So I've been dreading writing this blog because I know it'll turn into this huge debate like the one about Eostre. However, sometimes being the bearer of bad news is a necessity.
What is Midsummer?
This is the Summer Solstice neo-pagan and old Celtic celebration for the longest day of the year. Depending on your location it can take place anytime from June 20th up to the more traditional Norse and Upper Northern Germanic Religions July 14th. Today, using the Gregorian calendar, we centered the date on June 21-22. I think this is perfect because of the power number that 22 is. Scientifically speaking, this day changes from year up year simply because 1) the year is never just 365 days and 2) the seasons shift due to current climates and changes. In the more northern counties there is rarely any nighttime during this day. In the Southern hemisphere, this is time to celebrate Yule, the darkest day of the year.
How to Celebrate:
You would celebrate it the same way you would Litha; bonfires, fairy cakes, fertility and love spells. However, and this is where it gets disappointing, the Germanic Pagans DID NOT celebrate this holiday. In fact, they were often day too busy harvesting, planting, raiding, and hunting to have a real holiday. There's actually only three Blots recorded. What they did do was hold a very important meeting called the Allthing. It would last a good portion of the night and was very solemn. If they did hold a celebration, it was short and done after. Most likely by themselves at their homes, also. This is largely speculation because there isn't any evidence of a holy presence during this time. Now Freyja and Frey are said to work together to create the budding fruit from flowers and trees. However, at this time, we also usually honor the death of Baldr. In the story, Loki murdered Baldr with mistletoe, the only living thing that Freyja never made a pact with to keep them from killing get son. This is likely a reason why there wasn't a celebration. It was a funeral. Baldr was the most beautiful and most loved God by how Pantheon. He just simply couldn't do wrong and Loki used his blind brother to kill him.
Do I think it's wrong to celebrate now? No!
In fact, I would encourage it. Religion evolves. It's a living, breathing thing because of human faith. We proof of this as the religion moves from Proto-Germanic to Anglo-Saxon and then to Norse. In today's society we have a lot more time on our hands to give to the Gods. The Germanic Paganism is extremely Sun worship centered so making this an important time is proper and I support this movement to make it a holiday. Today, you'll see bonfires and flower picking as well. There's also one some who place a stuffed witch and burn it in honor of those who died before us. More and more, people are against this, though, and see it more as a undermining of the thousands of innocent lives lost.
I, personally, decorate my house in yellow and white flowers. I pull out my white and gold decor. I try to get my kids outside more and more in the mornings and really push my own Freyja worship at this time. I also try to draw from my ancestors and I do my best to work at this time, but instead my giving back to my community, planting, cleaning, and trying to keep my neighborhood kept up. We keep water in the car to hand out to the homeless when we come across them, simple things that give back and give thanks.
Ocean deities are also invoked at this time and likely we're back then because they would be raiding at this time. There was also a May Pole in some areas of Europe, but this rain is likely because if the difference of time in the ground thawing and growing grass.
© 2016, Copyright The Dame and The Devil Business Blog - Writer The Dame - Photo by Dani Ramos on Unsplash