Once again we reach the great turning point as our Sun has reached its full power and will begin to dwindle soon. But for a few days we stay in a limbo of solstice which is derived from the Latin sol ("sun") and sistere ("to stand still"). It seems synonymous with how we have all been living these last few months. However we know that things will change both in the daylight hours we have and in our lives. These changes may come slowly but gradually the accumulative affect is seen and felt and in the case of the sun we suddenly realise we are back into the realms of shorter daylight and the darkness of winter . For many knowing this creates a feeling of sadness and longing and this is a feeling many have been experiencing for sometime now due to these unprecedented times. But we know that we are yet to reach midsummer (24th June) and we still have many good days of summer and autumn to come. And so today let us mark the summer solstice with hope and positive energy and try to banish sadness. We know that change is happening so let us make it a good change in our lives. It is also a time to celebrate what we have become and how we have grown.
Over the next few days we can, like our ancestors, light bonfires in honour of our sun and dance around them, create sun wheels, make rose and honeysuckle garlands to wear and adorn our homes, feast and sing or even quietly observe the day by contemplating on what has past and what is to come. After midsummer the daylight time changes, only by a minute, but the change has begun. So even though we are all probably sick and tired of being still let us celebrate the stillness of our sun at its peak.
The plant of the moment is St John's wort, associated with midsummer because it is in flower and named after St John who was supposedly born at this time. Culpeper thought this herb a 'cure-all' and is now commonly associated with alleviating depression. Ironically even though it is associated with the summer and the sun too much usage of St John's wort can make you have an allergy to sunshine itself.
In folklore the days leading up to midsummer are the last days to hear the cuckoo call and to hear a cuckoo on midsummer's day was considered very unlucky.
To pick a fern at midsummer was to render yourself invisible- could be useful !
If you see a white butterfly at midsummer you will eat white bread for the rest of your life. This was written at a time when white bread was a luxury and brown bread was the norm and lowly. How times have changed.
Decorate your house with birch twigs and roses to mark the time of year.
It is a time of fairies and is the best time of the year to see them. Look for and oak, an ash & a thorn growing together, very often a noted place for fey folk. Look too for fairy rings marked by fungi or by a darker circle on the ground. Dedicate a toast of mead to Puck, the old one.
This year why not tie ribbons & fabric strips to twigs and trees in your garden and place an intention of hope, healing and love as you as you fix them. Let the breeze carry your intentions around our earth and into the universe for the benefit of all.