Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Litha/Midsummer Folklore

Happy Litha/Midsummer to everyone. I know it goes by many names so happy whichever one you use to you,lol. Here in this part of MI we couldn't ask for a more perfect day. It was supposed to rain off and on but it has been gorgeous out. Going to celebrate outside this early evening with a small, simple ritual by myself and have a little bonfire tonight. Sometimes I find that the simplest of celebrations tend to be the most spiritual for my soul.

Fireflies and summer sun
in circles round
we become as one.
Singing songs at magick's hour
we bring the winds
and timeless powers.
Turning inward, hand in hand
we dance the hearth
to heal the land.
Standing silent, beneath the sky
we catch the fire
from out God's eye.
Swaying breathless, beside the sea
we call the Goddess
so mote it be!

~by Trish Telesco

A little Litha/Midsummer Folklore:

Litha/Midsummer is a time of nature spirit/fey communion, planet healing, divination, love and protection magicks. The battle between Oak King, God of the waxing year and Holly King, God of the waning year (can be a ritual play), or act out scenes from the Bard’s (an incarnation of Merlin) "A Midsummer Night’s Dream", rededication of faith, rites of inspiration.

After your Litha fire has burned out and the ashes gone cold, use them to make a protective amulet. You can do this by carrying them in a small pouch, or kneading them into some soft clay and forming a talisman. In some traditions of Wicca, it is believed that the Midsummer ashes will protect you from misfortune. You can also sow the ashes from your bonfire into your garden, and your crops will be bountiful for the rest of the summer growing season.

Residents of some areas of Ireland say that if you have something you wish to happen, you "give it to the pebble." Carry a stone in your hand as you circle the Litha bonfire, and whisper your request to the stone -- "heal my mother" or "help me be more courageous", for example. After your third turn around the fire, toss the stone into the flames.

Sunwheels were used to celebrate Midsummer in some early Pagan cultures. A wheel -- or sometimes a really big ball of straw -- was lit on fire and rolled down a hill into a river. The burned remnants were taken to the local temple and put on display. In Wales, it was believed that if the fire went out before the wheel hit the water, a good crop was guaranteed for the season.

It is believed in parts of England that if you stay up all night on Midsummer's Eve, sitting in the middle of a stone circle, you will see the fae. But be careful - carry a bit of rue in your pocket to keep them from harassing you, or turn your jacket inside out to confuse them. If you have to escape the Fae, follow a ley line, and it will lead you to safety.

In England, rural villagers built a big bonfire on Midsummer's Eve. This was called "setting the watch," and it was known that the fire would keep evil spirits out of the town. Some farmers would light a fire on their land, and people would wander about, holding torches and lanterns, from one bonfire to another. If you jumped over a bonfire -- presumably without lighting your pants on fire -- you were guaranteed to have good luck for the coming year.

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