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Festivals/Celebrations > Summer/Winter Solstice plans?

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message 1: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Midsummer is soon, does any one have any plans for it?


message 2: by Leannear24 (new)

Leannear24 umm i am not doing much on the day
but i do have a holiday pland


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I will probably spend that day just in inner peace, locked in my room, turn off my phone and (if my family allows it) just be left alone for the day...


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie | 29 comments I'm going to look around and see if anyone has a public festival I want to go to.


message 5: by Lavender (new)

Lavender (lavendercrystalbear) | 111 comments The local metaphysical shop is having an open house with free samples of readings and lots of vendors.
Then maybe weather permitting. A Bon fire in the eve


message 6: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta This is what I do each year:

First I bury something of value to me. One year it was a ring. Most years it is a coin (since I am rather frugal, so that offering means a lot to me). Then I make a small fairy ring over the spot I buried my offering using items of nature (acorn shells, bits of wood, etc.) as well as ribbons and incense. I make the ring with the incense and ribbons and use the rest to make little tables and cups. Most years I paint some of the items with water soluable non-toxic paint. This year I could not figure out where I put the paint. Anyway, I put beer in the little cups and little pieces of fruit on the tables. I light the incense and leave it be until Midsummer's Day. That (this) morning I go out to see how the "fairy party" went.

My son loved doing this growing up. Now he is grown and gone, but I still find it very fulfilling.


message 7: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments That's beautiful, Mawgojzeta, and so inspiring...

Here's a challenge for everyone who feels creative.

Invent your very own original and new ceremony or celebration for Summer Solstice 2012 and post it here.

I'm going to think about this while walking on the Downs this week.


message 8: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments A very tentative idea...

I'm thinking of making a circle (a Wheel of the Year) on the piece of ex-railway land at the end of the garden. There are many old bluish kerb stones I can use. I'll need to clear brambles and make a level base of sand. When it's complete I'll decide how to mark the Solstice on the perimeter and hold a small ceremony on the 21st June. I don't think the foxes will mind...


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Mawgojzeta wrote: "This is what I do each year:

First I bury something of value to me. One year it was a ring. Most years it is a coin (since I am rather frugal, so that offering means a lot to me). Then I make a..."


Very lovely! :)


message 10: by Nell (last edited May 22, 2012 01:02AM) (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Good news - English Heritage is allowing free open access to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice this year.

Read more at: Megalithic Portal.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Nell wrote: "A very tentative idea...

I'm thinking of making a circle (a Wheel of the Year) on the piece of ex-railway land at the end of the garden. There are many old bluish kerb stones I can use. I'll need ..."


I would think the foxes would appreciate it, as would all life :) Here of course we will be celebrating Winter Solstice.


message 12: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I began clearing brambles yesterday afternoon. I really don't like disturbing the little creatures one finds when gardening, and feel bad if I accidentally hurt them. I'm trying to be careful.

Someone made a garden there once, but didn't look after it, so I'm uncovering low walls and overgrown ponds. It's a bit like archaeology. I only need a smallish space though, so I won't disturb too much.

Georgina wrote: Here of course we will be celebrating Winter Solstice.

The Sun will be on its way to you. I always find Summer Solstice slightly sad - this will be a positive project to (hopefully) complete.


message 13: by [deleted user] (last edited May 21, 2012 01:36AM) (new)

Me too. I love the return of the sun. You can feel the earth quickening under your feet. :)

And the old garden sounds lovely!


message 14: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Nell wrote: "Good news - English Heritage is allowing free open to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice this year.

Read more at: Megalithic Portal."


It's been free every other year for solstice, too, hasn't it?


message 15: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Ancestral wrote: "Nell wrote: "Good news - English Heritage is allowing free open access to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice this year.

Read more at: Megalithic Portal."

It's been free every other year for solstice, too, hasn't it? "


You may well be right - I rarely watch TV and walk a solitary path, but I subscribe to Megalithic and thought I'd pass the link on.


message 16: by Elin (new)

Elin | 9 comments My family is thankfully going away for the day so i am going to spend the day completely alone, doing some meditation and reading and in the evening i am going out in the forest having a picnic and singing songs to the sun and earth (check out Lisa Thiels songs) This is my first Litha celebration so i am looking forward to it


message 17: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I hope your celebration will be a joyful one, Li. Do take care and keep safe though.


message 18: by Aileen (last edited May 26, 2012 02:25AM) (new)

Aileen This is my very first solitice that I'll be observing, never felt comfortable doing it before. So i don't really know what I'll be doing


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

It will be Winter Solstice here, and being a bit lazy, I shall celebrate it by sitting around the wood stove, with my family, perhaps eating chocolate (well, actually, that's a given), maybe warming some mead, doing lots of feel good things and celebrating the return of the sun!


message 20: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments My Summer Solstice project is advancing slowly. I've cleared a small area by the pond and covered it with ancient astro-turf that I found amongst the forgotten tools (it helps stop the green things things springing back again between diggings).

Every afternoon possible I spend about 2 hours rooting out the brambles. I keep meaning to take some photos, but having begun I've lost the lovely overgrown look of the Soon to be Wheel of the Year Area and am trying to concentrate on the vision of completion.

Made friends with a slow worm yesterday...:)


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Nell, I really want to see pictures! I wish we had more outdoor space, but we live in the city and have a pretty small backyard that the dogs need to run around in. I'm really wanting to start a hanging herb garden out there soon. I fear my thumb isn't very green though.


message 22: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Avery, I will make a real effort to take pictures next week...! It's raining at the moment, but all the plants are in need of it, and it gives me some time to read, write and paint (not all at once though.:))

I don't think thumbs need to be very green - it's just that a little extra care is needed until new plants settle in and adapt a bit.


message 23: by Adele (new)

Adele (turtil) | 19 comments Winter solstice here too. Mmmm warm blankets surrounded by my two dogs and heaps of indulgence, meditation and reflection.
Yes I know it's odd having indulgence but I see it as rewarding the body as well as the soul. :o)


message 24: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Winter solstice is about indulgence, though, isn't it?

A great feast to warm the soul in the darkest part of the year, and provide sustenance as a ward against the coldness of the hand of death which stretches its reach through cold, dark nights.


message 25: by Cat (new)

Cat (dodger_thirteen) I'll be at Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG) for the Solstice. And looking forward to it, too.


message 26: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Hollyberry | 21 comments My husband's having a bit of a spiritual crisis, seeking a deeper relationship with deity, so that's probably mainly what our ritual will be structured around. I'm making new magickal jewelry for us both to wear, as our last ritual we just wore Pagan jewelry that we wear on ordinary days and it felt wrongish. With the transit of Venus and our recent vacation (our first ever real vacation mostly alone in almost 12 years of marriage: our "belated honeymoon", which we didn't get to take back in the day) romance will be a big theme. He's considering a new profession to add to the ones he already has, so we will ask for guidance on that topic, and we are considering whether to stay forever in the town we live in or put into the plan the possibility of someday moving to the region we vacationed in last month and rather fell in love with, so that's another question to ask. He is also contemplating how to quit smoking. Hopefully we can arrange to do it in the daytime this time, as our last ritual was rudely interrupted by our upstairs neighbors (who argue very loudly and play loud music on a regular basis, neither of which we would do to them) banging on the floor for us to stop it with the jingle bells and not-very-loud child's drum, just because it was nighttime. We need to move into a house, whether here or elsewhere. >:(


message 27: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Hollyberry | 21 comments Come to think of it, the transit of Venus could also be influencing us all to feel in need of some self-indulgence. The astrological Venus can be that way, which I as a Taurus Rising know well!


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Healthy hedonism is part of my creed.

Ancestral said: "A great feast to warm the soul in the darkest part of the year, and provide sustenance as a ward against the coldness of the hand of death which stretches its reach through cold, dark nights. "

A lovely passage. It's definitely winter here now. Cold, wet and muddy, typical Tasmania at this time of year. Although we haven't had a frost yet, so that's two to three months later than usual. It starts getting dark here about 4.30 pm, and the sun doesn't lighten the sky until near 8 am. Very short days. Most of my chooks are off the lay.

To me Winter Solstice is exciting, it's a reminder that we have spring, summer and autumn days to look forward to. Swimming in the dam (not me, too muddy, not so sure about swimming with the platypus and ducks), hot weather, watching the hay grow and coping with the wily cunning of would-be broody hens.

I have remembered too that we will be going to our local lantern parade on the Solstice night. It's a hippy town (the best ones always are). Everyone shows up with assorted lanterns, everything from huge rice paper creations, to carved out capsicums with little candles nestled inside. There are kids, dogs, lanterns, lots of gumbooted people, incredibly loud talking, drums, candles (therefore fire, and the unexpected combustion of various lanterns along the way), and laughter, all in the dark of night, on muddy, village streets. Much fun!


message 29: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Whether Summer or Winter Solstice Celebrations, they all sound life-affirming - it's lovely to read all the replies.

I'm wondering though (as we're scattered north and south), if we should change the thread title to Summer/Winter Solstice plans - any thoughts?


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I'd like that. :)


message 31: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments All done - that feels better. :)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

It does :)


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

This will be my first Summer Solstice for me and my partner to celebrate. We'll be having a lovely meal with fresh fruits and veggies and will also be making charms for our pets. :) I kind of want to make dream pillows, too, but I'm not sure what herbs I'm going to use yet.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

That sounds lovely, Avery! Keep us posted on the dream pillows and the herbs you end up using too. :)


message 35: by Nell (last edited Jun 07, 2012 01:53AM) (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is good for dream pillows - I looked for a good photo for you but perhaps it's better to find a field guide as I can't say that any of them gives a clear identification.

It has leaves similar to the chrysanthemum which are silvery on the reverse, and the pale greenish flowers are bud-like and form a spear-like shape at the top of the stem before they open slightly and take on a pinkish hue.

This is the best image I've found:

Mugwort

A leaf is nicely aromatic when crushed between the fingers.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

It's part of the Artemisia species, along with wormwood, tarragon and southernwort etc. It's also burnt in moxa boxes. A very strong smell when burnt, close to marijuana. Would some rosemary be good too? For remembering the dreams upon waking? I wouldn't use to much though. What do you think, Nell?


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

All the information I'm finding on mugwort says that it doesn't grow where I live (Oklahoma), so if I use it for the dream pillows I'll have to buy it. Thanks for the info on it though!

Do you think a dried version of it would be effective?


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

They use the dried version in the moxa boxes and moxa sticks, so I'd say definitely. It's a perennial, grows like a weed in many places. What are your climate conditions like there? I've had it grow (very well) in Australia, in places where we had hot summers and cold winters.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Georgina wrote: "They use the dried version in the moxa boxes and moxa sticks, so I'd say definitely. It's a perennial, grows like a weed in many places. What are your climate conditions like there? I've had it gro..."

Yeah, based on the places it looks like it can grow in the US, it shouldn't have a problem here. We get very hot summers (up to as high as 110 F) and cold enough winters to have moments of snow and ice but rarely snowfall that lasts weeks on end. I guess it was just never "officially" introduced here, though with the wind like it is in this state I wouldn't be surprised if we had a few travelers drop in. I might do some searching just to see if I get lucky. :) But in case that doesn't work, it's good to know the dried version will work just as well, because I know I can find that.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Hopefully you'll be able to locate some growing nearby. It gets bushy when big, like wormwood, in fact it looks a lot like wormwood. It dries well too, unlike some other herbs. I've always grown lots of herbs, but I haven't started here yet. We have all the culinary ones, but I need to start planting the medicinal ones too. A good herb garden reassures me, like a well stocked cupboard.

Good luck, tell us how you go. Oh and you can probably source dried mugwort from acupuncture and Chinese medicine supply shops:)


message 41: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Avery wrote: "All the information I'm finding on mugwort says that it doesn't grow where I live (Oklahoma), so if I use it for the dream pillows I'll have to buy it. Thanks for the info on it though! "

Susan Weed writes about the Artemesias (including mugwort) Here.

It was mostly used as a vermifuge and a strewing herb to guard against fleas, but here's some advice from the Funeral Song of a Scottish Mermaid.

"If they would eat nettles in March, and Mugwort in May, so many fine maidens would not go to the clay."

Kitchen Witch writes about mugwort way down the page on her blog Here.

I'd be inclined to use it alone for your dream pillow, but... rosemary for remembrance - now that's an idea...


message 42: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 08, 2012 12:53AM) (new)

Apparently the leaves were also used to flavour and preserve ale before they introduced hops. The flowering tops were a traditional ingredient of goose stuffing. But I'm not so sure about ingesting it! Burnt in a moxa box, mugwort is great for menstrual pain (I've had it used in this way myself). Of course wormwood, its relative, is used in absinthe, which I have never tasted, but am curious about. It must be very bitter!


message 43: by Nell (last edited Jun 08, 2012 01:32AM) (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I sometimes nibble the very young leaves from the top of the plant while walking the terrier - it's very common around these parts. You can chew it for ages and a little is good in wild salads too. I've never had any odd effects, but then I only eat a leaf or two. :)

Wormwood is probably not a good idea...

Here's the Magician from my Wild Green Chagallian Tarot with his magical mugwort...

Wild Green Magician, Magician from mthe Wild Green Chagallian tarot


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Lovely! Yes, my herb books say it can be eaten in moderation. It counters fatty food too, must work a little like swedish bitters. I'm a bit careful about what I ingest. A few not so good experiences, when young and silly.

It doesn't grow wild here, unfortunately. Not many herbs do, but I've found goosegrass, thistles and dock of course. Oh and belladonna and hemlock, not that I'm messing with those. I really do have to get my herb garden established. Wallaby proof fencing is a must. My husband grows the culinary herbs to sell, and he has planted chamomile root for local homeopaths.


message 45: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I've uploaded some photos of progress with my Wheel of the Year - I hope it'll be ready for the Solstice, but I'm behind as we've had so much rain and I'm having trouble finding stones the right size - I don't want to buy any, as there are already dozens hidden in the brambles.

Newly cleared plot

Beginnings


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Lovely! :)


message 47: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments :) And even if I don't finish the actual Wheel itself by the Solstice, the circle will serve until completion.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

For this year i am planning a small feast BBQ style in my tiny apartment balcony, we already have the mead! Also Doing some summer decorating, wild flowers and suns.


message 49: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments It sounds wonderful, Carla. :)


message 50: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I decided to fill the middle of the circle for my Wheel of the Year with blue slate chippings, and went to the garden centre this morning. Staggered up the garden with four large bags (one at a time...!), but I'm going to need four more.

Hopefully tomorrow...


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