it’s the time of the season when the love runs high
I haven’t been online much in past few months because school has been totally kicking my butt, but the spring semester is finally winding down. Classes are done until September, but over the next two weeks I have all of my course work due.
I just am trying to buckle down and finish this shit so I don’t have to think about it anymore. I have July and August open at the moment and am looking forward to some serious me time. In addition to hopefully getting all of my health issues under control (chronic pain FTL), my plans include going to hide out at my family’s cottage for at least a week, serious amounts of yoga & meditation, riding my bike all around town, mega witchery, taking lots of photos and preparing for my performance at the Toronto Burlesque Festival.
In other news, this past week I lead a Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha ritual with my not-coven (aka the autonomous withches’ collective), plus some new & special guests who were also in attendance. I was a bit nervous about leading, because the responsibility fell to me at the last minute, and I didn’t have very much time to prepare. I think it all came together pretty well, aside from nearly being ko’d after casting. (As part of my cleansing, I usually fast for the day prior to celebrating a sabbat and then we have a huge feast after ritual. However, this is the second time I’ve almost fainted after casting the circle, so I think I’m going to have start breaking that rule and eat before hand, as well as continuing to work on grounding, which an ongoing issue I’ve been working through.)
I only managed to take a few pictures of the altar while we were setting up. Some items of the altar (aside from the obvious) included: Wonderworks house blend Summer Solstice incense, my antique brass pear-shaped handbell, some gorgeous roses from our hostess’ garden, citrine and quartz crystals, a multitude of candles, statues of the Virgin Mary and a Crone, fancy ribbons and golden material for sachets, a number of seasonally appropriate herbs and plants (not all are in the photos) such as mugwort, chamomile, rosemary, St. John’s wort, lavender and vervain.
Ideally we would have done the rite in the afternoon of solstice proper, when the sun was as its peak, but since we all have various work and school commitments, we celebrated the Midsummer’s eve. The main work of the ritual included three sections, for the first two were inside and then we moved outside to the backyard. (When we cast the circle, we visualized including the entire property. I am of the opinion this is totally acceptable, as I do this all the time but some people may disagree with me.)
First, we made some herbal sachets to put under our pillows for prophetic Midsummer’s eve dreams, then I lead a guided meditation on the changing seasons. Next, we moved outside had a lovely bonfire and did some candle magic, based on the guidance received in the meditations. We all lit our candles off the fire and were able to set them up strategically on patio stones just outside of the fire pit, so we could watch them burn and observe the shapes of the wax as it pooled. I’m not sure that form of divination has a formal name, but I’m certainly a fan.
In the future, I think I’d scale the ritual back and make it more focused, because it ended up being a bit too long and after opening the circle again, socializing/feasting, watching our candles burn all the way down, clean up and trekking across town in a cab, I didn’t get home until almost 3am. But we ate lots of delicious foods, drank lots of wine and a good time was had by all!