March/April 2015 Issue
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Midsummer: Ritual and Lore
This article was written by Scott Cunningham
posted under Pagan
|Before the rite, make up a small cloth pouch filled with herbs such as lavender, chamomile, St. John’s wort, vervain, or any of the Midsummer herbs1. Mentally pour all of your troubles, problems, pains, sorrows, and illnesses, if any, into this petition as you construct it. Tie it shut with a red string. Place this on the altar for use during the rite. The cauldron should also be there or nearby. Even if you use candles to mark the quarters, the red candle in a holder should also be on the altar. For outdoor rituals, light a fire—however small—and drop the pouch into this.
Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the circle of stones. Recite The Blessing Chant2. Invoke the Goddess and God. Stand Before the altar and say, with wand upraised:
I celebrate the noon of the summer with mystic rites.
Lay the wand on the altar. Take up the herbal petition and light it in the red candle on the altar (or, if outdoors, the ritual fire). When it is burning, drop it into the cauldron (or some other heat-proof container) and say:
O great Goddess and God,
all nature vibrates with your energies
and the earth is bathed with warmth and life.
Now is the time of forgetting past cares and banes;
now is the time for purification.
O fiery sun, burn away the unuseful, the hurtful,
the bane, in your omnipotent power.
Purify me! Purify me! Purify me!!
I banish you by the powers of the Goddess and God!
Pause, seeing the hurts and pains burning into nothingness. Then say:
I banish you by the powers of the sun, moon and stars!
I banish you by the powers of earth, air, fire, and water!
O gracious Goddess, O gracious God,
Reflect upon the purification you have undergone. Feel the powers of nature flowing through you, washing you clean with divine energy.
on this night of Midsummer magic
I pray that you charge my life with wonder and joy.
Help me in attuning with the energies adrift on the enchanted night air.
I give thanks.
Works of magic, if necessary, may follow. Celebrate The Simple Feast3. The circle is released.
Midsummer is practically the classic time to perform magics of all kinds. Healings, love magic, and protections are especially suitable. Herbs can be dried over the ritual fire if you’re celebrating outdoors. Leap the fire for purification and renewed energy.
Fresh fruits are standard fare for Midsummer.
1Midsummer: Mugwort, vervain, chamomile, rose, lily, oak, lavender, ivy, yarrow, fern, elder, wild thyme, daisy, and carnation.
2The Blessing Chant: May the powers of The One, the source of all creation; all-pervasive, omnipotent, eternal; may the Goddess, the lady of the moon; and the God, horned hunter of the sun; may the powers of the spirits of the stones, rulers of the elemental realms; may the powers of the stars above and the earth below, bless this place, and this time, and I who am with you.
3The Simple Feast: Hold up a cup of wine or some other liquid between your hands to the sky, and say: Gracious Goddess of abundance, bless this wine and infuse it with your love. In your names, Mother Goddess and Father God, I bless this wine (or brew, juice, etc.). Hold up a plate of cakes (bread, biscuits) with both hands to the sky and say: Powerful God of the harvest, bless these cakes and infuse them with your love. In your names, Mother Goddess and Father God, I bless these cakes (or this bread).
From Wicca: A Guide for Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
Scott Cunningham practiced magic actively for over twenty years. He was the author of more than fifty books covering both fiction and non-fiction subject matter; sixteen of his titles are published by Llewellyn Publications. Scott's books reflect a broad... Read more
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I've written a number of books for Llewellyn over the years—believe it or not, my upcoming release is number eight—but far and away the most popular one was my third, The Goddess Is in the Details. And I have to confess, it was my favorite too. (Shhh…don't tell the other books. They'll cry, and I'll have to give them each a... read this article
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