by Marie Davis
Sun extends into the night as fairies stretch their wings.
“O Holy God!” the fae cry out, “Rejoice the Holly King!”
And so they dance upon the earth, painted golden in his rays
Rumbling balefires reach upward to stroke the cheek of sky
Over which, ardent lovers leap while turning in their lust
While dirt and grass beneath laugh at how their toes tickle their crevices.
• • • • • • • • •
This Saturday marks a favorite holiday, and time of year, of mine: summer! The days are longer and the opportunities for day-drinking are plentiful! Even in the dregs of NYC, beneath the pungent odor of garbage and urine, one can occasionally get whiffs of, dare I say it…fresh cut grass, sunlight and water!
Summer Solstice/Litha/Midsummer is generally celebrated on this side of the globe on June 21 or 22 and it is the official start of the summer season. The term Litha comes from the Saxon folk, calling the month of June “Aerra Litha”. They celebrated this month with massive bonfires that celebrated the returning power of the sun over darkness. Modern Wiccans look upon this day as when the Sun (Holly King) is finally able to defeat the Oak King (ruler of the time between winter and summer solstice). The sun has arrived, ready to rid us of the oppressive winter, and the earth is once again fertile.
Magickally speaking, Summer Solstice is a powerful day to set intentions on the matters of: success, money and passion. Which, speaking of passion, it is also that time of year where skirts and shorts are shorter, ‘socks on a schlong’ are somehow acceptable outer wear now, and handfuls of you out there surely did the whole ‘juice-cleanse-insanity-workout-cross-fit-paleo-whatever’ thing to get your body looking HiDef/photoshopped tight. In short, people are horny! Or coupling up. Or horny and coupling up.
Another aspect of Midsummer is about lovers pledging their commitment and juicy passion to one another for another year. This was usually done outside by leaping over balefire. So, want to harness some of this awesome sun energy for yourself? Well, instead of ordering in, closing the blinds and watching all of “Orange is The New Black” on Netflix this weekend, maybe try one of these rituals below to add a burst of energy to the second half of your year!
• • • • • • • • •
Invite some loved ones over and have a barbecue outside. I’m serious! Play ultimate Frisbee, or whatever. Take time to revel in the rays outside for as long as you can. To make it a little more magick-oriented, set up a kiddie pool or have your super soakers lying around for people to play with. This represents the element of water and the direction of the ‘West’. Also, decorate your grilling area with some red and yellow flowers! The colors denote celebrating the return of the sun, and the flowers represent earth and the direction of the ‘North’. Like to hula? Hula hoops or even a paper fans represent air and the direction of the ‘East’. Lastly, with the fire in your grill representing the ‘South’, you have yourself a nice circle built complete with all the elements represented. Set a drama-free intention for your barbecue. Play, have fun with your loved ones and appreciate the fact that you made it through a winter that was straight out of that “Day After Tomorrow” movie.
Gather some dried herbs to offer nature (lavender and rosemary are pretty popular), your iPod that has a playlist fit for outside merrymaking, a mini speaker, flowers that are red and yellow (representing the sun) and candles (at least four: representing each of the cardinal directions). Then, go to a secluded outdoor area, or at least an area where you won’t be bothered or feel self- conscious; Arrange the candles in a circle that represent, and are in-line with, the four cardinal directions. Lay down your herbs and flowers as your offering to nature and dance. Or sing. Or dance and sing. Or dance sing and run around like a howler monkey. Just have a good time!
As I mentioned, Summer Solstice is a very powerful day to do magick or set an intention. Especially with those intentions that have more historically “masculine” connotations such as success, money and passion. Want more money? Need a job? Or maybe you have a job but you want a promotion/more responsibility. Did you lose sight of your passion over the winter? Maybe you forgot what you were passionate about. Now is the perfect time to reconnect with your passion and ask for the strength to develop it over the remaining year! Think about what needs more sun in your life. Pray/talk to the higher power(s) you believe in with all the passion and feeling you canmuster. Then, tell you higher power some action steps you will take to achieve your goal.
*After all, EVEN IN MAGICK, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH. Ya gots to put the work in.
Then, when you feel received by your higher power (usually marked by a feeling of peace, joy, ecstasy or all the above) go back to your dancing/singing/howler monkey merriment. Rejoice in knowing that your prayer/desire/wish/intention will be fulfilled. Then, if the cops haven’t bothered you yet, thank the earth for her protection, the elements for their participation, and your higher power for her/his guidance and love.
Let’s say you want to increase your sexual prowess, another aspect that is celebrated on this day. In the Hoodoo tradition, it is believed that dabbing some sandalwood oil on your pulse points is helpful in attracting the opposite sex. Plus, sandalwood helps relaxes you, which, in turn, can help you feel more confident and ready to strike up a convo with the hottie rocking the insane paleo body at the bar. Same sex oriented? Use lavender oil, dab it on your chakra points, set your intention, go out and rock your confidence. Or maybe you’re already in a relationship? Well, nothing says commitment like holding hands and jumping over fire, right? Follow that up with some passionate love making with the assistance of the scent of magnolia flowers and see where that takes your relationship!
• • • • • • • • •
As you ponder this article, I leave you with one last thought to consider: the word “solstice” comes from the Latin word “solstitum”, which means “Sun stands still.” Therefore, on Saturday, on this particular solstice, the sun will stand still in the sky just so it can provide us with extra hours of sunlight to enjoy. Whoa…meta, right?
Resident pen-witch, Marie Davis, is an actress, dancer, jill-of-all-trades and practicing Wiccan living in Harlem. On the average weekend, Marie enjoys a good rum-based cocktail and feeling the weight of her samurai sword in her hand. Rarely at the same time.