Midsummer Ritual Ideas for the Season
Our path is one of doing.
A living tradition practiced and evolved yet rooted in thousands of years of wisdom and direct experience, developed from relationships with the local Spirits of the Land, The Gods and Goddesses that dwell there and our Ancestors, our Bone Kin.
It's full of story myths and folklore of those ancestors, coming from the fabric of the very land we stand on..
For the blood and bone of our ancestors, become a part of the land, they become a part of the Story... The Eddas and the Sagas.
Building an altar
Your altar is a personal reflection of how you are journeying through the cycles of the year. There is no rule or requirement, except that it should be led from the heart and your instinctive pull.
When we build our altars, we like to include natural elements that reflect the season we are in, or are moving into - flowers, berries, foliage, seeds...
We place our blot bowl in the centre as our receptacle for the offerings to the land, with a candle to light the way, and surround them with items pertinent to our ritual and magical items which help to clean and charge the ceremonial "charms". These can include incense, crystals, wands, spring water, feather smudge sticks etc.
Rest for a while and reflect...
What will adorn your altar this season?
What does each item mean to you as you move through this turn of the wheel?
Your altar, once built, becomes the anchor for the rest of the work that you weave. It can be a place to visit at the beginning and end of each day, to light the candle and set your intentions, marking in ritual that which you mean to set in place within your life and a station at which to give thanks and honour the spirits, guides and ancestors which lead you through each moment of your life.
Out on the Land
Start simple, very simple, and build from there.
Find a place where you can be undisturbed, a place that feels good, and bring a small offering.
Find a tree, a lake, a stone that gives you a good feeling, and think of it as a meeting place. A place at which to find and be found.
Talk to the place, talk to the gods, and do it out loud if you can. Speak from your heart or write something down in advance, but be personal - this is you introducing yourself to the gods, after all.
You may feel silly, to begin with, but you’ll get over that after a while.
Speak the names of the gods you want to know, greet them, tell them who you are, and tell them you bring them an offering.
Hang it from a branch, throw it in the lake, leave it on the stone, bury it in the ground, or burn it in a fire.
I’m sure you can figure out what to do but remember not to offer something that might be harmful to nature,
you’re there worshipping gods that are nature!
You might not feel anything the first time (or times), or you might be blown away by the intensity of the experience.
Regardless, there are going to be times when nothing seems to happen, but persistence in practice is what gets us there in the end.
Try doing things differently and see what works better for you - this is the time to start doing research.
I don’t know of any good beginner’s books for Heathens (good being the operative word here!), but there’s a lot of suggestions around the web.
Keep doing what works, and discard the rest.
You’re the boss of you, and you’re doing it right!
Gratitude Fire Circle
Gather with friends around a fire or candle lantern
“Give thanks for the sun, for the light of the sun, for the life that comes from the sun,” “Write the sun a love letter: ‘Thank you, light, for the life you give to the plants, the animals, and to me.”
Next, show gratitude to yourself, too. “Take the time to honour your own inner light and it’s expansion over your shadows, and hold gratitude for your recent journey,”
“Remembering that honouring the quiet times of transition in between..
Check In With Yourself
The solstice is a chance to reflect on projects or ideas that have been sizzling in the pot since spring. “Energetically, it’s a great time for a check-in.
Take the time to ask yourself, ‘What progress has been made on my dreams?’ and ‘Have I been doing my part to make them come into fruition?’ The fruit is ripening soon, and we want to pick it off the branch when it’s at its peak.”
Pass around the Talking Stick and Explore all the above, share, dream and become, as spirit often say within these liminal times..
“ When we dream alone, we dream, yet when we dream together we shape reality “
Call in the sacred, the cultural shamans, the clowns, the shapeshifters, the change agents, and let's rewrite the rules, now!
Here are some ideas and inspiration for rituals this season:
Midsummer folklore dictates that the summer solstice is a liminal, magical time where spirits and fairies are able to cross more easily into the human world. It’s a time to expect the unexpected and allow yourself to believe that wishes really can come true because there’s magic in the air...
Spark up the fire pit, build a bonfire or light all your expensive candles at once. Solstice celebrations traditionally involve some sort of fire to represent the sun and it’s a great way to add a ritual vibe to your evening. Write down any wishes for the coming months and burn them to ash for added magic.
Weave a Dream Bag known as a Crane Bag
This spell for protection, healing, empowering, and revitalising: Create a pouch for psychic dreams; put mugwort [a visionary herb] and bay leaves [often associated with the sun] in a piece of yellow material [the colour of the sun]; sew it up with red thread [the colour of action and fire]; and place it under your pillow.
Make a Solar Elixir
Traditionally, elderflowers are associated with the summer solstice as they are in the peak bloom in many parts of the world around late June.
Create a cordial with elderflowers or a cocktail infused with the petals. Alternatively, you could create a soothing a elixir with chamomile or rose.
Brew chamomile tea and add a dash of cinnamon and ginger. The cool the tea and serve over ice, some good old fashioned " Kitchen Witchery"
Host a Magical Picnic on a Mountain or Hilltop
Gather together on a hilltop or mountain , early and craft a magical brunch, or at sunset serve chocolate and kombucha.
Place the Kombucha into a cauldron and gather around that cauldron and charge it intention, words, prayers, songs, drum it into being, or craft a solar tea, using ginger and lemon, with elderflower, join hands and chant, sing or drum into the cauldron, charging it with intention..