A Summer Solstice Tradition

Summer Solstice is a great time of year to relax and enjoy the sun (weather permitting). It is also a great time to collect and dry herbs. For me, I like to get a couple harvests out of some of my herbs but particularly my Mint Plants.

Did you know you can make your own Mint Tea? Grab yourself some baggies or better still a metal tea ball. Dry your mint and grind it up in something used only for food. I like my coffee grinder, gives me a good excuse to really clean it out. Mint can also be added fresh to ice cold summer drinks like water or mulled into fancy drinks like Mojitos.

Gathering Herbs this time of year is important. Like the sun they are at the height of their power and if they are to be used for magical purposes this will play a part. Each custom has its own suggested time to harvest. Some like to harvest first thing when the morning dew still rests on the leaves. Others prefer to go out at midnight and there are even a few who claim noon is the best time. I am partial to noon; it’s the height of the sun on the sunniest day of year? Just makes sense to me.

However you decide to do it, enjoy it. It can be a lot of fun to bundle, hang and dry what you’ve worked so hard to cultivate and now finally get to use.

Summer Solstice is a great time of year to relax and enjoy the sun (weather permitting). It is also a great time to collect and dry herbs. For me, I like to get a couple harvests out of some of my herbs but particularly my Mint Plants.

Did you know you can make your own Mint Tea? Grab yourself some baggies or better still a metal tea ball. Dry your mint and grind it up in something used only for food. I like my coffee grinder, gives me a good excuse to really clean it out. Mint can also be added fresh to ice cold summer drinks like water or mulled into fancy drinks like Mojitos.

Gathering Herbs this time of year is important. Like the sun they are at the height of their power and if they are to be used for magical purposes this will play a part. Each custom has its own suggested time to harvest. Some like to harvest first thing when the morning dew still rests on the leaves. Others prefer to go out at midnight and there are even a few who claim noon is the best time. I am partial to noon; it’s the height of the sun on the sunniest day of year? Just makes sense to me.

However you decide to do it, enjoy it. It can be a lot of fun to bundle, hang and dry what you’ve worked so hard to cultivate and now finally get to use.

Scholars eh??

It should come as no surprise to you that it can be challenging finding out information on Druidism. Anyone who has tried to look for something specific and may not have a resource such as a Grove or strong community can attest to this. What may come as a bit of a surprise is that a lot of what has been committed to writing has been done so by enemies (the Romans for example).

Amoung other things early Druids are well known for committing large sums of knowledge to memory and were regarded as scholars. Of particular value to them were the arts such as poetry and song. Learning and regaling these pieces in hopes that the Gods would be pleased and may grant gifts. So why not write it down? Good question! In his book “ Gallic Wars” Book VI, Caesar writes

 

It is said they (Druids) commit to memory immense amounts of poetry. And so some

of them continue their studies for twenty years. They consider it improper to entrust

their studies to writing…

 

The idea of course being that the regaling and passing of traditions be a right of passage and holding the knowledge a mark of status but, this makes modern study increasingly challenging. It really is a shame that did not work out…

Modern Druids are finding it increasingly important to document all proceedings. For our Grove, the ADF govern much of this and even request reports from Groves throughout the year. Many of us are creating Family Grimoires and are making contributions to a Grove Grimoire to ensure history can repeat itself. It is an uphill battle but one in which we all find strength. If you are finding this challenging please visit the ADF or OBOD website (links below). There is much to be learned and the internet is making the sharing of this information easier.

 

https://www.adf.org/

http://www.druidry.org/

Solstice

sun

 

Litha or Summer Solstice is on its way and it made me wonder…with all the different names for each holiday which is best suited (to me) and why are there so many names!? Well, to each his own but, I thought it may be interesting to discuss exactly what a “solstice” is.

A solstice is an astronomical event which occurs twice a year when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point relative to planet’s semi – axis in either the northern or southern hemisphere and that areas is most incline toward the sun. The word “solstice” itself is derived from the Latin “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (to stand still).

For us, in the northern hemisphere the Summer Solstice takes place late June. It is a time of year when the days are long and bright. The land is very fertile and warm thus we celebrate it for giving us nourishment, fertility and life.

It always boils down to being pretty simple doesn’t it J