Got back on Monday from my first sojourn to the Pagan Spirit Gathering, one of the largest and oldest Pagan festivals in the country. I've worked with Selena Fox, Dianne Duggan and Lady Liberty League for many years but this festival was simply too far away. Selena is very persuasive and my friend Oriana volunteered to drive, so off we went.
Maybe it would have been more appropriate to invoke Maeve or Mebh for Midsummer. But this is a Celtic roundhouse built in a magical woodland garden by a Smyth. Brighid, as we know, looks out for all smiths, even those with a y in their name. The man had the vision as well as the craft. Between them, Tina and Johnny have made some magic on their land that lies a country mile from the Shannon Pot, where the River Shannon rises in Ireland.
In Black Rose we celebrate the longest day by honoring Lucifer the Witch King. In our tradition’s mythology Lucifer is the bringer of light and is personified by the brilliant shining sun. This Midsummer we will be invoking the spirit of Lucifer through an adaptation of one of our most treasured practices known as Kala. During Kala we gather energetic blockages and purify them with the power of our own light. We finish this ritual by consuming this energy, now instead of it being a toxic blockage it is nutritious power that can fuel us.
Quick– how many 45s can you rattle off that contain references to the sun? If you are a music lover, chances are good that you are hopping on the vinyl train and building up your collection. If not, get in touch with your best record geek pal who also owns a player. The plan: a Super Summer Solstice Backyard Record Spin. You will need a functional player (it is always good to have an additional one back-up) and some vintage discs. Invite your guests to tote their 45s and 33s, even 78s if they have them hiding in a closet. 33s especially come in handy so that you don't have to keep hopping up to flip the record. Also, don't just have one designated DJ. Encourage everyone to get in the mix and take turns spinning the tunes. That way, a natural flow will emerge and you will enjoy an eclectic variety of music. If one person is being a little piggy though, be sure to gently nudge them off the turntable so that everyone does in fact have a chance to play.
Break out the folding chairs and a long table for snacks and beverages, buffet-style. The signature cocktail should of course be a "Sunny Sangria:"