Mother Earth’s balancing act
By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / June 21, 2010
“Summer breeze makes me feel fine,
blowin’ thru the jasmine of my mind.”
Monday, June 21, 2010, marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year. This season is a time for contemplating the balancing act Mother Earth performs year-round: light brings activity, growth, expansion; dark is for withdrawal, to rest and renew. This year the Summer Solstice comes at the beginning of a week that culminates on Saturday, June 26, 2010, with a Full Mead Moon and a lunar eclipse. Magick will be afoot for the entire week.
This is a fire festival that prohibits sharing fire, so candles would not be good party favors. It is also taboo on this day to sleep away from home (out-of-town guests have a temporary “home” wherever they are staying) and to neglect animals.
Decorate the celebratory area using the colors white, red, golden yellow, green, blue, and tan. Use light blue, green, and yellow candles on your table and altar. Yellow is the color for prosperity, so use lots of this color in all its hues. Sunflowers, seashells, sun wheels, summer fruits and potpourri may be used as you choose to enhance the decor.
Any herbs gathered or harvested on this day are said to be exceptionally potent. You may consider sharing your herbal harvest with your guests: small bunches of herbs tied with a yellow ribbon make lovely party favors. Herbs favored for this celebration include: chamomile, fennel, hemp, lavender, pine, roses, St. John’s Wort, wisteria, verbena.
Create a menu featuring yellow or orange food, fresh fruits (especially lemons and oranges), veggies (especially summer squash), and pumpernickel bread. Flaming foods are also appropriate. Traditionally, ale, mead, and fresh fruit juice, in addition to plenty of water, are the appropriate drinks to provide or ask your guests to bring.
The Goddess is now matron, ripe with pregnancy. This is a time to celebrate vitality, creativity, health, abundance. It is a festival of Light, of energy, of fertility for crops and animals as well as humans, a time to celebrate both work and play.
If you are able to build a fire outdoors, do your best to use some fir and/or oak as they are traditional woods for this season. Throw some herbs onto the fire and, using a feather, waft the smoke about yourself, your guests, and whatever pets may be present. You may use whatever herbs are readily available, but preferred herbs are: mistletoe, vervain, St. John’s Wort, pansy, lavender, mugwort, hemp, thyme, pine.
Pluto is retrograde until mid-September and a Pluto retrograde is a good time to catch up unfinished business; therefore, amulets which have lost their usefulness should be destroyed on this day by casting them into the ceremonial fire. When cool, these ashes should be scattered, an activity which brings blessings to the land.
Field and Forest elves, sprites, and fairies are more present at this time, so be sure to include them in your plans and set out a bit of food and herbs for them.