Happy Summer Solstice/Midsummer!!

Yesterday was the summer solstice – longest day, shortest night of the year! And what a GORGEOUS day it was!  Seriously, it was amazingly beautiful outside, the sun was warm, the skies were blue… it was fantastic!

And I stayed home.  Everyone else went out and did stuff in honor of the “first” day of summer, but I stayed home.  Actually, I had to run out and grab a pretty plant and card for Aiden’s teacher’s retirement party at the school, and then I had to rush off to get Finn from his school… and to the grocery store to pick up the stuff for last night’s dinner.  (Which I might add was totally AWESOME!!) Then come home and Steve’s having a bad day.  So he leaves… and I’m here.  Finn’s been sick, so he wound up passing out on the couch at one point, and I did some reading on Solstice history, lore, poems… lots of stuff!  Which is always good… and totally feeds my insane need for more, more, more knowledge!!

So some of the things I sat and thought about were what does Summer Solstice mean to me? What is the significance of this Sabbat in my little corner of the universe?  Generically, solstice – Midsummer – is about light, heat, the Sun God reaching the height of his power, and the Earth Goddess being pregnant with the new God to be born at Yule.  But what does it mean?

To me, Midsummer is just that – the middle of MY summer season.  It is a day to celebrate life, knowing that I still have the heat of summertime coming, but realizing that all too soon the autumn harvest will come again.  The wheel turns ever onward, timeless in its dance.  Midsummer is when the Goddess IS pregnant, not just with the new God of summer, but with the fruits of the coming harvest.  With midsummer, we take a moment in time to celebrate the sun, the light, the warmth.  The land is green, teeming with life!  The crops are planted and beginning to grow strong.  We sing, we dance, and we feast together.

Summer solstice is a time where we instinctively take the time to come together and take joy with one another.  It amused me greatly yesterday watching Ryan and all his friends going off to celebrate the Solstice, and none of them understanding the meaning behind it other than it was solstice and it was significant in some way.  EVERYone was out yesterday to celebrate, and I made the comment that it was funny that as the Only pagan in the house, I was the only one who DIDN’T go do anything particularly special to mark the occasion… well I DID make an awesome dinner.  Which is something I love to do – prepare great food to serve to my friends and family.  On the menu last night – Moroccan-style chicken, buttery herbed asparagus, and some honey poached apples for dessert.  It was so good! The kids even liked it, and they are seriously picky eaters, haha!

 Something I DID get to do, was a nice 5-minute ritual that I found on this really great blog called Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom by a woman called Mrs. B.  Really it was perfect for me and how busy I tend to be.  So I thought I’d share it with my few readers.

The Five Minute Ritual
Needs:
Candle – white  is always appropriate, but alternately use colors of the season: red, yellow,  gold or orange
Lighter or matches

Find a quiet corner to yourself,  with candle and lighter at hand.   Sit and give yourself a moment to settle and center.  Breathe deeply  in and out.  When you are ready, light the candle and  say:

“By lighting this candle, I honor the Summer Solstice.  By fire I honor  the deities of the season, the earth and the turning of the wheel.  I thank  you for warm days, and lazy summer evenings and the time to spend with family  and friends. May I remember to enjoy each and every moment spent together.   So mote it be!”

Take a minute or two to reflect on how you can spend a little time each day,  no matter how busy you get, to spend out doors enjoying the sunshine and good  weather.  Blow out or snuff the candle.

Have a little more time to  spend?
Needs:
Candle (see above)
Lighter or  matches
A carving tool (wooden skewers work great for this)
A cup or glass  of your favorite hot or cold herbal tea
A small bowl of summer fruit

Find a quiet corner to yourself,  with candle and lighter at hand.   Sit and give yourself a moment to settle and center.  Breathe deeply  in and out. Take your carving tool and carve your candle with symbols of the  season (suns, summer flowers, fairies). When you are ready, light the candle and   say:

“By lighting this candle, I honor the Summer Solstice.  By fire I honor  the deities of the season, the earth and the turning of the wheel.  I thank  you for warm days, and lazy summer evenings and the time to spend with family  and friends. May I remember to enjoy each and every moment spent together.   So mote it be!”

“Take a minute or two to reflect on how you can spend a little time each day,  no matter how busy you get, to spend out doors enjoying the sunshine and good  weather.  Relax, drink your tea and eat the fruit, saving some to place  outside as an offering.  When you are finished, blow out or snuff the  candle.

And then when Steve came home, he surprised me by building me a bit of a bonfire in the yard.  It wasn’t a large fire, or anything like that… but it was nice.  It was the first solstice bonfire I’ve had in 6 years, really, since I lived in Maple Valley.  He and I sat out there for a while talking about Solstice and sabbat meanings, and he actually had some really cool thoughts on the subject.  It made me happy that he actually took an interest in something that was important to me.  So yeah, all in all… the day was really nice – even if I didn’t get to go out and do something super fantastic and awesomely huge to celebrate the day.  Sometimes the Gods like to remind me that grandiose rituals aren’t always necessary.  Sometimes, something so simple as spending time with my boys, making a nice dinner for my loved ones and a quiet 5-minute ritual means so much more than all the special tools and items, costumes and poetic rituals in the world.  It was a good reminder, and I really had a good day.

And that my darlings, is that!  Today is the last day of school for the boys, so life is about to get CRAZY busy for me… should be fun!

Love and Blessings to you all!

~ Ravenna

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Categories: Food, Life, Paganism, Sabbats

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