Midsummer


For some reason, I got the date wrong this year. I was half-way through the day itself when someone at work said it was Midsummer. So I celebrated on the 21st, as it would have been difficult to move the celebration.

I cast the circle and took a bottle of elderflower cordial with me. This time my husband had chosen to participate. He’s not pagan, but will participate if he’s around and since he takes the celebrations seriously, I’m happy to have him there.

First we celebrated the fact that it was summer, although we’ve seen precious little of it in Britain. Then we gave the cordial back to the land to reaffirm the connection between land and people. This would be better done on Lughnasadh, when the harvest is, or the Autumn Equinox when the nuts and berries are ripe, but this is the only time I make something which is from produce directly from the land and not from a supermarket. The produce of a supermarket could be from anywhere in the world, which would invalidate this part of the ritual.

Normally I celebrate under a weeping willow near my house, but we celebrated in the back garden because that’s where the elder tree is from which I took the elderflowers. I also added water from the water butt instead of using tap water.

I poured some of the cordial out, then my husband poured some out and then we both poured some of it out.

It’s also Aine’s day, so I lit a lighter (which substituted for a torch, as a torch of straw used to be lit for her) to honour her day. I thanked her for a year of love and happiness together with my husband and asked for another year. I also asked for health for us both, which is traditional, but I got this part of the ritual wrong as we were both ill the next weekend.

Advertisements

Elderflower Cordial


Last weekend I made elderflower cordial. It’s a lovely drink, which is made with elderflowers, lemons, sugar and tartaric acid; all fermented in a bucket for twenty four hours and then bottled. It’s like drinking liquid sunshine.

The cordial will be used for my midsummer ritual. While you can use shop-bought drinks in a ritual, they have additives and preservatives in them that are possibly not a natural ingredient and it’s best that the drink be a natural one.

In this cordial I used elderflowers gathered from my garden, which is important as then the cordial is made from produce of the land I am on, instead of from another part of Britain or whichever country happens to manufacture it.

Celtic Reconstructionism


For a few years I’ve been looking at Celtic Reconstructionism and at one time identified as one.

Reconstructionism is taking your practice back to what would have been practiced in the Iron Age and is feasible to practice now. If I lived in an Irish long house with the cows and the hens in the house with me today, Social Services would be down on me like a ton of bricks, and quite rightly so.

I’ve found that I can’t confine myself to one period of time. Things change. Other people have ideas which work better but Recons can’t use because they don’t belong to the time period. For example, I use a charm bracelet to carry any spells I need daily. That is an Egyptian practice, but it works well.

The trouble I am having is that I need to keep an eye on my practice to ensure it remains Irish and I do not take so many other things in that it becomes a hotch-potch of practices from around the world.

If I was Eclectic, it wouldn’t matter. However, I am following Irish deities, so I try and keep my path as Irish as possible.

Holiday


We went to Cornwall for a few days. My husband was ill during that time, so all we got to see was The Lost Gardens of Heligan. These gardens are a delight to see, as there are so many different types of garden in a few small acres. We didn’t get to see them all, as my husband didn’t want to walk uphill as that would have been pushing himself physically.

We meant to go to The Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, but didn’t get there. We visited it last year and will be back to Cornwall next year or the year after that, so we’ll visit it then.