Litha, or the Summer Solstice, is not the beginning of the summer as it
seems to be from our modern-day nature-negating calendars, but is the peak
of summer, Midsummer, the longest day of the year. This day marks the time
when the Sun's rule over us ends and the days begin to shorten. It's a
classic time for magical acts. Traditional activities for Midsummer
include leaping a bonfire for purification and renewed energy, and
gathering certain herbs to keep under your pillow that night so you dream
of the one you'll marry.
   The Covenant of the Goddess says:
 On this day, the noon of the year and the longest day, light and life
   are abundant. We focus outward, experiencing the joys of plenty,
   tasting the first fruits of the season. In some traditions the sacred
   marriage of the Goddess and God is celebrated (in others, this is
   attributed to the springtime holidays). Rhea, the Mountain Mother of
   Crete, has breathed out all creation. It is also the festival of the
   Chinese Goddess of Light, Li."

Midsummer Mead
Summer Solstice Bread
United States
MIDSUMMER MEAD Ingredients: Symbolism: 1 gal. water 12 oz. fruit juice (strawberry or pineapple) 2 tsp. cinnamon [Cinnamon is associated with fire and the Sun, making it a perfect herb to celebrate the peak of summer. It, along with many other ingredients in this 2 1/2 lbs. honey wine, is associated with love and success. It has been used in the Orient (and anyone who can get more specific is welcome to email us) to purify temples and focus one's concentration.] 1 sprig saffron 2 tsp. powdered ginger [Ginger is another fire herb, connected with power, love, and health. It eases nausea and indigestion, and helps heal fevers and colds.] 5 whole cloves [Cloves, also associated with the fire element, are considered to dispel and protect from negativity, probably because of their powerful scent.] 2 capfuls of rosewater [Roses are associated with love and romance... not to mention being high in vitamin C!] 1/2 cake yeast Bring water to a slow boil with cinnamon, saffron, ginger, cloves, and rosewater. Add honey until dissolved, then add fruit juice. Cover and boil for 15 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add. Cover with a towel for 2 days before straining and bottling. You may need to air mixture periodically. To eliminate the need for airing, a fermentation lock may be purchased from a home-brewing supply store.
SOLSTICE HERB BREAD Ingredients: Symbolism: 3 C. flour 1 tsp. salt [Salt is a purifier, absorbing bad vibes. It's also known to raise your bld. pressure and possibly contribute to cancer in overdoses, however, and it is included in almost every food item you 1 Tbs. sugar buy in the supermarket and restaurants, so you might want to stir the salt into water and paint doorways with it for protection instead - it won't hurt the recipe.] 1 pkg. dry active yeast [_The Urban Pagan_ suggests that "yeast... becomes an activating ingredient to help the magical power rise!"(92.)] 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives [Chives are a member of the onion family and look like spring onions and have puffball lavender blooms. If anyone can find any symbolism here....] 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary [Rosemary is associated with the Sun and the fire element, both making it a good herb for the longest day of the year. It was supposed to improve memory and sleep, purify things, and keep one youthful. 1 1/4 C. hot water Patricia Telesco in _The Urban Pagan_ says, "The Romans considered this an herb which would bring peace after death and 2 Tbs. Crisco joy during life, therefore it appeared in almost every ceremony in between!" (page 158.) It can be a mild stimulant.] 1 tsp. fresh thyme [Thyme was believed by the Greeks to have been born from the tears of Helen, and was used for embalming by the Egyptians. It is associated with sleep, courage, psychic energy, and healing, and helps with colds, exaustion, infections, and indigestion.] Mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add herbs, water, and Crisco. Beat slowly, stirring in remaining cup of flour until smooth. Scrape batter from sides of bowl and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes or until it doubles in bulk. Punch down and beat with a spoon for about 15 seconds. Place dough in a greased loaf pan, patting down and forming a loaf shape with your hands. Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes or until it again doubles in bulk. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Brush top with butter or margarine and remove from pan to cool. Both recipes are from Laurie Cabot's Celebrating the Earth; symbolism collated by FIRE.
6/16-22 Pagan Spirit Solstice, Goddess Cave PSG 1997, Circle Gathering ritual, Rites of passage, P.O. Box 219 SW Wisconsin camping, music, drumming, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572 etc. (608) 924-2216 Mid June Witchcamp Focused workshops, rituals Diana's Grove Missouri etc. with Reclaiming (573) 689-2400 6/20-22 Solstice Retreat Nicki Scully teaches Nicki Eugene Oregon Mystery School, etc. (800) 937-2991 6/20-22 Unity with a Beat Learn skills facilitating Mark Seaman Reading PA drum circles in clinical Earth Rhythms & community setting (610) 374-3730 6/25-29 Pagan Kith & Kin Multi generational camping The Earth Conclave SW Wisconsin celebrating cultural P.O. Box 14377 diversity, traditions,etc. Madison, WI 53714 6/25-29 Lumens Gate Workshops, rituals, music White Dove Artemis, PA camping, and in depth (304) 252-1094 magick & transformation End June Sappho Witchcamp for lesbians Bridgid early July B.C. Canada Pat (604) 253-7189 (604) 255-5409 7/3-6 Drum & Splash Drumming, bonfires White Dove $35 Artemis, PA camping, and swimming (304) 252-1094 $45 @ gate workshops, ceremony 7/10-13 Sacred Space Workshops, ceremonies, Sacred Space Conf. $45 ($55 @ Days Hotel, rebirth & renewal theme 5400 Eisenhower Ave. aft.4/30 Timonium, MD Alexandria, VA 22304 $60 aft6/15 Rooms $65/night email: 7/10-13 Shamanism Church of Earth Healing White Dove Artemis, PA teaches Shamanism (304) 252-1094 7/11-13 Nowicki Workshop Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki Foxwood Temple Laurel, MD Workshop (301) 725-8439 7/15-20 Mexico Contact Circurlo Dorado 011-523-628-3408 2nd week Witchcamp Focused workshops, rituals Kim Jack July California etc. with Reclaiming (415) 923-1458 7/17-22 Alchemical Healing Nicki Scully teaches Nicki Eugene Oregon at Gathering (800) 937-2991 7/20-27 Witchcamp Focused ritual, workshops B.C. Witchcamp News British Columbia and magical training with P.O. Box 21510 Canada Reclaiming Collective Vancouver, BC V5N 4A0 Call Pat Hogan at: (604) 253-7189 7/22-27 STARWOOD Rituals, workshops, music ACE Sherman, NY bonfire drumming and dance 1643 Lee Rd. #9 (800) 446-4962 Cleveland Hts, OH 44118 7/25-27 Omega 20th Workshops, partying, Omega Institute Anniversary special guests, etc 260 lake Drive Rhinebeck, NY Rhinebeck,NY 12572 8/6-9 Cauduseus In depth focus on White Dove $35 Artemis, PA alternative healing 108 Alabama Ave. $45 @ gate (304) 252-1094 Beckley, WV 25801
International Events
6/20-22 R.J. & J.Stewart Living World of Faery Contact to be London, Ontario announced Canada End June Sappho Witchcamp for lesbians Bridgid early July B.C. Canada Pat (604) 253-7189 (604) 255-5409 7/20-27 Witchcamp Focused ritual, workshops B.C. Witchcamp News British Columbia and magical training with P.O. Box 21510 Canada Reclaiming Collective Vancouver, BC V5N 4A0 Call Pat Hogan at: (604) 253-7189 Ongoing Pagan Rituals OBJ, a Pan European Baelder and celebrations fraternity of knowledge 60 Elmhurst Rd., England, etc. HWTP:// Reading, Berkshire, aceing/Baelder_+_Hoblink RG1-5HY England

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