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Author Topic: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?  (Read 2933 times)

MadZealot

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2013, 06:26:15 pm »
Quote from: Jack;112971
Nothing much on the day of, since I have to work, but we're spending the weekend at a fiber festival that's mostly outside.

We're doing it for the yarn, mind you, not the holiday, but the fact that they line up is a nice bonus.


Yeah there's a lavender festival in my area this weekend.  There'll be a great fiddler/dance band on Sun, so we'll probably go.  
Not very Solstice-y but June has so far been very nice to us in this part of the desert, so it'll be a nice outdoor time.
Superman is uncircumcised. Change my mind.

ALiteraryLady

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2013, 08:33:02 pm »
Quote from: SweetVanity;112781
Litha/Midsummer is coming up at the end of this week.  Last year was my first year acknowledging and working within the WOTY, so once again, this is a new one for me.  

What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?

TIA!

 
I tend to do a small ritual, and then I strive to spend the day outdoors. I usually take a nice long walk outside, or I'll go for a nice long swim in a pool. I also thank my plants for dealing with the silly weather in my neck of the woods and then make a small offering to them to encourage growth and prosperity. I also make an offering to any land wights living in my potted plants on my balcony with honey.

yewberry

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2013, 07:49:23 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;112962
Aawwwwwwesome!


Oh, it will be.  ;)
 
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Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2013, 08:42:26 pm »
Quote from: SweetVanity;112781
Litha/Midsummer is coming up at the end of this week.  Last year was my first year acknowledging and working within the WOTY, so once again, this is a new one for me.  

What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?

TIA!

I try to get up for the sunrise, which is challenging in the UK where the summer solstice sunrise is something like 4.30am. I'll do a ritual honouring Manannan mac Lir soon after, possibly on the 21st if that seems to 'fit' the seasonal signs well.
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SatAset

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2013, 09:18:11 pm »
Quote from: SweetVanity;112781
Litha/Midsummer is coming up at the end of this week.  Last year was my first year acknowledging and working within the WOTY, so once again, this is a new one for me.  

What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?

TIA!


I'll give offerings to Sekhmet-Mut and Aset and other solar deities I honor.

I'll also give offerings to Frigga since it is Midsummer.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Jack

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2013, 10:01:28 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;112972
Yeah there's a lavender festival in my area this weekend.  There'll be a great fiddler/dance band on Sun, so we'll probably go.  
Not very Solstice-y but June has so far been very nice to us in this part of the desert, so it'll be a nice outdoor time.

 
Oooh, that sounds fun.

Yeah, when I lived in AZ, Solstice was basically WE LOVE YOU SUNNA BUT PLEASE DON'T KILL US and then we went back in where there was air conditioning.
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly." -Madeleine L'Engle

ALiteraryLady

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2013, 11:12:39 pm »
Quote from: Jack;113057
Oooh, that sounds fun.

Yeah, when I lived in AZ, Solstice was basically WE LOVE YOU SUNNA BUT PLEASE DON'T KILL US and then we went back in where there was air conditioning.

 
lol, I love it! I can see how that would be a situation where you'd have to use sunscreen lotion as a second skin.

MadZealot

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2013, 11:17:37 pm »
Quote from: ALiteraryLady;113070
lol, I love it! I can see how that would be a situation where you'd have to use sunscreen lotion as a second skin.


Yes.  It's pretty much a requirement.
Superman is uncircumcised. Change my mind.

CalamityJane

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2013, 05:29:38 am »
Quote from: SweetVanity;112781
Litha/Midsummer is coming up at the end of this week.  Last year was my first year acknowledging and working within the WOTY, so once again, this is a new one for me.  

What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?

TIA!

 
Well this year I'm not doing much on the actual date. It's a work day and there's isn't  an abundance of midsummer celebrations around here. However, this year my hubby remenbered the date and actually asked me if I wanted to do something special for the day (this is unheard of, folks!) so I will have some kind of celebration even if it is during the weekend. On Saturday there is a midsummer day themed party in a town nearby and on Sunday night it's "Saint John's Day" (part of our Popular Saints celebrations that happen throughout the month of June as a kind of Christian adapted midsummer fest). So maybe I'll do those. And on the proper day I'll just try and watch the dawn, since I do have to get up before sunrise anyways.

CoraFrost

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2013, 07:00:55 am »
Quote from: fearanya;112967
I usually see the dawn, go walking somewhere, get out into some trees.

This year however it'll be my first solstice dawn at Stonehenge! It's one of the only times they allow open access up to the stones themselves and I'll also be walking a bit of the downs, following ancient routes between the barrows, nearby Durrington Walls, the Avenue and woodhenge.

Very excited! It'll be a long couple of days and a real treat.

Not sure what I'll do exactly while up at the henge itself - probably a mixture of being and experiencing. I'm expecting more a bustling festival atmosphere than a spiritual one at the henge - which obviously also includes lots of groups and individuals observing the solstice in their own ways, such as the Druid ceremony - so I'm also going to pop to Avebury stone circle at some point over the few days I'm in the area for some dedicated time.

 
That sounds absolutely incredible!!!
I\'m a white witch... but only between Memorial and Labor Day. ;)

Nyktelios

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2013, 02:47:00 pm »
Quote from: SweetVanity;112781
What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?

 
It changes year by year, depending on what kind of mood I'm in. This year, I went outside at noon and offered incense and prayers to the solar god I follow.

I found it a bit strange when some recons (Hellenic, Roman, and Celtic) I have on Facebook were posting statuses and pictures about their Midsummer celebrations. I know Hellenic festivals go by a lunar calendar, and while there are celebrations associated with seasons, solar holidays themselves aren't really celebrated, and I think the other cultures I mentioned were similar that way. In my understanding, the four greater sabbats in Wicca (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain) are the Celtic holidays, not the solstices and equinoxes.

I don't really have a problem with people incorporating modern pagan holidays into their reconstruction, I just don't like hypocrisy. A lot of these people like to make a fuss about separating themselves from neo-paganism, and how nothing they do has anything in common with Wicca, yet they don't seem very traditional in this respect.

Phouka

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2013, 06:53:30 pm »
Quote from: SweetVanity;112781
Litha/Midsummer is coming up at the end of this week.  Last year was my first year acknowledging and working within the WOTY, so once again, this is a new one for me.  

What special (big or little) rituals or ceremonies do you do to acknowledge the day?

TIA!


I celebrated with friends last Saturday evening. During the day I worked in my herb garden and then played with the dogs.

Leanan Sidhe

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2013, 08:37:22 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;113332
I
I found it a bit strange when some recons (Hellenic, Roman, and Celtic) I have on Facebook were posting statuses and pictures about their Midsummer celebrations. I know Hellenic festivals go by a lunar calendar, and while there are celebrations associated with seasons, solar holidays themselves aren't really celebrated, and I think the other cultures I mentioned were similar that way. In my understanding, the four greater sabbats in Wicca (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain) are the Celtic holidays, not the solstices and equinoxes.

I don't really have a problem with people incorporating modern pagan holidays into their reconstruction, I just don't like hypocrisy. A lot of these people like to make a fuss about separating themselves from neo-paganism, and how nothing they do has anything in common with Wicca, yet they don't seem very traditional in this respect.

 
I'm just speaking for myself here: I celebrate all eight. I do recon, but it's not all I do. I say that on here frequently. Something else I say frequently, especially when I'm talking to people who are new to paganism, is that I'm a witch -- but not Wiccan.

My main reason for saying these things is 1. To be as complete, clear, and honest in my presentation of myself and my path as possible. 2. To avoid (justifiably) pissing people off.

If I were to say I do recon, it wouldn't necessarily be inappropriate for someone to assume I mean I just do recon. Which would then probably upset the people whose paths are purely recon. If I say I'm a witch to someone who is new to paganism, or who isn't pagan -- they usually assume that's synonymous with Wiccan and don't realize that there can be a distinction. Which would really upset those who are part of a Wiccan Trad because they have years of instruction, study, ritual, and initiations in a specific Trad that I don't -- and I make it a point not to claim that I do.

So even though I get tired of typing the same thing over and over, and even though people probably get bored of reading it, I do try to specify about those two things. Yet even then, there are times when I don't think it's relevant to the conversation, when I think it's obvious from the context of my post, or when I know everyone involved in the conversation thus far has been on these boards and pagan for a long, long, time and hence, doesn't need a primer on the potential differences between witchcraft and Wicca.

So part of what you may be running into is people who aren't just recon, but who don't necessarily feel the need to say so in every post. You also might be getting into people who are polytheists from those cultures, but not actual recons.

I'm not a big fan of hypocrisy either, but paganism is a broad area with an awful lot of gray in it. Sometimes, how someone defines their path may not make much sense to anyone looking from the outside in, but it makes perfect sense to the individual walking it.

I've know Celtic recons who celebrate the solstices and equinoxes and I've known people who don't. If you look at most of the truly recon websites, as opposed to the eclectic, revival Druidry, and fluffy sites, they say that it is the Quarter Days that are celebrated.

Some of the reasons I, personally celebrate all eight are:

  • I, personally, believe that structures such as Newgrange and Stonehenge were laid out the way they were to coincide with the solstices.
  • All four, and especially spring equinox and summer solstice are big deals in my birth family and I like carrying that on.
  • From a Celtic recon standpoint, I should celebrate the Cross-Quarters. In the Druid Order  I joined(revival, not recon), I should celebrate the equinoxes and solstices.
  • I like having the year broken up that way. It works for me, and it works for honoring my deities. If I celebrated less of them, I wouldn't pay as much attention to the shifting seasons...and I'd have less days off.
  • I was fortunate to grow up in a spiritually diverse household that was also tolerant of other paths. So while I truly became a witch and started defining my path in my (early) teens (which I did later vary from), I was exposed to and allowed to explore paganism fully. That's probably why I became pagan so early -- and I didn't have to convert in secrecy or wait until I was an adult. While that was awesome, and I got to avoid the Silver Ravenwolf craze, I did read Gardner, Cunningham, the Farrars and Crowley in my still fairly formative years.


When internet became more of a thing, I did do research but there was nothing online about paganism to the extent that we have today. and certainly nothing a messed up, socially awkward teenager sharing a computer with two other people could find easily. This was also in the days of dial-up and less than helpful search engines. I realize, "I grew up with it" isn't always a good reason for something, especially not when it's the only reason. But it's one of my reasons, as are many others -- and I don't see it as doing harm.
[/LIST]

In closing, I do agree with you that many recon people say that they have nothing to do with neo-paganism or Wicca. And a lot of Wiccan Trads say they have nothing to do with neo-paganism. Generally, I find these things aren't said with any malice (especially on TC), but sometimes I do get a bit of a "holier than thou" feel. It's far rarer in paganism than some other religions, but monotheistic religions don't have the patent on a "we're better than you" attitude.  I'd like to see consistent live and let live attitudes across pantheons and religions -- which was spoken like a true eclectic, which is what I am.
"Modesty is an illusion" -- de Sade
"The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation." -- Herman Hesse

ALiteraryLady

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Re: Litha / Midsummers - How to do you honor/celebrate the day?
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2013, 09:13:56 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;113332



I don't really have a problem with people incorporating modern pagan holidays into their reconstruction, I just don't like hypocrisy. A lot of these people like to make a fuss about separating themselves from neo-paganism, and how nothing they do has anything in common with Wicca, yet they don't seem very traditional in this respect.

 
As someone looking into a more recon path (but not an exclusively recon path), I'd make a case that some holy days to hit on solstices and equinoxes, so I'd find myself celebrating them anyways. I do think that celebrating the big changes in the season is important, like I did celebrate Yule and manage to make my celebrations last for 12 days because if just felt like the right thing to do that time around. I'm not going to go into a tirade about how I'm nothing like a Neo-pagan, I can calmly make reasons for it and present a case without getting super emotional about it. Am I completely Recon or do I plan on being, honestly I don't know, but I do know that I get the feeling that the Norse gods are not so stringent to modern times and thought.

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