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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Midsummer

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Midsummer Mermaid

For our Midsummer ritual, gythia Amanda, first of my lineage, surprised me by planning her first blot and bringing her mermaid tail, and so we did mermaid blessings in my swimming pool in the name of the Nine Mothers. We had been talking about doing a mermaid ritual for a couple of years but hadn't made specific plans to do one for Midsummer, so it was a delightful surprise for me. She and her husband also brought a Swedish Midsummer Cake and it was delicious.

The Nine Mothers of Heimdall are the waves of the sea, the daughters of Aegir. In my kindred we honor them as mermaids. My late companion Tom was a devotee of Heimdall. Amanda was already performing as a mermaid at Renfaire and Pirate Fest and so on before she joined our little kindred. So a mermaid blessing ritual was right in line with the powers our kindred honors.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Savoring the Summer Solstice

Summer is nearly officially here and all around us, the flowers, trees, birds, fireflies, and elements are bursting with life. If you stop and close your eyes, you can practically feel it pulsating. This is the time to savor all these sensual pleasures in abundance and revel in all that nature's bounty has to offer! Since the Solstice falls on Father's Day this year, you may choose to combine your festivities. However you celebrate the Solstice, being outside as much as possible seems to be the order of the day.

A Magickal Market

Speaking of being outside, were you aware that Houston boasts a magical, witchy outdoor marketplace? They do! The Thorn & Moon Magickal Market, headed by Jessica Anderson, runs the first Saturday of every month downtown at the White Oak Music Hall and Raven Tower from 6 - 11 p.m. Jessica is this month's "Women Who Howl at the Moon" podcast guest, so be sure to tune in and hear her describe all the sights and sounds in glorious detail. Everything from themed vendors to Goth Yoga is available for you to try. They often wrap up with some apropos entertainment, such as the Bewitched Burlesque troupe performing a show. Amanda Marie Parker from Bewitched Burlesque was our April podcast guest.

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Burning the Bones: Bonfires at Midsummer

It’s Midsummer, a day of feasting, bonfires, and dance. It’s a celebration of solar powers at their greatest, of warmth and bursting fruits and the year’s longest light. Like other holidays, it has gone by different names throughout its long history, and various spirits and gods are honored and receive sacrifices at this time. In Southern Slavic countries like Bulgaria, Midsummer Rusalia is celebrated at this time to honor the rusalki, female spirits of water and fertility. According to the folklore, these spirits are the souls of dead young women of the community who never spent their fertile powers during their young lives and therefore have the power to confer that fertility to the earth and their living community in death. Feasting and dances entice them, invoke their powers, and channel those powers into the fields and the bodies of those who wish to have children (Barber 17).

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Summer Solstice With Dad

Dads don't always get a fair shake. They have to take a good deal of kidding around, and often aren't as idealized as Moms. They aren't always the first parent that kids run to when they need nurturing or advice. Let's be honest—they often are the recipients of lame gifts. There are ways we can shift some of these attitudes and routines, however. What are the positive aspects of a father? Protection, safety, and security are strong associations. How about gifting you the confidence to do things on your own? Fathers can be great mentors in this regard, teaching you how to master a task, then stepping aside to let you take the wheel. This Summer Solstice think about ways that you can honor the fatherly aspects of the Oak King, the Holly King, and your own Dad.

Consider a cookout or camping trip with your Pop. If you do plan to camp, check your county and state parks' rules ahead of time this summer. Many have changed due to COVID-19, and most campgrounds require you to make a reservation in advance online. It's still all about the outdoors for safety right now, so even if weather is a little dicey, try to plan so that you'll be under a picnic shelter or tarp if necessary. You might need to take a deep breath and be flexible with your plans, if Mother Nature has others in store. Keep the mood light and fun, for everyone's sake. For a really unique theme and an open-minded Dad, try an Incan Summer Solstice ceremony and menu. Bring a locally bought or home-brewed beer, mead, or wine to share with him. Play a favorite card game that you used to growing up (might want to don the face masks for this one, though). To this day, my family is still cultivating some fierce Uno players. Set up a bean bag toss that the young ones can join in. Despite any rumors, badminton remains a nice no-contact sport. Likewise with that old-fashioned croquet set gathering cobwebs in your garage. Enjoy reminiscing about some of your more comic adventures growing up. Share a toast to more good times to come.

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Sesame Asparagus in a Tamari Reduction

This is a good recipe for big, horsey, late-season asparagus, served either chilled or at air temperature: just the thing for a Midsummer picnic.

 


Sesame Asparagus in a Tamari Reduction

1 bunch asparagus

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

¼ cup tamari

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Midsummer Dawn--a Regional Pagan Event

Midsummer Dawn is a low-tech Pagan gathering for those of us who miss events like Ancient Ways. We’ll do a couple of (non-theist) rituals in the evenings, but mostly focus on socializing and building community. Two nights under the magnificent stars in the exquisite Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma County, California! There is a waterfall we can hike to, and simply beautiful land to enjoy.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT. Saturday was not available.

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The Turning Wheel: Folk Tradition and Myth

 

There’s a house across the hill from mine that has a wagon wheel mounted on a post in their front yard. It’s painted white with eight spokes, and in front of it is a small garden bed with flowers. I’ve seen wagon wheels in yards and even mounted on house exteriors before, but I never thought much about them until recently. When I noticed this particular wagon wheel on the way to my son’s school one morning, it struck me as one of those old traditions that have been practiced consistently for so long that people have forgotten what they mean. But still they use them, out of superstition (a code word for lingering belief in folk magic and religion), a love of tradition, or both.

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