A festival of light and energy:
Summer Solstice: Tuesday, June 21, 2011
“In the daytime hiding ‘mongst the dewy blade of grass but when it’s night, firefly’s lantern burns bright...”By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011, is the quarter celebration Litha, Midsummer, the Summer Solstice. Lord Sun enters the sign of Cancer on this date and Lady Moon is in her third quarter, in Pisces. Balance is shifting as once again the Oak and Holly Kings execute their ritual dance or battle. The Holly King, lord of the waning year, emerges triumphant.
From this date to the Winter Solstice we shall notice the days getting steadily shorter as Lord Sun’s power gradually wanes. Remember that light and darkness are not about good and evil but about the natural balance of Planet Earth. Just as we need activity, we also need rest; and so does Mother Earth.
This is a festival of Light and Energy, fertility and abundance, creativity and vitality. The Goddess is now a matron, ripe with pregnancy. If possible, celebrate outdoors and have a fire (unless your area is under a burn ban). If you celebrate indoors, consider burning dried herbs over a charcoal tablet in an iron cauldron. Vervain, St. John’s Wort, lavender, and mistletoe are some of the herbs appropriate to the season. Use a feather to waft the smoke over you and your guests and any pets that are present; it is a ritual blessing.
Use the colors white, red, golden yellow, green, blue, and tan in your decorations and adornment. In addition to color, you may decorate with sunflowers, sun wheels, and bunches of fresh herbs tied with a yellow ribbon. Heliotrope is an excellent flower to display, as are lemon flowers and sprigs of saffron, oak, and laurel. The scents of frankincense, galangal, copal, and ylang-ylang would also provide a pleasant accompaniment to your festivities.
Any herbs gathered on this day are said to be exceptionally potent, so look for chamomile, fennel, hemp, lavender, pine, roses, wisteria, stevia, Dittany of Crete, and mugwort.
This is an excellent opportunity to perform a Self-Dedication Ceremony: in advance of your celebrations, take time to consider your past; actions, thoughts, beliefs, and priorities are all subject to re-evaluations and re-evaluations can prompt changes in these areas. Make “before” and “now” lists if it helps you. Pay particular attention to areas where you notice change; this is where you will direct your attention.
At a time you choose on this day, alone or in the midst of your guests, hold your list of what you are changing, then draw an invisible circle around yourself (you may use your finger or a wand or a crystal to do this). Say aloud “I am moving forward” and tear off one item from your list and gently toss it out of your circle. Repeat this action with each item you have chosen. Such an act will redirect your energies toward where you are going, not on where you have been.
Do not forget the fairies, earth sprites, and forest elves in your preparations. Leaving a bit of food and drink outdoors for them will increase their tendency to work for you and protect you and yours. To see fireflies on this night is also auspicious.
I will be participating in a Central Austin Holistic Living Fair on Saturday, June 25, 2011, at the Holiday Inn on Town Lake, 20 N. I-35 in Austin, from 10 a.m – 6 p.m. There is a $4 entry fee. For more information, go here. To reserve time with me please message me at email@example.com or phone me at 512-454-2293 no later than noon Friday, 6/24,2011.
[Kate Braun's website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of Kate Braun's writing on The Rag Blog.]
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