The Summer Solstice, Midsummer, and Fairies!

4:01 PM

Whatever your lineage, chances are your ancestors followed the progression of the sun, using it as a harbinger for when to plant, when to harvest, and when to set aside stores for the long winter ahead. Ancient stone monuments such as Stonehenge in Great Britain and The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán outside Mexico City were oriented to mark the sun’s passage on the summer solstice, also known as Litha or Midsummer.

Now Midsummer is one of the four fire festivals celebrated by earth-centric faiths and cultures around the world. On the pagan Wheel of the Year, summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere with Beltane on May 1st, and ends with Lammas on August 1st. Litha falls midway between the two, on June 21. Hence, it is called Midsummer.

Midsummer marks the longest day of the year and the shortest night. At noon on the summer solstice, the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, the imaginary line 23.5 ° south of the equator that runs through Australia, Chile, and southern Brazil. At the solstice, the sun appears to be stationary to the naked eye. Immediately following the solstice, the sun begins to wane. The harvest season begins, the days grow shorter and the nights longer, until we reach the winter solstice.

Midsummer Magic ~ Fairies

During the summer solstice, the veil between our world and the fairy realm is quite thin. Celebrate and honor the fairies by gathering bouquets for your home or fashioning flower garlands for your head. Tie together birch, lavender, marigold, rosemary, and sage to hang over your door or inside your home for protection and healing. Make a moveable paper doll fairy, and as you construct and decorate it, concentrate on a Midsummer wish. Leave an offering for the fairy folk on Midsummer’s Eve: moonstones, crystals, or anything sparkly. 

It’s a good time to read William Shakespeare.

                        First Fairy:
You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blindworms, do no wrong.
Come not near our Fairy Queen.

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 2, Scene 2, lines 9-12)

Ariella Moon surrounded by fairy orbs at St. Nectan's Glen, Cornwall, England.
Copyright 2010 by Ariella Moon.

To spot fairies, it helps to live in an area known for fairy activity. Topping my list would be the United Kingdom, especially Cornwall. Today’s fairies may be the final survivors of the old earth gods, or descendants of a race known as the Tuatha de Danaan, Some believe fairies are fallen angels. They are most easily seen at dusk, dawn, and during the solstices, which mark the change of seasons. Some are invisible to the naked eye, but appear through a camera viewfinder or in photographs. Entice fairies with shiny offerings, like moonstones, (or Midsummer stones such as Amber, tiger’s eye, and emerald) in a fairy-friendly setting where there is running water, a tree, and flowers.

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