The Sabbats

20,,21, and 22 June – Midsummer Eve/Summer Solstice

20,,21, and 22 June

Midsummer Eve/Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice is celebrated between June 20 and June 22-the longest day and shortest night of the year. The festival of Midsummer venerates the potential of the life-sustaining powers of fire and water, forces that were vital to our ancestors’ survival. It was believed that fire would help keep the sun alive and that the blessing of waterwells would continue their flow to nurture the parched earth. Without sun and water, there would be no crops and all would perish.

One of the most popular customs that grew out of the early fertility rites was that of jumping or leaping over Midsummer bonfires. The idea being, the higher one jumped, the higher the crops would grow.

Another symbol that was popularized at this time was the wheel. The turning of the wheel represented the turning or progression of the seasons. Wheels were decorated with brightly colored ribbons and fresh flowers. Lighted candles were placed on them, and then they were set afloat on the lakes and rivers.

Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Night are genuinely thought to be particularly uncanny times. It was reasoned that certain plants were endowed with magickal properties on this night, that, if gathered before sunrise, could be used for protection against all evil spirits and forces.

With the sun at its zenith, Midsummer was, and still is, a time for marriages, family celebrations, and coming-of-age parties.

Symbolically, Midsummer is the time to nurture those goals you made at the beginning of the year as you reflect on the progress you have made toward bringing them into fruition. (See Appendix A for a Midsummer Ritual.)

Magickal Activities

Floating Candles

Midsummer is a celebration of light and life, symbolized by the flame of a candle and the movement of water. A large glass bowl filled with an assortment of floating candles makes a wonderful point of focus for ritual. Choose bright yellow sunflowers, white lilies, and red tulip-shaped candles. Have each person participating in the ritual inscribe his or her desire, with a pin, on a candle. Have each person come forward, place his or her candle in the bowl and light it as he makes his wish. Following the ritual, the bowl is placed outdoors and the candles are left to burn out.

The Sun Wheel

One of the most popular symbols of Midsummer is the Sun Wheel, the turning of which suggests the turning, or progression, of the seasons. The Wheel is decorated with flowers, fresh herbs, and brightly colored ribbons.

The simplest method for making a Sun Wheel is to buy an already-prepared natural-branch wreath from an arts and crafts store. Affix small branches of rowan to form the spokes of the wheel (four spokes to represent the elements and cross-quarter days or eight to symbolize the eight Wiccan Sabbats). Use floral wire to attach fresh flowers and herbs to the wreath. Embellish with brightly colored ribbons. The wheel can be used as the focal point for your Midsummer rites or hung on the front door of your home for decoration.

Reference:

Celebrating Wiccan Spirituality: Spells, Sacred Rites, and Folklore for Each Day of the Year Lady Sabrina

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Midsummer

Midsummer

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. The Sun King has now reached the highest point in his journey through the heavens. Witches generally celebrate Midsummer around June 21, when the sun enters 0 degrees of the zodiac sign Cancer. This is a time of abundance, when the earth puts forth her bounty.

The Holiday’s Significance

In early agrarian cultures, Midsummer marked a period of plenty when food was abundant and

life was easy. Our ancestors celebrated this joyful holiday with feasting and revelry. At this point, however, the sun has reached its pinnacle and begins its descent once again. Celtic pagan mythology depicts this as the end of the Oak King’s reign as he is overthrown by the Holly King, who presides over the waning part of the year.

Folklore says that at Midsummer earth spirits abound—Shakespeare’s delightful play A Midsummer Night’s Dream was inspired by this belief. Apparently, life on every level rejoices in the fullness of the season. If you wish, you can commune with the elementals and faeries at this time.

Ways to Celebrate

Just as they’ve done for centuries, witches today celebrate the Summer Solstice with feasting, music, dancing, and thanksgiving. Remember to share your bounty with the animals and birds, too, and to return something to Mother Earth as a sign of gratitude.

Midsummer is also a good time to collect herbs, flowers, and other plants to use in magick spells. Some say that if you wish to become invisible, you must wear an amulet that includes seeds from forest ferns gathered on Midsummer’s eve. Spells for success and abundance are best done on the Summer Solstice.

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The Witches Correspondences for Summer Solstice/ Midsummer

litha19

 

The Witches Correspondences for Friday, June 21st

 

Correspondences for Litha

Purpose Rededication to the Lord and Lady, beginning of the harvest, honoring the Sun God,honoring the pregnant Goddess

Dynamics/Meaning Crowning of the Sun God, death of the Oak King, assumption of the Holly King,end the ordeal of the Green Man

Tools, Symbols & Decorations

The sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies, red/maize/yellow or gold flower, love amulets, seashells, summer fruits & flowers, feather/flower door wreath, sun wheel, fire, circles of stone, sun dials and swords/blades, bird feathers, Witches’ ladder.

Colors Blue, green, gold, yellow and red.

Customs Bonfires, processions, all night vigil, singing, feasting, celebrating with others, cutting divining rods, dowsing rods & wands, herb gathering, handfastings, weddings, Druidic gathering of mistletoe in oak groves, need fires, leaping between two fires, mistletoe (without berries, use as a protection amulet), women walking naked through gardens to ensure continued fertility, enjoying the seasonal fruits & vegetables, honor the Mother’s fullness, richness and abundance, put garlands of St. John’s Wort placed over doors/ windows & a sprig in the car for protection.

Goddesses Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, all Goddesses of love, passion, beauty and the Sea, and Pregnant, lusty Goddesses, Green Forest Mother; Great One of the Stars, Goddess of the Wells

Gods Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, Arthur, Gods at peak power and strength.

Animals/Mythical Beings Wren, robin, horses, cattle, satyrs, faeries, firebird, dragon, thunderbird

Gemstones Lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green gemstones, especially emerald and jade

Herbs Anise, mugwort, chamomile, rose, wild rose, oak blossoms, lily, cinquefoil, lavender, fennel, elder, mistletoe, hemp, thyme, larkspur, nettle, wisteria, vervain ( verbena), St. John’s wort, heartsease, rue, fern, wormwood, pine, heather, yarrow,oak & holly trees

Incense/Oil Heliotrope, saffron, orange, frankincense & myrrh, wisteria, cinnamon, mint, rose, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, pine

Rituals/Magicks Nature spirit/fey communion, planet healing, divination, love & protection magicks. The battle between Oak King, God of the waxing year & Holly King, God of the waning year (can be a ritual play), or act out scenes from the Bard’s (an incarnation of Merlin)“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, rededication of faith, rites of inspiration.

Foods Honey, fresh vegetables, lemons, oranges, summer fruits, summer squash, pumpernickel bread, ale, carrot drinks, mead.

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What A Glorious & Blessd Summer Solstice Day The Goddess Has Given Us

Litha Comments & Graphics
We are the Weavers

We are the Web

We are the Spiders

We are the Thread

We are the Spinners

We are the Web

We are the Witches, back from the dead.

We are Alive

We celebrate Summer Solstice

Thank the Goddess, We are Alive!

Blessed be, oh Great & Power Mother!

Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate!

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Beltane (Lord & Lady Song)

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A Few Beltane Songs for Your Merriment

Beltane Comments & Graphics
Beltane Chase Song

I shall go as a wren in spring: With sorrow and sighing on silent wing
And I shall go in our Lady’s name: Aye, till I come home again

We shall follow as falcons grey: And hunt thee cruelly as our prey
And we shall go in our Master’s name: Aye, to fetch thee home again

Then I shall go as a mouse in May: In fields by night and cellars by day
And I shall go in our Lady’s name: Aye, till I come home again

But we shall follow as fat tom cats: And chase thee through the corn and vats
And we shall go in our Master’s name: Aye, to fetch thee home again

Then I shall go as an autumn hare: With sorrow and sighing and mickle care
And I shall go in our Lady’s name: Aye, till I come home again

But we shall follow as swift greyhounds: And dog thy tracks by leaps and bounds
And we shall go in our Master’s name: Aye, to fetch thee home again

Then I shall go as a winter trout: With sorrow and sighing and mickle doubt
And I shall go in our Lady’s name: Aye, till I come home again

But we shall follow as otters swift: And snare thee fast ere thou canst shift
And we shall go in our Master’s name: Aye, to fetch thee home again

Aye, and I’ll come home again

Traditional, British Isles

 

Maypole Chant

Round and round the maypole: Weaving in and out
We sow our seeds in the spring of the year: We scatter them all about
HEY!

By Gina Ellis

Spiral Dance Song

Men sing:
Turning, re-turning, transforming, our heart’s fire is (repeat)

Women sing:
Winding, binding the seeds we’ve sown, weaving the truths we’ve known
And drawing them home again (repeat)

By Pashta MaryMoon

 Song & Chant Index

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Beltane and Its Holiday’s Significance

Beltane

Witches usually celebrate Beltane on May 1, although some prefer to mark it around May 5, when the sun reaches 15 degrees of Taurus. The sabbat is named for the god Baal or Bel, sometimes called “the bright one.” In Scottish Gaelic, the word bealtainn means “fires of Belos” and refers to the bonfires pagans light on this sabbat. The joyful festival celebrates the earth’s fertility, when flowers bloom and plants begin sprouting in the fields. The Christian Church adopted this ancient holiday as May Day, and some of Beltane’s old rituals (sans the overt sexuality) are still enacted today.

The Holiday’s Significance

The second fertility holiday in the Wheel of the Year, Beltane coincides with a period of fruitfulness. To ancient and modern pagans alike, this holiday honors the earth and all of nature. In early agrarian cultures, farmers built fires on Beltane and led livestock between the flames to increase their fertility.

Sexuality is also celebrated on this sabbat—the Great Rite has traditionally been part of the holiday’s festivities. In pre-Christian days, Beltane celebrants engaged in sexual intercourse in the fields as a form of symbolic magick to encourage fertility and a bountiful harvest. Children who were conceived at this time were said to belong to the Goddess.

Ways to Celebrate

It’s best to celebrate Beltane outside in order to appreciate nature’s fullness. Because Beltane is a fertility holiday, many of its rituals contain sexual symbolism. The Maypole, around which young females dance, is an obvious phallic symbol. Witches often decorate the Maypole with flowers in recognition of the earth’s beauty and fruit fruitfulness. Sometimes a woman who seeks a partner will toss a circular garland over the top of the pole, signifying the sex act, as a way of asking the Goddess to send her a lover.

Another fertility ritual utilizes the cauldron, symbol of the womb. Women who wish to become pregnant build a small fire in the cauldron, then jump over it. If you prefer, you can leap over the cauldron to spark creativity in the mind instead of the body.

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THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

Beltane Comments & Graphics
THE MAYPOLE AT BELTANE

In the spirit of Spider woman,
Who wove the earth and the universe
We weave this Maypole of desires
Come true at Beltane.

Dance the Maypole for the
Beauty of the earth, the Goddess
And all of her people.

Weave the Maypole to make all wishes come true.

We are the flow, we are the ebb
We are the weaver, we are the web.

We are the weaver, we are the web
We are the spider, we are the thread.

We are the spider, we are the thread
We are the witches, back from the dead.

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