Today, hear from practicing Druid and Almanac contributor, Richard Dorn on the ways we can honor this ancient festival in the modern world.
This time of year is known as the Summer Solstice, Litha if you are pagan and perhaps Alban Heflin (light of summer) if you are a Druid. According to ancient Celtic mythology, the Oak King who has reigned over the increasing daylight since his victory at Yule (Winter Solstice), is now defeated for dominance by the Holly King who rules over the increasing darkness. From now until Yule, nights get longer and daylight shorter. But for now, the great Earth Goddess is at the peak of her splendor. A bountiful display of life, beauty and prosperity. It's a time of rejoicing, gratitude and celebration.
This season, great bonfires are alight all over in honor of the fairy Queen Áine, whose name means “brightness” and her tribe of Fae who reside underneath Hawthorne or Ash trees. Couples wishing to bless their union hold hands jumping over the fire bringing them luck. Hand Fasting marriage ceremonies are held as this is a good time to invoke love magic.
But what if you don’t have a bonfire or Hawthorn/Ash tree nearby? Here are a few ways you can engage the Solstice Season energies like the Druids do:
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