Midsummer Magic: Let it Burn

Midsummer Magic: Let it Burn June 20, 2017

The goal of Messages from Pluto is to analyze the energy of transition.  Death and rebirth, success and failure, love and betrayal are themes explored in order to unlock the personal, embodied magic inherent in these shifts.  These are universal concerns, and ones that continue to fascinate me.  Recently I have been ruminating on the relationship between the external and internal, and the concept of secrets.  What is the truth, what is the lie?  Perhaps the answer is relational, and a matter of perspective.  This line of thought is useful for certain situations, but relativism has its limits.  One has to draw the line between truth and fiction at some point in time.  To assign meaning to a thing gives it weight, and also gives us the ability to let certain concepts and patterns go.  My mind is constantly full of unanswered questions.  Riddles.  Puzzles.  Mazes.  One can spin for years on abstraction. Yet once a concept is complete, the answer is achieved.  The final piece clicks into place, and one walks free of the labyrinth.

Oak King- Photo by Sonja Sadovsky
Sun Sets on the Oak King – Photo by S. Sadovsky

Midsummer is a good time for solving riddles.  As the Light side of the year fades, the Oak King retires. The Dark side of the year begins.  The Holly King gains strength, and my thoughts turn to the task of turning inward.  Clearing memories that have haunted me, and leaving behind that which is no longer useful.  This is a constant challenge, but the shift from Light into Dark is helpful. I find myself less concerned with making sense by conventional standards, and more interested in translating my personal mysteries.  I find that my truth is often stranger than fiction, and offer these revelations to assist others who also struggle assigning meaning to the beautiful horrorshow of daily life.

This is the reason that I use poetry and metaphor, as some concepts shrivel when examined in a headlight.  They require veils to maintain authenticity, which is frustrating when one is searching for truth.  However, this is where the magic lives, in between the lines.  I have found that the strongest power comes from the tension between the sacred and the profane.  In paradox.  It creates a battery, a charge.  Yet that energy must be directed to be actualized.  It must be fired, released, to gain ultimate expression.  The quickest, and most seasonably appropriate method I have found to accomplish this goal is through fire.  (One might also suggest that the answer to most Pagan questions/problems is fire, and all I can say to that is: YES.)

People often ask me for magical advice.  What spells to employ, what herbs to use?  Which correspondences are most useful?  I can go there, have years of training, experience, and all the bells and whistles to create a convoluted answer that would work.  Yet I prefer to offer simple solutions to complex problems. Most people who ask me these questions have little to no magical experience, and the detailed answers only create more questions.  My contemporaries have their own practices and orientations, so when we speak of these matters the conversation includes a lot of assumptions and jargon that is rather obscure.  Again, less useful without context.

For beginners and those interested to more magic into their lives, my advice is to go with your gut.  What is simple is not always easy, but in my experience magic is only as complicated as we want it to be.  Magic is a life hack.  A cheat code.  Complexity presents more options, but the most effective technique is the one that calls to you.  The one that works.  What moves you? Is it sex? Is it ritual? Is it art?  Action?  Start with the thing that lights your circuits, and go from there.  For me, burning things is always fun. Kind of a go to, useful for many applications.

Rather than give a lot of directions and instructions for Midsummer Magic, I will offer a personal anecdote.  Context, riddle, answer, solution.  This is the method I employed this year, and it seems to be working.  I hope you find it useful, or at least entertaining.


I have been having serious challenges overcoming unresolved feelings and negative energy towards my ex.  My efforts seem to be progressing, then derail.  Had my friend read Tarot for me (as I do when needing guidance on emotionally charged issues so as not to distort the reading with my own perceptions or wishes) and she was informed that I need to “Burn out my love” for this individual, as it was no longer serving me.  Instead it was hampering me from moving forward, as there is a part of me that is still in mourning and carrying guilt and shame.  These patterns are no longer useful to my personal growth.  These feelings will not have any positive effect on anything, so must be abolished.

Her advice was to get rid of letters, momentos, anything that was a reminder and burn it. There would be something that definitely needed to go. Find it, then bury the ashes.  Anything else gets dumped in running water.  Strong stuff.  I was reluctant to do these things, but saw the wisdom in her words.  It is not in my nature to destroy useful objects, but sacrifice is necessary for change.   The small stuff was easy, but I was unsure of what the correct item would be, the larger sacrifice.  So I waited.


My last blog contained a poem that haunted me for several days.  Sometimes the stuff that I write is a riddle that has to work itself out. This piece rang in my mind, and I wondered what it meant.   A couple days after I published it, I was reunited with my step-daughter.  It had been years since we had really talked, as my split with her father was unfriendly.  We met on the beach, and talked for hours.  It was good, healing for us both. We had been very close years before.

Comparing experiences we both realized that what we thought was truth was in fact distorted perception.  Why had we ever fallen out of contact? How come it took so long to simply speak freely? What are we to each other now?  What is our dynamic? This question had haunted both of us for years. We chatted about many things, and I mentioned I was doing a spell to let go of old expectations.  Burning things.  She expressed an interest to participate.  She had some old baggage to get rid of as well.  The date was set.


She came by on Saturday, and we went through my closet.  Pictures, cards, items grew into a sizable pile on my dresser.  I gave her whatever pictures and albums she wished to preserve, as this was her history too. Years of her life, the wisdom of her people I had saved from the madness of last year.  Then I found it, the symbol that needed to go, and the answer to my riddles became apparent.  I pulled out a garment bag.  It contained my wedding dress, and two veils.  She had been a bridesmaid at my handfasting, and remembered these objects.

Inspired, I told her that I may not be her step-mother anymore, but I could be her Fairy Godmother.  She could be my Changeling, or the one I Sponsor.  The one I bless, and help in times of need.  Making family is often a hard and bloody process, but at the end of the day it is the love that counts.  Family of choice is real, and so necessary.  We resolved to no longer allow the perceptions of other parties to dictate our relationship.  At the end of the day everyone’s personal relationships are an autonomous choice.  This is the only way to live authentically.  To love without fear is the only way forward.


My Changeling was delighted to accept a veil.  She is in a relationship which seems on track to result in a wedding sooner than later.  We resolved to set the other veil aside for her sister for future use, and added the dress to the pile of kindling.  I was satisfied that some good from all of this mess had been preserved, and was ready to let the rest burn. We went outside in the 95 degree weather to start a fire with wet wood, as it had been raining for days.  Undaunted, I stacked the driest logs and draped the dress over top of them in the fire pit.  I am Southern, and know that the answer to making anything burn is more fuel.  I soaked the dress in rum and vodka.

I said some spiffy words, and we lit the fire with these red candles we had dipped together almost a decade ago.  Whoosh!  We circled the fire, tossing in pictures of who we used to be.  Words we had written in anger, sigils of things we needed to be rid of, we let it all go.  Who we had been.  All of the failed expectations.  All of the broken promises and lies.  The smoke spiraled up next to the highway that runs alongside my yard, and we both mentioned how much lighter we felt.  The weight of the past was no longer between us.  We are free to become whatever we wish.  The ashes were still smoking when we buried them, but once the dirt was turned over all was still and it was done.  So mote it be.

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