Thursday, June 28, 2007


Midsummer is when the sun stands the highest in the sky. Daylight dominates, and the night is short. Then, the night reclaims its due.

In the past, on Midsummer Eve, people gathered herbs for healing. (Plants of the wort family were especially prized.) For more healing and cleansing, people then bathed in various springs. After the Midsummer bonfires burn out, people gathered the ashes to mix with water. Then, they sprinkled this ‘glop’ around their houses for protection in the coming year.

To the Norse, Midsummer was as important as Yule. At this time, the Norse gave thanks for the prosperity and fertility of their lands. Also, they prayed for continued prosperity and good health. Sunna (the sun) was honored at Midsummer, as well as Balder (the God of Light) and Nanna (His Wife).

For me, Midsummer is a bittersweet High Day. Because of my on-going depression, I crave the sunlight. At Midsummer, the sun is at its peak, and then daylight lessens gradually. Midsummer is time of joy tempered with the shadow to come.

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