I’ve just spent the weekend celebrating. I hosted a Goddess ritual on Friday, attended a wonderful Midsummer gathering on Saturday, and tripped off to full moon party on Sunday. There’s just something about this time of year that encourages revelry, and in recent years, I’ve come to value the Summer Solstice more than I used to.
Maybe it’s because I’m a recovering English major with a thing for Shakespeare, but for me this holiday, and the entire summer season, really, have always been closely linked with the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairies! Lovers! Parties! Miscommunication that ends hilariously (rather than painfully as in some of Shakespeare’s other works). From start to finish, this play is one giant romp, and that’s the kind of energy I want to cultivate in the summer.
Because of this, I started a tradition a few years ago of making offerings to the fairies on Midsummer. Ever since we moved into our house, my husband and I have referred to the back portion of the yard as “Fairy” because it was overrun with a jungle of wild growth. Instead of trying to tame it, we added to the frenzy, planting flowers and beautiful bushes on the fringes of Fairy and allowing them to grow without too much interference.
Since we’d been lucky enough to move into a place where the fairies felt at home, we wanted to continue to welcome them (while at the same time keeping them fair enough away from the house that we hoped we wouldn’t fall victim to their pranks). That first Midsummer in the house, we gave the fairies cream and baklava, and then promptly shut ourselves up inside to let them have their revels in private.
Every summer, my offerings to the fairies change slightly (this year it was buttermilk, beer bread, and chocolate), but one thing I’ve started doing each year is making a fairy house. I start with a small wooden birdhouse (something you can find at any craft store), and then depending on what seems right that year, I decorate it. Paint, pretty paper, glitter, and ribbon all find their way onto the fairy houses, and when the house is finished, I place it somewhere back in Fairy.
If you want to make a fairy house or start a tradition of leaving offerings for the fairies, let your intuition guide you; there’s no wrong or right way to do it, as long as your intentions toward the fair folk are kind and gracious. The fairies in my yard like sparkly things, rich colors, and decadent treats. I’m sure they would accept offerings at any time of year, but for me, leaving gifts for the fairies has become an important Midsummer ritual.
What are your magical summertime traditions?