Merry Midsummer to all my friends,
June 20th is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Latitudes. Also known as Midsummer, Summer Solstice (meaning Sun stands still) is one of the eight great spokes on the Celtic wheel of seasons, but it is also celebrated in some way in almost all cultures.
Calendula, Jaya 2017
Midsummer’s Eve is one of the three important spirit nights of the year; the other two are Beltane (May Day) and Samhain (Halloween). It is considered a spirit night because the veils are thinnest between the worlds and the people believed that communication with the spirit world is easiest. Shakespeare’s comedy, The Tempest, was tapping into common beliefs, even as late as Elizabethan times, that Midsummer is the time for contact with the world of Faerie.
Recently I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend from Peru who was raised by his grandparents in the Andes Mountains. His family relied on their connection with Pachamama (Earth Mother) and their Apus (protector spirits, similar to angels) for help in treating illness in their loved ones and their animals as well as growing healthy crops.
He told us stories of playing with beings, called machu machu (ancient ones) who were the size of young children. His family was happy to have him and his brothers go out to play with these beings but when he grew older and went to college, he convinced himself that they weren’t real until one day a man who was shoeing my friend’s small mountain horse pointed out that the horse had a special braid in her mane and asked who did this. When Carlos said he didn’t know, the man smiled and told him it was the machu machu. Eventually through a series of tests, he realized they were real and inhabited another dimension that was visible to children or those who knew.
There are areas in the UK where people still tell stories about encounters with Faerie, whose members are not always small, as those who have had contacts with them have told me. Although the character of Puck in the Tempest is portrayed as a playful trickster, he is not malicious. The local people love their Faerie folk.
I suspect every indigenous culture has stories of connecting to beings from the world of nature. Although they inhabit our earth, they are shy and hard to see. The Hawaiians call their beings Menehune and have many tales of their encounters. However, since so much has been damaged in the various habitats of our planet, there are also stories of them retreating to another dimension, near us and yet invisible unless you are like an innocent child, surrendering to the wonder of nature and the curiosity of one who is not limited by ‘adult’ views.
I find these stories fascinating because they shake up people’s conventional ideas about what is ‘real’ and that helps us return to the mystery. Perhaps Midsummer is a time for you to explore the parts of your identity that you have discarded like your childhood dreams. There is a chance for this exploration to reveal your deeper, truer self. The gateway for discovering and reclaiming aspects of the self starts with letting go of the ordinary mind and giving reign to the imagination.
Midsummer’s Eve could be your time to feel your own magic.
Love and Blessings, Linda