Summer Solstice

Summer solstice this year actually happens around Midday on Saturday the 20th  June, so  if you want to be accurate with your celebrations you need to be ready during the day, of course this doesn’t mean you cannot carry on your celebrations into the evening and make a night of it 😉. 

There is also a solar fire eclipse taking place, but it is only visible from Congo, Sudan and China. As the new moon, rising with Venus, covers the sun it will appear as if there is a ring of fire surrounding it, or a serpent of fire eating its own tail. All of which will give an amazing sight to see if you are in those areas. Or if you have friends who might take photos. There should be some appearing on social media a day or 2 after the event.

At this time of year, the Goddess is pregnant and the God is at his prime, so it is good to think of all the things you are doing and ask the questions: Are they approaching fulfilment? What can I do to bring it closer? How can I achieve what I want to achieve this year with all the problems going on at this time?

The traditional way to celebrate the Solstice is with a bonfire, preferably made of Oak and sprinkled with herbs. As the flames soar, this represents the fire of the sun at full strength. Healing and sharing are themes you can also work with, especially at this time with all the uncertainty of what is happening in our world right now. Not just with the Corona virus but also all the angst in the demonstrations that are happening around the world. For many varied reasons people are not happy right now and injustices are being brought into the public eye in a way they never have been before. So, what better time to do work towards healing all of mankind on all levels, emotional, spiritual and physical.

If you cannot build a bonfire you can do the same thing using a candle to represent the fire. If possible, use a red one or a white one can be used to represent the purity of your intentions. Have a few Oak leaves on your altar, if you can find an acorn as well, this will be a perfect way of honouring both completion and new beginnings. Set aside a time during the evening when you know you will not be disturbed. 

Take yourself into your quiet place and begin a meditation, focussing at first on the flame of the candle or fire. Watch it flicker and allow your breathing to slow. After a few minutes allow your eyes to close and see the after image of the flame appear in your mind, move it to the left, then to the right. Allow it to grow taller and as it grows think about all the things you would like to see  growing in your life and in the world right now. Better health, happier times, and a move into a peaceful healthier way of being for everyone. Move it to the right and see yourself taking action to improve things for yourself and others where possible. Bring it into the centre and see it grow larger and larger until the glow touches everything you can see in your minds eye. Let it shine brightly and place any problems you have in the middle of it and allow it to burn them away, one by one. Know within yourself that all will be dealt with and solutions will be found. Call on the energies of the God and ask him to bring his strength and wisdom into your life and those you interact with on all levels. Ask that everyone may be blessed with extra vitality and energy to deal with things that are happening around them. As lord of the forest ask that his energy also be strengthened in the land and animals of the earth. Spend some time thinking about what you would like to see happen and how we could come out of these difficult times and maintain the knowledge we have gained through our adversity. When you are ready start to focus on the light once again and let yourself become at one with it as you move back towards your everyday reality.

As your meditation draws to a close, feel yourself bathed in the golden light of the sun, spread that light all around you, fill your home with it and send some out to those you care about. Then draw it close and wrap it around you like a blanket and feel yourself become aware of your surroundings once again as you come back to everyday life. Give thanks for the blessings to come and ground yourself by eating a slice of your honey cake or drinking some mead and filling yourself with the sun’s bounty. If you did your meditation indoors, go outside and touch the ground with your bare feet, feel the warmth of the earth and let it travel up your legs and throughout your body. Connecting you once again to everything tangible. 

We spend a lot of the time working with the energy of the moon during our rituals, it is good to work with the more masculine energies of the Sun once in a while to bring balance into our lives. The Sun represents physical action and fiery creation, it is time to do something physical and practical. If you are the type of person that enjoys crafts, make something to represent what you have been through in your meditation or something that reminds you of this solstice in particular. If you are more of a logical person, try writing about your experiences, make sure you write about how you feel on an emotional level and what you plan to do about it. You can make a list of the changes you want to make and how you will go about making them happen.

This solstice is very different as we are going through a major shift in our lives, things are changing and may never be the same again. But we can change things for the better if we allow ourselves to stop and think. There have been so many big challenges for people to deal with this year and a lot of people have been devastated by what has happened within their families. Even Nature itself feels different this year, but as we are at the Solstice it still carries its usual positive, vitality with it. This will enable us to tap into that energy and bring about some major healing and changes.  It won’t be quick or easy, but it will happen, all you have to do is start at midsummer and carry that positive energy with you into next years solstice ceremony. Let it warm you in the cold nights of winter to come and let it light your way into next years fulfilment of your goals.

I have added 2 recipes for the end of this blog, so that you can enjoy the blessings of summer either alone or with friends. The cake you can make ready for the solstice, but the champagne must be started on the solstice and enjoyed later after you have had some time to absorb all your feelings about this time of year.

Blessings to all. May the Solstice burn bright in your life and may the God of the wild lead you forward in strength and health.

Elderflower Champagne

A traditional drink for midsummer, as elderflowers peak at midsummer. Pick them at their fullest on Saturday when the solstice happens around noon or early afternoon if possible. 

Elder is the Queen of trees, being sacred to the Goddess, it has many healing properties and aids in transformation, change and renewal. As we are at a major turning point in the year this is a useful drink to have around.

INGREDIENTS:

8 Litres of water

1.25kg of sugar

8 Large Elderflower heads

4 Lemons

4 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar

Use large plastic bottles with screw tops if possible as it can fizz a lot. Make sure the elderflowers are clean, wash off any creepy crawlies.

Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it.

When the water is cool, add the elderflowers, juice of 2 Lemons and slices of the other 2, plus the vinegar.

Cover with a clean cloth and leave for a day.

Strain through a fine sieve or piece of muslin, carefully squeeze the flowers to extract as much flavour as possible.

Store in clean screw top bottles and leave it alone for 10 days. 

Drink within a month and give thanks to the spirit of the Elder.

Honey Cake

Bees are very special little creatures and give us the life enhancing honey made from pure sunlight and pollen. If you can get some local honey that is the best kind for you to make it from but any honey will do. If you can think of the land, the flowers and all the sunshine that makes it possible it will add to the magic of your cake. You can eat it yourself or give it to friends to wish them a good Solstice.

INGREDIENTS

225gms Butter

250gms Honey

100gms Dark muscovado sugar.

3 Eggs, beaten

300gms Self raising flour.

Cut the butter into pieces and heat slowly, adding the honey and sugar as it begins to melt. When fully melted, turn up the heat and boil the mixture for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Add the beaten eggs to the cooled honey mixture and sift the flour into a large bowl. Beat the liquid honey mixture into it until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the mixture into a round lined sponge tin and bake in a preheated oven at 160c for about 50 mins, or until the cake is well risen and springs back to the touch. 

Cool on a rack and glaze with a few tablespoons of warm honey.

This recipe is good to make if you are having friend’s round as the cake is very sweet, so its perfect for sharing.

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