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.


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