Friday, June 21, 2013

Midsummer 2013

This post has a lot of pictures!  It might take a bit to load.  Thank you for understanding!



This entry will cover the Litha / Midsummer / Summer Solstice ritual and celebration for the Circle of Open Traditions!


For those of you that didn't see the altar from my Midsummer Altar post, above was the altar I created for the circle.  For more details on that, head over to that blog entry.  It includes a detailed description of what I put on and around my altar, and why.

While our celebrations typically begin with a dinner, we decided to start with the ritual itself while the sun was still bright.


I always enjoy decorating the outline of the circle with various items representing the holiday and this time was no different.  Seashells and yellow flowers joined the stones.  At each corner, a large yellow sunflower sat.  Each one had a colored bow representative of its direction (yellow for air, red for fire, etc).



In addition to having objects laying on the ground, I also hung a white and gold mesh fabric around the circle.  The fabric hung delicately above each corner.


We were fortunate enough to add a new member to the Circle of Open Traditions for this holiday - my best friend and now roommate - and she came with her own altar.  It's much taller and larger than my own, so we placed her altar at the center of the circle.  It was decorated with yellow and red ribbon, topped with a yellow Sun Cross and a large sunflower.



Click the image above to read the introduction to our ritual.
The first step of our ritual was to light a candle and state one thing each person would like to dedicate themselves to.  It could be a person, place, thing or idea - anything they wished.


The next part of the ritual involved the writing of the Sun Cross.  Sun Crosses or Sun Wheels or typically made out of natural materials.  A person will hold the Sun Cross over their chest as they wish deeply for something, then burn it as a representation of the holiday, the sun and the four corners.  Because we had many participants, I opted for an artificial but more accommodating version.  Like the corresponding Yule Log, we wrote our wishes on the wheel for burning later.



Next year, I think I'd like to have each person create their own personal Sun Wheel out of natural materials, but this certainly did the trick for this holiday.

The final part of the ritual involved creating a protection rattle.  I would have preferred sunstone over carnelian, but I worked with what I could find.  Carnelian is still very representative of the holiday and does have a protection attribute.

When we were creating these, I had each person think of a place where they felt safe.  They were to hold the carnelian between their hands and project an overwhelming sense of security from that into the stone.  Once done, we placed the stone between the two shells similar to a clam and tied them together with twine.  I made a small loop so I can wear mine like a necklace if necessary.  After that was completed, we shook them together to create a protective area within our protected area!

In addition to all the summer solstice ritual, we also celebrated the upcoming super moon for June.  My full moon ritual involves purified water and small cakes every time.


It also has an addendum for each individual moon.  During the ritual, we talk about our upcoming goals and usually perform a spell of some sort. The Honey Moon focuses on cleaning - both inside your home and inside yourself.  Because of this, we used a sage smudge stick to cleanse each other of unwanted feelings and cluttered mind.


That concluded the circle. 
We then immediately headed outside to barbecue some food!


Hamburgers and hot dogs were provided by my wonderful husband.  Stacey, Ben and Alex also added some more hot dogs and hamburgers to the mix.

I also added watermelon.  Stacey and Nickey brought seasoned squash and pineapple as well as S'mores fixings for later.

Alex buttered and grilled corn.

Charli brought grilled cabbage and grilled bananas.

 After we finished eating...

...we burned the Sun Cross!

In addition to grilling, we also camped out.

The following are some images from our time outside.
Some of the boys building tents.
My dog wondered in and out of the tent routinely.
Just taking some time to socialize!
Our newest member and my very best friend, Charli.
Her boyfriend and their husky, Agro.
Nickey and Artie pouting for different reasons.
More socializing! The look on Charli's face screams 85F and humid.
Alex's dog Waya and Charli and Eric's dog Agro socializing over the water bowl.
Stacey and Ben


Obligatory window picture the next morning!
And that concludes our summer solstice festivities!

From my family to yours, have a blessed Litha!



6 comments:

  1. I loved your Midsummer posts! I get so much inspiration, especially from sharing your altar. I hope you keep up with the monthly moon graphics. If you do, would you have an objection to me using them in my personal book of shadows?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I haven't responded to this sooner. Feel free to use any graphics in your BOS! Thank you so much!

      Delete
  2. Pretty! It was really a wonderful blog. Thanks for the provided information. midsummer 2013

    ReplyDelete
  3. Incredible, thanks for post that, i really love these rituals you do with your circle... are a great inspiration for me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much!

      Delete