Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Solstice

The wheel turns.... The growing season is upon us.

Artist Unknown (I'd love to give you credit though.)

Also known as Alban Hefin, Litha, and Midsummer, the Summer Solstice marks the highest point the sun will travel in the northern hemisphere making it the longest day of the year. For our brothers and sisters on the other side of the equator, Blessed Midwinter! It falls somewhere between the 19th and 23rd of June. In 2014 it will fall on the 21st (a Saturday). Here on the east coast of the US it will happen at 6:51am...but I'm hoping to be asleep still.

William Shakespeare wrote about the holiday in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The mischievous Puck runs around doing his Lord's bidding causing havoc for a group of young lovers as well as for his Lady. Shakespeare had done his homework, that is, he studied the was of the Celts. He learned about their celebration of the holiday and made sure to incorporate some of their beliefs into it.
We are also entering the time of the "traditional" wedding. Why is this the time when everyone gets married? In ancient times, pagan couples who had paired up during Beltane, had spent their year and a day together, and decided on a more formal handfasting would have the ceremony between Midsummer and Lughnasadh. Other pagan symbols still seen at modern weddings: wedding bands a symbol of the Magick Circle, throwing the bouquet or garter, and jumping the broom.

Back to magick...

Image from: A Solar Summer Solstice Project, Annie B. Bond

Midsummer is the high point of growth. Our gardens are going crazy. We're mowing our lawns regularly, like twice a week. There are baby animals EVERYWHERE! It is an excellent time to stop and look at our own growth. 

Was there something that you had wanted to grow or expand on? Now is a great time to put that into effect. I'm not talking about physically growing something necessarily, it's a great time to boost your plants a bit, I'm talking more abstract like growing knowledge, love, or wealth. 


There is no wealth like knowledge, and no poverty like ignorance Buddha

We gain knowledge through learning whether it's from people or books. This is a great time to join a new club, start a new book, or learn a new skill. 
Learning is ruled by the element of Air (East). Call upon the element to aid in your study, just be careful and don't call up a wind storm.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection – Buddha

The most true fact about love is this: no one can or will love you as you should be loved until you love yourself. Each of us has parts of ourselves we dislike and maybe downright hate. We need to learn to love ourselves from the inside out. 

First, let's stop with the "if...then" promises we make ourselves. "If I lose 10 pounds then I'll buy that ---- I really like." NO. STOP!! Buy the item because you love you because you're perfect being you. (Hey, you ARE perfect being you! You are the only you there is!!!) Stop letting the outside dictate how the inside should feel/think/act.

Spell for Growing Self-Love:
What you need:
A mirror - the larger the better

You can do this ritually in a circle if you wish but I do it daily during my daily self-purification (shower, lotion, quick smudge/anointment).

Start by writing a list of everything you like/love about yourself. It can be surface things like your eyes or hair, or they can be things like different parts of your personality. You must come up with 12, more is great but no less.

Now, stand naked in front of your mirror, look yourself in the eye and tell yourself WHY you're special. WHY you love yourself. And FEEL  the love. If you need to lie to yourself for a little while that's fine but still try to feel the love for yourself. Every week add a new part of yourself that you may not have liked/loved so much before and add it to your daily list.

Remember the Saturday Night Live skit: (Ok, I'm dating myself but I love me anyway!) 

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, gosh darn it, people like me.

 Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wealth is not the abundance of money, oh no, it is so much more. The wealthiest people I know don't drive fancy new cars or live in huge homes; they live simply surrounded by family and friends. They work hard but enjoy the work they do. They find joy in the simple things, not the expensive ones. 
So use this time to grow stronger bonds with those you love and with your connection to the things that matter to you. I plan on making a trip to our local Native American healing springs where I will release what has been holding me back, leave some nasty energy that attempted to invade my home this winter, and hopefully leave grounded, centered, and at peace. 
Ok. Ok. I know, we still need to pay the bills. So, my here's my:

Never Run Out of Money Spell (a modification of a Scott Cunningham spell)
What you need: 
Bowl - earth colored (brown or green) 
Pocket change - the larger the better

-as long as there is money in the bowl there will be money in your bank account
-as the money in the bowl grows so does your bank account (<-- I don't recommend since at some point you have to empty the bowl)
-as long as there is money in the bowl you will always have enough (<-- what my  bowl is charged for) 

Charge the bowl. Now, you can do this any number of ways but here are some suggestions: 
Now place some pocket change in the bowl, the larger denomination the better. My bowl ALWAYS has a $2 bill, a $1 piece, and a $0.50 piece. I place my  pocket change in the bowl at the end of the day, as I collect it cleaning the house, etc. (That is, if I can get it before the 8-year-old does.) 

When the bowl gets full I roll up the change and take it to the bank. Sometimes I deposit it, sometimes I take my little guy out for ice cream. I always leave my seed money to start the next round. 

Traditional Herbs: chamomile, cinquefoil, elder, fennel, hemp, larkspur, lavender, male fern, mugwort, pine, rose, Saint John's wort, wild thyme, wisteria, verbena

Traditional Incense: frankincense, lemon, myrrh, pine, rose, wisteria

Traditional Gemstones: all green gemstones (emerald, jade, etc.)

Traditional Foods: fresh veggies, Summer fruits, pumpernickel bread, ale, mead

Traditional Colors: blue, green, yellow

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