Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sabbat Summer Solstice

Sabbat Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice or Midsummer was second only to Yule in importance to the ancient Northman. It is a time for general laughter, bonfires, food and dances.  The day is dedicated to Baldur, God of Light and in honor of Sunna, Goddess of the Sun.  A fire is lit in honor of a solar deity and the Sun, jumping through the flames will purify and renew energies.  As we pass through the longest days and the shortest night of the year, it is appropriate to meditate on the good things of life.

Midsummer is the religious celebration held at the summer solstice.  This feast usually falls around June 20-21. Midsummer-related holidays, traditions and celebrations are found in all the Germanic countries of Northern Europe. Midsummer's eve is considered the second greatest festival of the Germanic holy year, comparable only to the 12 days of Yule.  Set up your altar with symbols of the season - solar symbols, candles and Midsummer fruits and vegetables.

Other Names: Summer Solstice, Litha, Sun Blessing, Thing-tide, St. John's Day, Midsummer

Activities: Jumping Balefire, Gathering Herbs, Clan Gatherings, Handfasting, Volunteer at Food Kitchen

Animals: Wren, Summer Birds, Horses, Cattle

Attunement Teas(Individually or Blended): Anise, Carrot Drinks, Lemon, Nettle, Orange

Colors: Red, Gold, Green, Blue, Tan

Deities: Father Gods, Mother Goddesses, Pregnant Deities, Sun Gods

Foods: Summer Squash, Lemons, Oranges, Cinnamon, Sunflower Seeds, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Ale, Sun Tea

Goddesses: Athena (Greek), Bona Dea (Roman), Freya (Norse), Isis (Egyptian), Juno (Roman), Artemis (Greek), Banba (Irish), Dag (German), Dana (Irish), Gerd (Teutonic), Jord (Teutonic), Sunna (Norse)

Gods: Dagda (Irish), Hyperion (Greek), Ra (Egyptian), Thor (Norse), Apollo (Greco-Roman), Balder (Norse), Helios (Greek), Oak/Holly King (Anglo-Celtic), Prometheus (Greek), Sol/Helios (Greco-Roman), Odin (Norse)

Key Action: Nurture and Love, Growth

Meaning: Honoring of Sun, Saying, Preparation for Harvest, Honoring the Pregnant Goddess

Mythical Creatures: Satyrs, Faeries, Firebird, Dragon, Thunderbird, Minticore

Plants: Oak, Mistletoe, Frankincense, Lemon, Sandalwood, Heliotrope, Copal, Saffron, Laurel, Ylang-Ylang

Ritual Oils: Heliotrope, Cinnamon, Sandalwood, Lavender, Orange, All Mint Oils, Lemon, Saffron

Stones: Emerald, Jade, Tiger's Eye, Lapis Lazuli, Diamond

Symbols: Fire, The Sun, Blades, Mistletoe, Oak Trees, Balefire, Sun Wheels, Faeries

Taboos: Giving Away Fire, Sleeping Away from Home, Neglecting Animals

Prayer to Sol

Heilsa Sol, Mundilfari's Daughter!
Beautiful Lady of the Sky!
You shine down upon me as you shown down upon my ancestors,
And Norns willing will shine down upon my descendants.
Your life giving rays bestow warmth and growth,
Your passage marks the axis of the year.
I thank You for Your strength and protection.
I urge You to urge Your steeds to the utmost speed,
To keep ahead of the wolf that pursues,
And fend off the age of darkness for one more day.
Hail Sol!

~ Haakon Donalson

Sunna: Forgotten Goddess of the Sun

I hail Sunna, glorious in Her power.
It is Her life-giving warmth
That nourishes and sustains us.
I give praise to this radiant Goddess.
I celebrate Her glorious strength.
Without her loving touch,
Our fields would wither.
Without her gentle care,
Our world would be bleak and black.
I will praise Her gifts,
More beautiful than amber,
More precious than gold.
Hail, Sunna, life-giver and protector!

~ Sophie Oberlander

Midsummer Prayer

Hail Sunna
Daughter of Mundilfari the time-turner,
Sister of light-gleaming Mani,
Wife of Glenr, and fair mother,
We hail you.

Day-Star, Light-Bringer,
Elf-Beam, Ever-glow,
All-bright, fair-wheel,
We greet you.

Shining grace bestow upon us,
Healing hands lay upon us,
Blessings of warmth, joy and plenty
We ask of you.

Hail to thee Sunna,
Dancing Fire of Sky and Air,
Lady of the Midnight Sun,
Golden, ever-Shining One.
We Hail!

~ K. C. Hulsman

To Sunna

I see you at first light,
creeping across the horizon,
a beacon,
calling me to arise,
Your summoning rays,
casting shadows across the floor.
Hues of amber,
waves of yellow,
Your beauty is bright,
warm and full;
in the brief moment, when you sink into the Earth,
I wait in slumber
for Your welcomed return.

~ Larisa C Hunter

Midsummer is one of the four solar holidays and is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the Sun shines longest.  The focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the Sun.  People gather to watch the bonfire and celebrate the solstice.

This is the longest day and the shortest night of the year: Now Sunna begins her decline, sliding into the darkness which will culminate six months from now at Yule. Identifying the sun with the brightness of Baldur, we celebrate in honor of both. Hold a blot to Baldur and High Feast. This was also the traditional time for holding the All Thing in ancient times.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Esbat Full Moon

Esbat Full Moon

June 20 is the Full Moon.  The second Wheel of the Year is made up of thirteen lunar cycles occurring within the solar year—called 'Esbats' by Pagans.  Covens usually meet either on the full or the new moon and a few manage both.  Solitary practitioners are urged to commemorate the moon’s journey through the sky at both times, but the merrymaking and festival night has always been that of the full moon. Never forget that the word “lunatic” means “moon madness.”  

The Full Moon Esbat is used for banishing, protection and divination workings, also planning, releasing and working with time.  It is during this time that the God becomes the strong Father figure who cares for the Earth and all its creatures.  The Father is the ripeness of manhood and in his prime, a great leader.

Sun Moon of June.  The sun is at its strongest during the Summer Solstice, a time when the day is the longest.  Also known as the Strawberry Moon because of the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June.  Plan a ritual to balance your spiritual and physical desires.

The Ceremony of Cakes and Ale is an easy ritual to perform, and one that is very common at Esbats.  It usually concludes any esbat ritual whether it is a group or a solitary affair.

The format and concept may already be familiar to you. If you grew up as a Christian, you will notice the similarity between the Pagan ritual and the Christian communion service, which sees the bread and wine as symbolic of the body and blood of their savior deity, Jesus. If you grew up Jewish, you notice the similarity to the Kiddush, or wine blessing, and the Hamotzi, or the thanking of God for the Gift of Bread.

The origins of breaking bread with another person as a sign of connection and goodwill go deep into prehistory, when bread and wine were staples of the small tribes of humans who had ceased their nomadic ways. Bread could be had all year long if the grain harvest was properly preserved, and fermented liquids bypassed the dangers of diseases that were carried in tainted water supplies.

For this ritual, you will need a small portion of bread and some type of drink in a cup or chalice. Do not feel you have to use an alcoholic beverage. Many covens substitute juice or even water out of concern for others who may be in recovery. Use what feels best to you. I often use plain water into which I’ve placed some lemon, a fruit sometimes associated with lunar energies. Mead is common in Scandinavia.  

“Cake” is also another word that is flexible and can be misleading, since most covens use cookies or loaves of bread for this ritual. Gluten free options can also be used.

Bread and wine symbolize the body of the great Mother Goddess and the blood of her womb from which all things are born. This is why the Goddess is associated with the esbat celebration; regardless of how many lunar Gods exist, Wicca tends to view the full moon as a feminine symbol ruled by a feminine deity.  For the Norse, he was a male called Mani. 

Whatever the deity, place the bread and drink onto some type of central altar. Take the bread first and hold it before you as if you were offering it to someone else. Speak words of blessing that focus on the gift of the bread from the God rather than blessing the bread itself. Something like:

Blessed be the God who gives himself to us
In the form of a bountiful harvest. Blessed be
His bread, the gift of his body that sustains
And nurtures us. By all that is sacred, so mote it be.

Break off a small piece of the bread and eat it. If there are others working with you, pass the bread clockwise around your circle. Each person should break off a piece of the bread and eat it. As each person sends the loaf on around the circle, you may feel free to offer a blessing to that person, such as, “I pass the gift of life to you,” or “Here is the God to feed the God within.”

Next you will take up the chalice and hold it up, also as if offering it to someone else. The blessing will be similar to that said over the bread:

Blessed be the light of the God in whose
Blood we are formed and from which we are
Born. Blessed be his gift of drink, which links us
To his powers of creation. From his light we
Came, and to it we shall one day return to await
Rebirth. By all that is sacred, so mote it be.

Take a drink from the chalice and, if you are working with others, pass the chalice clockwise around the circle so everyone may drink or honor the blood of the God in their own way. No one should be forced to drink. Some people have allergies to certain juices or to the sulfites in wines, and others may be in recovery. Some fear getting or passing illnesses. Those who wish not to consume the drink may bow to the chalice, hold it to the heart or forehead, or raise it in a toast to the moon.

As with the bread, feel free to give a blessing to the person to whom you pass the chalice. This might be something like: “I give you the gift of life, the blood of the God, our father,” or “Herein is the blood of the God who blesses us with life renewed.”

When your ritual is complete, you should take the chalice and remaining bread outdoors. Pour any liquid onto the ground and place the leftover bread on top of it. The liquid is a libation, your offering to the God, and the bread is a sacrifice that his animals can enjoy. You may even want to make a statement out loud as you give these offerings. A simple sentence telling the God what you’re giving him and thanking him is sufficient, but you may be as elaborate as you like.

Last of all, be sure to ground yourself when you are finished with this or any other ritual.

Some people have preferences of which moon cycle they like best so experiment to find out which ones you like best.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Father God represents security, wisdom, devotion, Spirit and growth.  It is the time when men are taking on the responsibilities of adulthood.  He is usually mated, virile and productive.  He is the God of the hunter, farmer, and worker.  In life events such as marriage, parenthood, and accelerated career development that can complicate friendships in the transition.  His recorded history is the oldest known.  You can see his picture in Neolithic cave paintings in France dating to 45,000 B.C.  He is sensual and passionate, embracing pleasure both for himself and his partner.  They are gathering experiences and gaining wisdom from the lessons of life.

Historically, a man entered the Father phase when he had a child, became a leader in the community, or gave birth to new concepts or ideas.  This aspect of the Divine Masculine represents strength, power, authority, leadership ability, protection, responsibility, and courage.  He is the energy of summer through the harvest season.  And he is viewed as a warrior king in some cultures or the wise ruler in others.  He is the God of the king, president, business owner, chief and those who lead.

And this is just a snippet of what can be found in, 'Who Are Your Divine Friends?'.



Weapons swelled the wound-tide full;
That sea of blood now soaks the earth,
And ravens feast on flotsam red
The wrack and wreckage of men.

Fading sight with shadow fills;
A grey horse glides through twilight´s gate:
The age-old drumbeat of eight-fold hoofsteps
Echoes around the strand.

In Wodan´s hall the wolves grow restive-
They prowl, and pace, and prick their ears-
The horns are filled, the feast is laid-
Still they watch and wait-

´Til a flash of grey in the fields is glimpsed,
And a stallion´s whinney rattles the walls,
and eight-fold hoofsteps, hastening onward,
Carry the hero home.

~ Ann Groa Sheffield      



I am called Sky-Cloaked Wanderer
One-eyed lord of runic lore
Bolverk 'mongst the etins
And Herjan, (God of War),
Vak, (the ever-wakeful),
Gagnrath to Vafthruthnir,
Fjolnir, (the concealer),
Hnikuth thrusts the spear...

On Yggdrasil hung I, forsooth,
In search of wisdom, vision, truth,
Hungry, thirsty, pierced by spear,
Seconds days and days like years,
Nine nights long I hung and bled,
Not quite alive nor yet quite dead,
Mysteries revealed to me,
Entrusted to Fimbultyr...

Grimnir called and oft times Har,
Baleyg, (the Fiery-Eyed),
Sigfather, (the Victory God),
By warriors slain, with pride,
I walk all realms of consciousness,
Quest without an end,
Call me what seems right to you,
But ever call me friend.... 

~ Johnny Whitebread


Allfather’s Song

Ten-legged and three-eyed,
Two armed, like wind he flies.
Wings before and wings behind,
Know him now and wisdom find

Hail Odin, first of gods!
Rune master, battle lord!
Grant we may the future see,
Bring to us the victory.

Full nine nights and nine days,
Self to self, a price he pays!
Staves of naming, staves of power,
Such he mastered from that hour

Gungnir’s master, Ymir’s bane,
In his hall he feasts the slain.
Victory-bringer, Gallows-lord,
With his kin he made the world!

Seeking knowledge, suffered pain,
An eye he lost but knowledge gained.
Walks middle-earth in grim disguise,
In riddle play confounds the wise.

Grim of feature, seeing all,
At Ragnarok he’s doomed to fall.
To the Fenris wolf unbound,
With his heroes all around.

~ Teri Wachowiak


My Father

My Father, who art in Valhalla,
Hallowed be thy names.
Thy kingdoms won, till Ragnarok come,
thy wills be done in the nine realms
as it is within the Warrior's Hall.
Lead me not into shame
but let the Valkyries deliver me to the front lines.
Give me this day my Viking's breath.
Forgive me my sins,
as I forgive those who sin against me.
In the name of Odin's Gungnir,
Thor's Mjolnir,
and Heimdall's Hofud.

~ Eddie-David Berrier


Lo, There Do I See My Father

Lo, there do I see my father,
Lo, there do I see my mother,
Lo, there do I see my brothers, and
my sisters, and all of my friends!

Lo, they do call to me,
Lo, they do bid me take
My place among them now.

1. I go to dwell in Valhalla,
In Folkwang and Fensalir,
My new home is in Asgard,
And all my Gods are near.


2. I sit beside my Ancestors,
In Hel may I be found.
I travel through the Nine Worlds,
I watch you from the mound.


3. Wassail to you who came here
To say farewell to me!
The Gods may keep you well, and
We´ll meet beyond the Tree.


~ Michaela Macha


Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.  Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June though it is also celebrated widely on other days.  Typically, families gather to celebrate the father figures in their lives. 

He is the Green Man, the Sun God, Lord of the Hunt or the Oak King.  The God becomes an adult.  He takes a wife.  He grows up and sheds a good portion of his youthful way.  He teaches us the importance of responsibility and self-respect.  His arrogance is honed into self-confidence, and he becomes what he was meant to be.  Lead like the Father.  The face of the Lord is in the face of every man, and each of them has a different craft.  Bel, Apollo, Odin, Kai, Hymen, and many others - it is in this aspect that the Lord is worshiped most.