Wednesday June 20 will be the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere this year. Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice. Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump. Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer (funny how ancient witchcraft is now called modern medicine). The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and is a day to celebrate feast to the God. The summer solstice, Litha, is a celebration of the spirit or soul.
Feasts are dedicated to feeding your own soul and finding your own inner harmony. Asking the God to bless you for another year! The Divine is waiting merely upon your recognition of it. When you release your thoughts and distractions, when you open your heart, you find it already within you... and all around you simultaneously. I have a ritual listed for this holiday that is a spiritual cleansing. I personally love it and feel fresh and revitalized after. It can be worked as a solitary or in a coven with a few changes made ( a larger cauldron and a personal herb pouch for each member). For this ritual see the page listed for Litha.
3/4cup softened salted butter
2cup brown sugar
1Tablespoon lemon juice
2Tablespoon lemon zest
2cup sifted All Purpose flour
1cup finely chopped pecans.
Cream butter in a large non-metallic mixing bowl. Gradually add the brown sugar, mixing well.
Add eggs, lemon juice, and zest, then mix well until mixture is well blended.
Cover the bowl with a white or yellow towel or cloth napkin, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, shape dough into 1" balls and place approx 3" apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for abut 20 minutes. Cool on racks. Yields 36ct.