The Summer Solstice is a Holy Day in Magickal traditions, and it starts at Sunset the night before. So tonight at twilight, think about what you’d like to happen in your life this summer, and start a candle.
Right now, the North pole is maximally tilted (23.44°) toward the Sun, ergo the Sun will reach its highest declination from the perspective of the Northern Hemisphere and we will consequently experience the longest exposure to its light (14.25 hrs of daylight in Los Angeles; 15.05 hrs in NYC).
More properly called the Estival Solstice (estival, from the Latin æstus, meaning “heat”; solstice, from the Latin sol, meaning “Sun” and sistere, meaning “to stand still”), this terrestrially-significant astronomical event is celebrated by feasts, festivals, rituals and holidays the world over.
On Beltane Eve, the Queen of the Faery rides out of the mist to entice you away to the Otherworld…
“Beltane, like Samhain, is a time of ‘no time’ when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest. No time is when the two worlds intermingle and unite and the magic abounds! It is the time when the Faeries return from their winter respite, carefree and full of faery mischief and faery delight. On the night before Beltane, in times past, folks would place rowan branches at their windows and doors for protection, many otherworldly occurrences could transpire during this time of ‘no time’.
Traditionally on the Isle of Man, the youngest member of the family gathers primroses on the eve before Beltane and throws the flowers at the door of the home for protection. In Ireland it is believed that food left over from May Eve must not be eaten, but rather buried or left as an offering to the faery instead. Much like the tradition of leaving of whatever is not harvested from the fields on Samhain, food on the time of no time is treated with great care.
When the veils are so thin it is an extremely magical time, it is said that the Queen of the Faeries rides out on her white horse. Roving about on Beltane eve, She will try to entice people away to the Faeryland. Legend has it that if you sit beneath a tree on Beltane night, you may see the Faery Queen or hear the sound of Her horse’s bells as She rides through the night. Legend says if you hide your face, She will pass you by but if you look at Her, She may choose you.
There is a Scottish ballad called Thomas the Rhymer, in which Thomas chooses to go the Faeryland with the Queen and has not been seen since. Beltane has been an auspicious time throughout Celtic lore, it is said that the Tuatha de Danaan landed in north-west Connacht on Beltane. The Tuatha de Danaan, it is said, came from the North through the air in a mist to Ireland. After the invasion by the Milesians, the Tuatha faded into the Otherworld, the Sidhe, Tir na nOg.” -Christina Aubin
“A Hag’s Guide to Spring Cleaning” by Alexis J. Cunningfolk
“Scrub your skin with the dirt from a hollow hill.
Brush your body with raven feathers and the blessings of a million hags gone before who have never given a shit about the what looks “nice” to others.
Take all the pots and pans out of your kitchen, clean them with black salt, and bring them outside with your spoons and knives. Make a racket to wake up the earth and let the neighbors know that their local hag has woken up from winter slumber.
Water your garden with the tears shed by those suffering from fragile masculinity to help them grow towards their heart instead of their fear.
Stitch up your worn out clothes with the red thread of intersectionality and luck.
Scare the life back into your heart by grinning so loudly in the mirror that you can see every tooth, fang, and monster song gurgling forth from the back of your throat.
Go to a crossroads, turn to the east, and spit three times so that you never forget how to find your way back.
Stain your lips and fingers with the blood of berries.
Braid thorns into your hair and rub rose dust into your eyebrows.
Never say you’re sorry for making it to another spring. Cackle instead and celebrate the ugly bits that have kept you alive.
Lace up your boots with the stories of your ancestors raging against powers they were told were unbreakable but have long turned to dust.
Greet your witchen kin with right hands grasped, left hand over the heart of the other, foreheads touching. Breath in, breath out. Say, “I fucking love you.”
Remember that hags like you grow like weeds and springtime will never be the same. “
Below is a little quote from Rudolf Steiner with regard to lunar eclipses. I’ve replaced his words with “subconscious” below, because it’s a more grounded and current interpretation in my view.
“When there is an eclipse of the moon, the man of today merely says: ‘Now the earth comes between the sun and the moon; hence we see the shadow cast upon the moon by the earth.’ That is the physical explanation. But in this case also the old initiate knew that a spiritual reality was behind the physical fact.
He knew that when there is an eclipse of the moon, thoughts stream through darkness down upon the earth; and that such thoughts have a closer relationship with the subconscious life than with the conscious life of the human being. The old initiates often made use of a certain simile when speaking to their pupils.
It is, of course, necessary to translate their words into modern language, but this is the gist of what they said: ‘Visionaries and dreamers love to go for rambles by moonlight, when the moon is full. There are, however, certain people who have no wish to receive the good thoughts coming to them from the cosmos, but who, on the contrary, are desirous of getting hold of ‘the subconscious’ (my current interpretation). Such people will choose the moment of a lunar eclipse for their nocturnal wanderings…
Eclipses of the sun and the moon, recurring as they do in the course of every year, may really be looked upon as “safety-valves.”… The lunar eclipse exists for the purpose of allowing the ‘subconscious’ thoughts, which are present in the cosmos, to approach those human beings who are desirous of ‘being aware’ of them. People do not, as a rule, act in full consciousness.’”