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By Witchipedia, Festivals

Midsummer: When Does it Happen & Its Symbols

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Date- The Summer Solstice, June 20-22 or the fixed date of June 21.

Names- Midsummer, Summer Solstice, Gathering Day, Herb Night, Longest Day, Shortest Night, Litha, Feill-Sheathain, First Day of Summer, Midsummer’s Eve, St. John’s Eve, Aine’s Day, Aine’s Festival, Hefin, Alban Heruin, Alban Hefin, Hieros Gamos

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Midsummer, also known as the Summer Solstice, occurs around June 20th or 21st each year when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, marking the longest day and shortest night of the year.

This ancient celebration has deep roots in various cultures, including the Nordic and Celtic traditions, and is a time to honor the sun’s power and the abundance of nature.

The most iconic symbol of Midsummer is the bonfire, which is lit to ward off evil spirits and encourage the sun’s continued strength. People often jump over these fires to gain protection and fertility.

Another key symbol is the Midsummer maypole, adorned with colorful ribbons and flowers. Dancing around it not only celebrates the season but also fosters community and connection.

General Information

Because the Sun’s power is at its peak on this day, the herbs that gather strength from it are also at peak potency. It is traditional to gather herbs for magical use on this day. It is also a good time for divination, healing rituals and gathering materials for rods and wands.

In some traditions the Sacred Marriage or Heiros Gamos is celebrated on this day while other traditions celebrate the ritual at Beltane.

Some traditions hold that a great battle between the forces of creation and destruction or light and darkness take place on this day, as it marks the beginning of the waning year. The days will get shorter and the nights get longer through the year hearafter.

Symbols of Midsummer

  • Incense- lavender, musk, patchouli
  • Colors- Green, yellow, blue, gold, white, red
  • Stones- Tiger’s eye, clear quartz, topaz, amber
  • Herbs- St John’s wort, mistletoe, vervaine, yarrow, lavender, rose, fern, rosemary, thyme, sunflower, sage, mint, basil, chive, parsley, lily
  • Symbols- fire, sundials, swords, feathers, all rayed flowers equal armed cross, rosettes, sun wheels, Catherine wheels, torches, solar disks
  • Food- Honey, Mead, dandelions, Seasonal berries
  • Gods, Goddesses, Saints and Spirits- Matuta, Anahita, Kupala, St. John, the Oak King, the Holly King, Aine, Sul, Dia Griene, Grian, Brid, Lugh, Llew Llaw Gyffes, Gaia, Freya, Litha, Vivian, Cerridwen, Ishtar, Astarte, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Oshun, Frigga, Pan, Cernunnos, Tammuz, Balder, Apollo, Ra, Bel, Belanos, Helios, Hera and Zeus
About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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