Irish-American Witchcraft: Lessons From the Summer Court

In my last blog I talked about wisdom I’d learned from the Winter Court, those darker fairies who hold sway in the winter months.  To balance that this time I’d like to look at the things I’ve learned on the opposite end of the spectrum, from the Summer Court. The Summer Court, more commonly known as the Seelie Court, are those who are generally more kindly inclined towards humans and more likely to help us and willingly interact with us. Their lessons naturally reflect what you might assume is more in line with their nature, although it’s always worth bearing in mind that they are not 100% safe to deal with. Like their darker counterparts they can be moved to do harm as well as to help, they are just less inclined towards it.

Keep in mind the two Courts are not inverses of each other, as some might imagine, but more like complimentary concepts with overlapping features. Sometimes the lessons learned from one can be similar to the lessons of the other while other times the lesson may be very different. I have found that it is important to try not to have any expectations when going in of what you think you may get from one or the other – they often surprise you. If you go into any experiences without expecting anything then you can take the experiences for what they are without any bias or filter coloring your perception (well, hopefully).

Bee on thistle image M. Daimler
Bee on thistle / M. Daimler

Embrace joy when and where you find it

All of the Other Crowd are sometimes accused of being shallow or lacking human emotions. I think that’s more of a cultural difference than an actual lack on their part, personally, but it is true that they love a good party and embrace things that we would describe as fun: good food, good music, good company. They enjoy any pleasurable experience fully and then move on to the next. From a human perspective we might call this carpe diem, but I think that would be misunderstanding their approach, which isn’t so much about seizing the day or living life to the fullest – they are immortal or nearly so after all  – but rather about appreciating the good things in life when they are there to appreciate*. This is one of the first messages I was ever given from the Summer Court, although arguably it’s the one I have the hardest time following through on.

Even the broken is beautiful

This one I would have expected to come from the Winter Court, personally, but it didn’t. It was relayed in a dream from a source that was definitely a member of the Blessed Court. The point I gathered here was that they value things (and people) who are unique and so see a special value in items that have been broken. It makes that object one of a kind. In the same way I suspect this is why they are often drawn to people who are eccentric or defy social norms, although that is only my supposition. Being told this has given me a new appreciation for the value of items that I might otherwise have thrown away and a new perspective on the value of things that are different or damaged.

Do everything with purpose

Of all the things I’ve learned from the Summer Court this may be the most valuable. For a long time I tended to view any activity that didn’t accomplish something as wasted time, or a means to a greater end, but during a meditation I had a conversation the crux of which was this message: “Do everything with purpose”.  And that means everything, including relaxing, napping, eating, walking. In a way it ties into the first point, the idea of embracing joy, but in a larger view it is simply about making all of our actions intentional. Give purpose to even casual moments and you learn to value things our culture usually doesn’t see value in, like relaxing, or walking across a parking lot.

Beauty is a weapon

You may have thought this would be a Winter Court thing, but this particular bit of advice, if you want to call it that, came from the Summer. My own experience, for what its worth, has been that it is the Summer Court that really enjoys the power and value of illusion and deception through appearance so thinking about this one for a bit after the fact it made sense to me that it came from the source it did. For myself I don’t utilize this in my life but it is a valuable lesson to always keep in mind, especially in a world where we are often inundated with cultural messages that tell us that beauty = goodness.

Wild roses and rose hips in the late summer / Photo by M. Daimler
Wild roses and rose hips in the late summer / M. Daimler

This is just a small selection of things I have learned over the years from dealing with the Summer Court in dreams and meditations. As with the things I posted last time I have found these bits of wisdom surprisingly profound and impactful. Looking at the way these direct lessons have influenced me has definitely shaped my approach to my spirituality as well as my appreciation for the value of listening to the beings we say we honor and deal with.

* they can be just as single-minded about warfare, competition, or vengeance for example. (back)


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