegetation and the power of the solar corona, such as corn, wheat, oranges, and seasonal fruits, juices of fruits to connect with the earth, especially those juices that you can prepare yourself at home, like a delicious orange juice with carrots, or a pineapple juice with melon and passion fruit.
Spend the day making drawings that represent the sun and the solar gods, as well as those horned gods of the ancestors, looking for a way to pay homage to them and honor their memories and their presence in our days. It is a simple and creative way to disconnect for a moment from the mundane and focus on connecting with the rituals of those who came before us.
To complement your search on this topic, I recommend your read this other incredibly good post: https://www.learnreligions.com/history-of-summer-solstice-holiday-litha-2562244
with love, Elhoim
Author of ‘The Magical Art of Crafting Charm Bags’ and ‘Manifestation Magic’.
Books to Check:
- GERINA DUNWICH, Herbal Magick: A Guide to Herbal Enchantments, Folklore, and Divination.
- TEMPERANCE ALDEN, Year of the Witch: Connecting with Nature’s Seasons through Intuitive Magick
- TUDORBETH, The Hedgewitch’s Little Book of Seasonal Magic.
- DEBORAH BLAKE, Midsummer: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Litha.
- JUDY ANN NOCK, The Modern Witchcraft Book of Natural Magick: Your Guide to Crafting Charms, Rituals, and Spells from the Natural World.