I’ve been sort of ignoring Wicca (modern witchcraft) when I speak of conjure, because Wicca to many is really a religion with magical workings. And in doing the type of work that I do it's really a practice without any particular religious affiliations except when I call upon the energy of the Saints, although some would say that many of the saints are christian representations of those in voodoo, to me that does not matter because it is an energy, a thinking energy and to call upon them you do have to give respect no matter what.
But I'm not going to talk about that what I am going to talk about is Mid-Summer.
Today is the first day of Summer also called Mid-Summer and also called Litha.
The word Litha may come from Saxon tradition -- the opposite of Yule. This longest day of the year, as well as the shortest night and it seems to be the high of all that is life affirming, many crops are at their peak getting ready to harvest. In my yard the cherry, plum and apricot trees are full with fruit, and my family has been and is picking them, much to be eaten, and a lot to preserve.
In Wicca the Goddess is ripe with her fullness and the Green God sits on his throne. The Christians adopted this time to assign it to St. John the Baptist, because with his baptizing of Jesus it was announced spiritually that the Christ was ready to give his message to the world, in the Bible it is said that a voice came out of the clouds that said “This is my beloved son whom I am well pleased”. The light of the world at its highest.
The significance of this day between “Pagans” and Christians is that it Marks the ancient middle of Summer, and the astronomical beginning of Summer, the Christians adopted it to convert the pagans by making it the nativity of St. John the Baptist.
The celebration of Midsummer's Eve (St. John's Eve among Christians) was from ancient times a festival of the summer solstice. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southward again. There are so many meanings surrounding this day which really can be from June 19 to June 25, that it is impossible for me to list.
So I’m going to have Wikipedia explain it with this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer
Now among Wiccans there are various ways to celebrate, I’m going to give you some web sites that speak of what it’s all about and how to celebrate it:
https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/litha.htm The Celtic Connection
https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/litha The Goddess and the Green Man
http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_wheel_of_the_year/litha_-_summer_solstice.asp The White Goddess
Either way it is a time of beginning to harvest and put up and preserve your fruits and vegetables, but mostly to gather your herbs and start drying them because the herbs have reached their full growth.
In my family it was and is the perfect time to go to the County Fair and see what is being developed for home use as well as buying newly hatched chicks to augment the flock that my granny had to prevent in-breeding.
But it also signaled that it was time to start putting up our foods to have available during the winter months. One of my Uncles would also make plum wine and apricot and cherry brandy, good for what ails you he used to say. So from this time (if not a little earlier) it was the start of harvesting, and our way of also celebrating by going to the county fair and here in the United States the 4th of July for parades and picnics.
My family still does it to this day, because if you are lucky to own a home with a fair size back yard, if you want shade trees then plant fruit trees, you get more “bang for the buck.”
Granny had an apple tree that grew to a great size and she had her chicken yard shaded under that tree, the droppings from the chicken’s fertilized it and she’d have a moveable chicken run set up to move to different parts of her yard so she could take advantage of the natural fertilizer to grow crops.
For those of you who are not into putting up your own take advantage of the Farmer’s market and stock up, if you want to celebrate you will find, if you look carefully, all kinds of celebrations and parades, go to the County Fair and see a lot of old-fashion ways of doing things, or find a historical home that gives demonstrations on old-fashioned living by the seasons.
This is a good time to get in tune with the seasons of the year and set your internal clock by it.
Now if you live in the southern hemisphere it would be winter down there so you would be doing Yule type celebrations, since the seasons are reversed, check those web sites that I have listed for what kind of celebrations to do during your reversed holidays.
And this is a perfect day to take stock of what you have in your magical cabinet, herbs, oils, powders, dust, and candles, so this would be a perfect time to re-stock your cabinet.
Now I also briefly mention in one of my posts about collecting water on St. John’s Day (check the Christian Calendar) and I will repeat it here:
One of Granny's Ladies in her group was a Mrs. Washington, she lived in Louisiana and learned a lot of what some people would call Hoodoo from a number of the practitioners who lived around, some she traveled to, to learn things from and some she discovered were just down right frauds, but those that she learned from was, as we would say now a days, "The Real Deal".
She was very big on collecting River Water on St. John's Day in June (June 24th) she'd collect river water and put it into a glass bottle, and bring it home, June 24 is the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
She told me that ST. JOHN'S WATER is a wonderful extra protection for a person and their home.
She said it was a tradition, especially in (but not restricted to) the New Orleans area, to collect St. John's Water every year on St. John's Day. This water is protective; it wards off evil and keeps the one who collects and keeps it, secure and safe from harm.
You take a clean dark colored glass bottle with a lid, this is one of those times when a metal lid or cap is fine. Be sure to wash it first as you would with any of the bottles you'd use to hold your collected waters, and then let it dry so that the washing water will not "contaminate" the river water you collect.
Carrying your bottle, go to a river in your area. Rivers are the right body of water to use. We are, dealing with St. John the Baptist, who baptized in the Jordan River.
You have to recite prayers, first saying a prayer of contrition asking to be forgiven for your sins, then say the traditional Lord's Prayer for the blessings for the year to come.
Then ask St. John the Baptist for his help and blessings, he who was so intimately aware of the spiritual power of rivers. Then fill your bottle, cap it, and take it home with you.
Set this bottle on its side by the hinge side of your front door, so that it is a bit hidden from those who come to your door. Make sure that the neck of the bottle is facing the door. Keep the bottle in this position throughout the year.
If anyone comes to your door who you do not wish to deal with, anyone who may make life difficult for you - or even if you are just worried that they may come to trouble you - simply roll that bottle with your foot.
Roll it back and forth on the floor, as you concentrate on exactly what you want especially what you want to say to the person to get them to leave. Then when they leave and you close the door roll the bottle right back into its original position, where it will continue to guard and defend your home for the remainder of the year.
Remember when requesting the aid of any saint, including St. John the Baptist be sure to thank him for his assistance.
Just remember to renew this bottle of River Water every year on St. John's Day.
So however you want to celebrate or make use of the Summer Soltice or Mid-Summer, it's all up to you, use it to get started in your "workings", putting your magical cabinet together or your book of spells, however you want to do it. Either way it's a good first step.