“The Tree” is the basic liturgical and organizational writing and the basis for Seax-Wica, but it is a ‘base’. It provides the rituals as if being practiced by a coven, but nowadays most Wiccans, especially those of the Seax-Wica tradition, are solitary practitioners (they work alone). The following information on the Sabbat is adapted from “The Tree” and is only one way that a solitary can use these rituals in their own practice. For more details on how to adapt coven rituals, check out Raymond Buckland’s “Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft”, in particular the section on Solitary Practice. It seems especially fitting that his advice be followed when working with his rituals (as was done here). I’ve replaced all instances of Priest and Priestess with ‘Gesith’, which is what one is referred to after being initiated into or self-dedicating as a Seax-Wican.
Midsummer, also known as the Summer Solstice, Summer Sabbat, or Litha, is the longest day of the year and the first official day of Summer in the US. This is a time for Seax-Wicans to appreciate the warmth and comfort of Summer while remembering that it’s the harder, colder months that truly let us appreciate this time. In other traditions, this is the time when the Lord is at his prime, caring for the newly pregnant Lady.
The Circle may be decorated with summer flowers, fruits, green branches, or other seasonal items. There should be a white altar cloth and candle.
“Now is the Summer sun on high,
Yet living goes ever on.
With hope in my heart
Let me spread happiness about me.
I let go of all sorrows!
I let go of all strife!
The day is for living –
For living this life!
On high the Sun casts never a shadow.
So shines down the love of the Gods –
Of Woden and Freya—
Shining upon all alike.
No more on one than on another.
As the Sun moves on its path,
Acknowledging all along its way;
So move I for the Mighty Ones,
To show my love and affection.”
Gesith moves clockwise about the Circle. Returning to their original position, the Gesith continues:
“Wiccans all give thanks to the Mighty Ones,
To Woden and to Freya,
For the richness and goodness of life.
As there must be rain with the sun,
To make all things good;
So must I suffer the pain with my joy,
To know all things.
My love is ever with the Gods,
For though I know not their thoughts
Yet do I know their hearts —
That all is for my good.
Woden and Freya, bless me now.
Keep me faithful in thy service.
I thank you for the crops;
For life, for love, for joy.
I thank you for that spark
That brings all together – and to you.
Help me to live with Love
And with Trust between us.
Help me to feel the joy of loving you
And of loving one another.
So be it!’
Then follows the Ceremony of Cakes and Ale, followed by games and merriment.
What is the Meaning of Midsummer?
Midsummer is when the Sun is in full power over the Earth, and life is abundant. It is the culmination of sunlight that has been growing since Yule, and also marks the point when the Sun begins to wane and the nights grow in length.
Symbols of Midsummer
Some common symbols of Midsummer include fires, flowers, oak trees, and (of course) the sun, as well as the colors blue, gold, green, and red. As this is the time of the Sun’s strongest day, it’s an excellent time for studying tales of the sun and it’s gods, such as the wolves Skoll and Hati who chase the Sun and Moon across the sky, or Apollo, Ra, or the many others.
Food & Herbs of Midsummer
Some things to eat for Midsummer include apples, honey, milk, lavender, lemons, or any Summer fruit. As usual, the best choice for celebrating the seasons is to use local, seasonal foods. This is also a great time for ales, wines, and meads.
What else can you do on Midsummer?
Some fun, traditional things to do on Midsummer include bonfires, or making a circle of dried branches and lighting it on fire to represent the sun while dancing around it. This is a great time for handfasting’s, and to celebrate the abundance of Summer with a great feast. Get up early and watch the sunrise, and stay up to watch the sunset so you can enjoy every minute of the longest day.