Summer Solstice Seasonal Message
By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009, is not only Father’s Day, it is also the Summer Solstice/Litha/Midsummer/ Day of the Green Man. There will be a New Moon on Monday, June 22, but for this year’s celebration, it will be a time of no moon at all. It is fitting that in 2009 the longest day and shortest night of the year falls on Lord Sun’s day, fitting that we take time to honor him one last time before his light begins to lessen, fitting that Lady Moon absents herself from our celebrating.
Decorate using the colors red, golden yellow, white, green, blue, and tan. Incorporate sunflowers, seashells, and bunches of fresh herbs tied with yellow ribbons into your decorations. If you are celebrating outdoors and have a fire available, remember that foods cooked over a flame (shish kebab, meats, fish, tofu steaks, veggies) are appropriate options. Serve lots of yellow and orange food (summer squash is now available), fresh fruits (especially lemons and oranges), and pumpernickel bread (spread with butter or a yellow cheese). Traditional drinks include ale, mead, and fresh fruit juice; in the heat of summer, water is a good inclusion to your stock of libations. Remember that it is taboo on this day to give away fire, sleep away from home, or neglect animals.
This is a fire festival that celebrates light, play, and fertility. Use the flames in your cauldron or outdoor grill in the activities: amulets that have fulfilled their purpose should be destroyed by casting them into the ceremonial fire; throw herbs such as lavender, St. John’s Wort, and vervain onto the embers and wave the aromatic smoke over yourself, your guests, and your pets in a ritual of blessing.
As at the Winter Solstice, the Oak and Holly Kings enact their ritual dance/battle for supremacy. This is the time for the Holly King, god of the Waning Year, to win. His ascendancy signals the onset of the time for rest and renewal of the land as well as of our Selves. I recommend taking a relaxed attitude toward your celebration and the activities you choose to do. Having an agenda to be completed is not the most important part of a Summer Solstice gathering. Sharing good times with good friends in a laid-back atmosphere, enjoying good food, watching fireflies in the dusk: these are likely to be much more relaxing.
Field and forest elves, sprites, and fairies are likely to join you in this celebration. It would be wise to include them in your plans. Be sure to leave them some food in a secluded place outdoors. Since part of this festival involves blessing our animals and since animals are often more aware of fairies than we are, making sure the fairy food is someplace where they can enjoy it undisturbed is a kindness.
Reminder: I will be participating in a Spirit Fair in Oklahoma City on July 11 & 12, 2009 at the LaQuinta Inn, 800 S. Meridian. For more information, visit the website: www.spiritfair.com