June 20 is the Peak of the SUN’s LIGHT, the MASCULINE FIRE in the Northern Hemisphere. The longest night of the year in the North, its a time of celebration. As the sun peaks everything shifts gradually into the DARK feminine FEMININE ENERGY energy begins to grow stronger until December 21st when it peaks then the powers are switched again. This is the balance of everything that exists in the Universe.
This is the PAGAN Cardinal Cross Quarter day of LITHA.
As Summer begins in the North here in 2020 we are finally getting out after a 3-month lockdown due to Covid-19. Time to celebrate, Life is green, the living colours of flowers are everywhere and abundant. The air smells sweet, bees are buzzing. We are growing our own food in our gardens or containers. We are soaking up the rays. The Goddess is symbolically Pregnant with the child she conceived on March 21.
The Summer Solstice or LITHA begins 2:44 pm PDT/5:44 pm EDT/ 9:44 pm GMT as the SUN enters CANCER the 0-degree “world point.” It is the beginning of Winter Down Under. Time
Shakespeare Immortalized Midsummer in his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Traditional symbols for Midsummer
Weave flower wreaths to wear on the summer solstice,
Bonfires are lit on hilltops, by holy wells, and at a sacred place, to honour the fullness of the Sun. People danced around and leap through the flames. Traditionally people stayed up all night on Midsummer’s Eve to welcome the sunrise. Coals from the Midsummer fire were scattered on fields to ensure a good harvest, you can scatter them in your garden
Midsummer is one of the most powerful nights for MAGICK,
Especially healing prayers, love magick, energy, protection and purification. It’s a time of gratitude for family and friends. Reflect on the progress of the seeds that you planted in the earth. A great time to get rid of patterns and objects that no longer serve your Higher Self.
The Fairy Queen and the fairies are said to be out riding on MidSummer Night
This is the time to strengthen your connection with the Fae or Fairie and otherworldly beings,
Honour the Fairies
Create a fairie house in your yard or even in your window. Remember that fairies are very mischievous so be careful. Place spirit boundaries around your house, and protect yourself from their pranks while outside. Wear garlands of marigolds, ivy and or St. John’s Wort. White lily petals, rue and oatmeal in your pockets or in baskets help in protection. Bury a Witch Bottle, a glass container filled with sharp objects such as pins, nails and needles, ashes and salt before entrances to your home for protection.
Leave treats for the Fairies. They love sweets of all kinds. Leave offerings outside in the woods a park or your yard or windowsill. Leave herbs, ribbons, seashells and bowls of milk outside to gift the Faeries.
Bless the animals.
Ancient herders brought a token animal to be blessed to protect their herds. Ask for protection and blessings for pets, livestock and wildlife.
Some great summer dishes include seafood, watermelon, berries, lemonade, summer squash, and baked potatoes.
Renew and clean Your Altar
Litha is a great time to clean, cleanse and re-decorate your altar for the Summer season. Take everything off of your altar, clean it, then cleanse it with dried Cedar, Sage, honeysuckle or other sweet incense or sweetgrass smoke. Add summer yellows to and golds to your altar.
Honour Sun Gods & Goddesses
Honor any solar deities with offerings and prayers Some of the sun gods and goddesses are Ra, Horus, Huitzilopochtli Aztec Sun and War God, Irish Goddess Aine, Celtic Sun God Belenos, Greek Sun God Helios, Roman Apollo, Etain Irish Sun Goddess, Yuyi, Taoist God of the Sun, Macha, Irish Goddess of women, Sunna, Norse Goddess of the Sun and many more.
Flowers, honey honouring nature and growth
The Midsummer Moon is also known as the HONEYMOON, where this term originated. Mead is made, handfasting ceremonies are performed. Mead is considered to be a magical life-enhancing drink, You can make an altar to honour the Oak tree, with their leaves. Sunflowers are also a great example. Magical baking and charms are created on this special day. Traditionally this festival spans three days. This year it is June 20-23rd.
To bring abundance to your kitchen. Sunflower seeds represent the light half of the year and the poppy seeds represent the dark half of the year.
You will need:
3 cups of white flour, preferably bread flout type.
500 ml of Buttermilk
I tsp.of bicarbonate of soda
Sunflower and poppy seeds for sprinking
Red ribbon and a sprig of rosemary
Place the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough feels springy. If it feels too sloppy just add a little more flour. Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Sprinkle half of the loaf with poppy seeds and the other half with sunflower seeds.
Place onto a greased baking tray and pop your buttermilk bread into a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep and eye on it. When the bread is ready it will change colour and it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, place your sprig of rosemary on top and tie the red ribbon across the middle.
Consecrate the bread by turning the loaf three times saying “From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Midsummer Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”
Take your bread and share it with your family, friends or whoever you would like to bless. Eat it fresh, as soon as it is made if you can.
Elderflowers peak at Midsummer. Pick them in the fullness of a sunny day, ideally on Midsummer’s Day. The Elder is sacred to the Mother Goddess and is often called the Witch’s Tree, the Elder Mother, or Queen of the Trees. It is protective, with wonderful healing properties. It aids transformation, change and renewal, this drink will aid in transforming your life. Or drink Elderberry Liqueur.
In Canada, Strongbow makes an elderflower cider. http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/strongbow-elderflower-apple-cider/413880#.V2eHm_krLIV
8 litres water
1.25 kg sugar
8 large elderflower heads
4 tablespoons mild white wine vinegar
Do use screw-top bottles. Large plastic bottles are good. This is a fizzy drink, if not bottled tightly it can explode! Keep it somewhere safe. Make sure the elderflowers are clean and pick them when the sun is strongest.
Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it, organic sugar is best.
When the water cools, add the elderflowers, the juice of two of the lemons and slices of the other two, plus the vinegar.
Cover with a clean cloth and leave for a day.
Strain through a fine sieve or piece of muslin, carefully squeezing the flowers to extract as much flavour as possible.
Store in clean screw-top bottles.
Leave alone for 10 days or so. Drink within a month. Enjoy and give thanks to the Spirit of the Elder.
A celebration of a sweet life.
If you can source locally produced honey its the best. Wherever it comes from always thank the precious Bees.
225 gram Butter 1 cup
250 gms Honey or 1 cup
100 gms Dark Muscovado Sugar, 3.5 ounces by weight
3 Eggs, beaten
300 gms Self-Raising Flour, 1 1/2 cups
Cut the butter into pieces and heat slowly, adding the honey and the sugar. When fully melted, turn up the heat and boil the mixture for one minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the beaten eggs to the cooled honey mixture. Sift the flour into a large bowl and beat the liquid honey mixture into it until you have a smooth batter. Pour the mixture into a round lined sponge tin and bake in a preheated oven at 160 C for about 50 mins – or until the cake is well-risen and springs back to the touch. Cool on a rack and glaze with a few tablespoons of warm honey. A nice sweet treat.
Please share widely, all writing is copyright of Tara Greene unless otherwise indicated.
I will be celebrating making magick and dancing with the fairies,
Get a reading with Tara http://www.taratarot.com