Summer Solstice Sabbat

This Sabbat is all about Power & Strength. It is a perfect celebration of the official initiation of the Summer season when the Sun enters the Sign of Cancer, which will lead to the Earth’s Response at the Lammas Harvest Sabbat when the season of Summer will be at its height. Red flowers are usually placed on the altar and about the magical circle – along with red flowers tied into the cingulum.

This Sabbat ritual takes a bit of additional planning and preparation ….

In this photo, the Chalice sets upon a stone from the earth. The Chalice is filled with rich red wine and bedecked with flowers of that special time of the year. This photo from Midsummer 2018. Substitutions for Red Wine can and should be made for those who cannot partake of alcohol for purposes of their sobriety.

This is a Celestial Sabbat where we celebrate the Power and Strength of this time of the year and many will typically perform a ritual act known as Drawing Down the Sun.”  For us, this is a ceremonial lighting of the Sabbat fires by channeling the rays of the Sun outdoors to light the flame.  Even if the Sabbat is performed indoors, we will use the sun’s rays outdoors in order to light a taper candle and carry it indoors to light the candles, etc.

Within the coven niche, the new Sacred Flame, or Perpetual Flame, will be lit from this Solar Invocation of the Sun. This is typically done on a day of Sol (Sunday), usually the Sunday before the Summer Solstice Sabbat is held. It is also used in a ritual to purify the temple of Wicca at this time. At the Winter Solstice, the Coven Temple is purified by the Silence of the Grave. During the Summer Solstice, it is purified by Celestial Fire.

The path of the sun – deosil circumambulation, is tred for the purpose of banishing impurity, malignity and hostility and filling ourselves with energies corresponding to the celebration of life and of connecting with our higher emotions during the initial rituals the Day of Sol before the actual Sabbat ritual is conducted. Because a Deosil movement sends out and banishes what is there, it is an appropriate time to do this when purifying a temple space. Whereas, during the Sabbat Ritual itself, a Widdershins movement for ritual will occur to call down and pull in power.

The altar at the Summer Solstice (Midsummer) Sabbat holding the instruments of the art. Book of Lights to the lower left hand of the altar, items representing the four elements, red roses and a chalice of wine and the graal that held the bread. White and Black Candles flank the altar – representing the twin pillars. This photo from Midsummer 2014. Red flowers are traditional to bedeck the magical circle and the altar.

The ceremonial dance performed as this time is sometimes known as the “March of Steel”. This is a march-type of dance, emphasizing the power and strength of the Good God and the vital power bestowed upon the coven. The Sabbat ritual itself is a bit more ceremonial and High Druidical in nature with a color scheme of red and white. This is quite a contrast with the Sabbat of May Eve or Beltane, which is very oriented towards the Gracious Goddess and more carefree and flowing.

We also will typically present written petitions as well at a separate table that is typically called the “Credence table.”  These paper petitions are carefully written out by all coveners before the Sabbat Ceremonial has begun and carefully laid out.  The candles are then carved, anointed and blessed by the coven and are burned with the brazier.  The light, heat and warmth are believed to carry these seed-thoughts on a journey to the Ancient Ones and Watchers. We wrote out petitions to be buried in the earth to the Gracious Goddess at Candlemas Sabbat, but at the Midsummer Sabbat, petitions are presented to fire to be consumed in the light and heat. These are prayers to the Ancient and Mighty Ones for the needs of the coven and those they care about.

The Credence Table – a separate table in this ritual is set up with the carved and anointed 7 day candles in which the written petitions were burned and the words carried through the air by the heat, flame and smoke to the Ancient Ones. After Sabbat, the candles will be transferred to the Coven Niche in order to burn the rest of the way out.

The Love Feast will typically consist of bread and wine during this Sabbat and has it’s own special blessing over it, and also as it is presented to the coveners:

Before the Love Feast!

Herbal Charms & Spells ….

There are many special herbs that can be collected on the Eve of the Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, if you like to be used in spell-making and charm-making. One of the most traditional of herbs to gather is St. John’s Wort – which is a legendary herb that can be used in fertility charms for those couples wishing to conceive a child.

Another legendary herb collected this time of year is the magical fern leaf. This leaf has many great sorceries within it as well and is used for very specific forms of magical operations.

Many enjoy gathering a bit of the yellow-blooming Cinquefoil, also known as the five finger grass wish is used for granting special favors.

Cinquefoil or the “Five Finger Grass.” A prized little herb of witchcraft. Here in Pennsylvania, it grows everywhere and most consider it a weed.

Any magical herb used in love charms is said to be most potent when gathered this time of year. The most popular form of spell-making to be performed this time of year is Love Magic. Love charms made from herbs collected on the Eve of the Summer Solstice are said to be the most potent in love charms. A yearly supply to last the year would be gathered and safeguarded in case they are called for and fresh ones selected the following Midsummer Eve.

However you celebrate this time of year, we hope that your celebrations are joyous, merry and fun.  After all, the Sabbat is a celebration of life – so have fun with it too!

Blessed Be!

*If you wish to learn how to conduct a Midsummer Sabbat ritual, we recommend you read the book, “The Sacred Pentagraph” for further details and instructions.

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