Middle Earth Magic: Inspired Ideas and Seasonal Spells for Your Enchanted Life

I grew up on a farm in West Virginia and learned much about herbs, trees, animals, gardening, foraging  and so much about nature. I incorporate this wisdom I learned from elders in my family into my spellwork. When I finally left the farm, I majored in Medieval Studies, my attempt to emulate my idol, J.R.R. Tolkien. All these influences led me to my own blended brew which I call "middle earth magic," containing a mix of the modern and the time-tested "old ways." 

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Bright Blessings! A Celtic-inspired Midsummer Ritual

June is summer reaching its full glory. There have been many rites around the world to acknowledge the longest day of the year. The Japanese climb Mount Fuji at this time, for it is free of snow during two months in the summer. The Native American tribes of the Southwest and Great Plains hold ceremonies to honor the life-giving sun. Incan, Mayan, and Aztec midsummer rites honoring the sun gods were among their most important ceremonies. Here is a midsummer ritual my group has celebrated joyfully for years. 

 Essential elements for a Celtic-inspired Midsummer ritual are a wooden wheel, fallen branches and firewood, multicolored candles, multicolored ribbons, food and drink, and flowers for garlands. This ritual should be performed outside, ideally on a hill or mountaintop, at dusk. Call the local fire department to verify the fire laws in your area. You will likely need a special permit to light a bonfire, and certain areas may be restricted. Always clear the grass and brush away from your fire area, and make sure to dig a shallow pit into the ground. Circle the pit with rocks to help mark the edge of the fire pit as well as to contain the accidental spread of fire. Have a fire extinguisher, a pail of sand, and water bottles nearby in case the fire gets out of control. One person not directly involved in the ritual should be on hand to watch the fire at all times. Make sure the fire pit is far enough away from surrounding trees and other landscape features to allow for a group to dance around it.


 Lay the wooden wheel down in the circle of stones, and arrange the fallen branches and firewood around the edge of it. The wheel represents the turning of the year, and the sun on its daily and yearly cycle. Tie the colored ribbons on the nearest tree. While these preparations are being made, the priestess to lead the ritual should meditate in the area where the ritual will be held, connecting to the goddess. The gathered celebrants should weave garlands of flowers while the sun slowly sets. Just before the sun vanishes completely, the priestess should direct the gathered celebrants to ready their candles, or more ideally, torches. The priest lights them, declaring:


The fire festival is begun.

Under this longest day of the sun.

Let us go forth and make merry.

The god and goddess are here!


All say:
Blessed be!


The priest leads the celebrants into the circle where the priestess waits, and directs them to throw their torches and candles in the bonfire. The priestess raises her arms and invokes the Goddess:

Great Earth Mother and Lady of the Forest,

Be with us here and now!

On this night the Goddess reigns supreme.

On this, our night of our midsummer!


All say:

Blessed be!


All should dance in the direction of the sun (clockwise) around the fire, raise their arms, and clap and shout for joy for as long as they want. When people begin to tire, it is time for the feast. The priest directs the blessing of the food:

Blessed Lady of the Forest,

And old god and animals, spirits of the wild,

Bless this food and drink,

That it may strengthen us in your ways.


All say:

Blessed be!


Everyone should share in the refreshments and eat, drink, and make merry. Another round of dance and song is in order. When the bonfire has turned to ash, the priestess declares the ritual to be over and says:

Our revelry this day is done, dear one.

Gods of the old and spirits of nature,

We thank you for your blessings this night.

This rite is done.


All say:

Blessed be!


Make certain the fire has completely gone out before you leave the ritual site. Soak the ashes with water and clean up the site. Always leave a natural area cleaner than you found it.


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    Cerridwen Greenleaf has worked with many of the leading lights of the spirituality world including Starhawk, Z Budapest, John Michael Greer, Christopher Penczak, Raymond Buckland, Luisah Teish, and many more. She gives herbal, crystal and candle magic workshops throughout North America. Greenleaf's graduate work in medieval studies has given her deep knowledge she utilizes in her work, making her work unique in the field. A bestselling author, her books include Moon Spell Magic, The Book of Kitchen Witchery, The Magic of Gems and Crystals and the Witch’s Spell Book series.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  


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