Summer Solstice · 30 Days Wild 21
It’s actually sunny weather for the solstice! This is a miracle to me because for the past few years it’s either been raining or I’ve been too ill to enjoy the day. I’ve got a lot to be getting on with over the course of the day so I can’t go too far, but I’m enjoying being able to take breaks in the garden which is a nicer temperature today thanks to the arrival of a cooling breeze.
I’ve always loved folklore, so I thought a fitting theme for the day would be to share a Solstice tidbits with you all.
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is perhaps the most widely known tale relating to this day, but did you know the reason why this day was chosen? In fairy folklore, Midsummers Eve was a time when fairies were said to come out and dance. We’ve all heard of Halloween as being the time when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest and, much like that, the summer solstice was said to be the time when the there is less separating our world and the world of the fae.
People once believed that rubbing their eyes with an ointment made from the seeds of fern gathered at midnight on Midsummer’s Eve would enable them to see fairies, though this isn’t the only legend surrounding the seed on this day. Some believed that the seed was invisible, in turn giving the collector the power of invisibility, whilst others felt that this was the only day ferns had seeds. Of course, we know now that ferns reproduce via spores and not by seed at all.
Another plant with a midsummers association is St. John’s Wort. Collected at twilight on Midsummer’s Eve or dawn on Midsummer’s Day, the flowers are said to protect against misfortune when brought into the home. It’s also traditionally burnt in the celebratory Midsummer fire, as well as used for all manner of things including divination relating to romance and exorcism of poltergeists! Planting St. John’s Wort in your garden will help to attract bees, a creature long associated with legends and whose magic is said to be most potent at this time. The Celts believed bees to be a messenger between our world and the world of spirit.
Have you seen any butterflies today? Back when white bread was the highly sought-after privilege of the wealthy it was said that if the first butterfly you saw on Midsummer’s Day was a white one you would eat white bread for the rest of the year, but if it were a brown you’d be stuck with brown bread.
It’s also thought to be unlucky to hear a cuckoo calling on this day, as she is not supposed to sing.
The solstice is a fire festival, and as such bonfires are a plenty. If you’re enjoying one tonight or at any other time throughout the summer please remember to check for animals before lighting and be respectful of the area, sticking to previously used sites rather than creating new ones.
Tomorrow evening I’ll be going away for a few days, up to Worthing with two of my closest friends for their baby shower. Whilst they live down here, she has family up there and it’s always nice to have a change of scenery! As such, I won’t be posting 30 Days Wild specific posts until I’m back, but I do have a couple of other things scheduled in my absence.
Solstice blessings everyone! <3