Friday, June 21, 2019

Thursday, June 20, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 20

recharge the batteries of cameras
Finish cooking and make a time table for next day.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 19

Cook everything that can wait for a couple of days before and start preparing for the rest.
Get fresh flowers, if you plan on buying any.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 18

Purchase the fresh ingredients you need for the party.
Set the table, and mark the serving dishes with what is going to go there.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 16

You need to buy all the food and beverages you need for the party that can be stored.

Friday, June 14, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 14

Deep-clean the whole house and decorate it.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 8

Make midsummer mead. Use this easy recipe for Finnish May Day sima. It's like homemade carbonated soda. You can, of course, make real alcoholic Viking honey wine mead, if you want to, but if you want to makes something the kids can enjoy as well, choose the Finnish light version :-D

Friday, June 7, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer; Day 7

Today we will be taking care of the Midsummer greetings.

Update your holiday card list.
Check the addresses
Make the cards. Don't make it difficult. Most people aren't used to receive Midsummer greetings, so they will be happy to receive a card, any card. It's not a competition. I suggest you choose  a generic summer greeting, depicting the sun, the beach or flowers.
Post the cards.

Monday, June 3, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 3

Now is the day to play around with the menu, so that you can order any bigger pieces of meat or fish.

I like complicated menus. :-D I mean, 21 course dinners and such.
For bigger holidays we are used to serve food in the French style - that is, everything is brought to the table at the same time and the diners choose their own food of what is served.
You can choose to do it that way, or you can choose to have a Russian service, that is the courses are eaten in order and removed when everyone has eaten. Now, that will, of course, take time, but might be an interesting experience. Reminds more of a wedding.

It is traditional to serve a buffet table, though.

I would only eat vegetarian food during the summer (from Beltane to Samhain), but some people eat fish during Midsummer - especially here in Sweden where I live at the moment.

Other food ideas involve eating something they eat around tropics, like have a Caribbean themed dinner or African, Indian, South American, South-East Asian, South Pacific...

You could have a mermaid or fairy themed party (for the whole family). Might be difficult, but that's just a challenge.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 2

Make a master gift list.
Yes, I do plan giving gifts even on Midsummer.
No, I don't plan on giving gifts that cost more than 10 dollars. It's more like stocking stuffers than presents. Look up "summer gift".
Now, OF COURSE, if you CAN afford it, get extravagant. I can't.

Here, for example, is a mason jar teacher gift. She decorated the jars, put in some school supplies, a gift card and a handful of gravel, and that's it. You can take any jar or perhaps a plastic drink container and put in some things useful in the summer, like drink powder or mosquito repellent or chapstick. Maybe summer socks. Things like that. Cheap, small... it's just a gesture after all.
It would also be quite all right to give a small baggie of Swedish Fish and perhaps put a golden chocolate coin in to represent the sun. 

Also, get out your holiday decorations, if you have any, and check their condition. Do you need to fix any lamps or mend anything or replace anything? Now is the time. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

21 Days of Midsummer - Day 1

It's that time of the year again... Days are getting longer, the world is green, lush and full of life.

So, what to do during these 21 days to get the Midsummer celebration you want and deserve?

1) Plan

Once upon a time there was this site called Polyvore, and at Christmas time it was full of "challenges". People were challenging each other to create sets according to themes. (A Polyvore set was a sort of idea or inspiration board for clothes, mainly, but you could put in any images you liked. A lot of people used Polyvore to make art, or to create inspiration boards for interior decor etc. Most did outfits, though.) One of these challenges was by a snotty teenager, who... ugh. What ever. Anyway, the challenge was to make 50 sets to illustrate different Christmas related themes, like "gingerbread" or "eggnog" or "green". Because she was snotty, I created my own challenge, and I created a challenge for each of the eight Sabbats by the principle; 50 themes, colors, shapes, symbols, foods and drinks, myths, correspondences etc. associated with the Sabbat.

This is basically what you are supposed to be doing now :-D

Find the themes, colors, symbols, myths and other things YOU associate with Midsummer.

Go to Pinterest, and gather all kinds of images and ideas you would like to try and have. This is mine: Summer Solstice - Midsummer

What I want is to have the whole house decorated. I am holiday crazy, so I really want everything from crocheted tp-roll covers to silly holiday themed clothes, so in my house everything is dressed in holiday carb. If you have read my blog, you know I have no scruples taking traditions from other holidays and feasts and adjust them to my Sabbats. I have taken my favorite traditions from every holiday I have ever celebrated, and I am all the time looking for new ideas to add to my traditions, so there will be costumes and trick-or-treating, Christmas tree and egg hunt, presents and Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and everything possible. Adjusted to the holiday at hands, of course. :-D

Midsummer day's "correspondences"

The obvious symbol of Midsummer is the sun, and most Midsummer correspondences are sun related.

The colors are white, yellow, orange and red, colors of light, fire and sun. I also add blue, the color of water and summer sky. My Midsummer is heavily related to water.

The deity is a solar deity. 
My favorite solar deity is Saulė. I also call Her Sunna Sulis or Sunnan Sul. 
In my personal mythology Saulé is the "Mother Midsummer" - Father Christmas, Santa Claus of Midsummer. 
She moves with her lover, the Oak King, Jan (as in January... ;-)) - Christianized as St. John, and therefore celebrated at Midsummer. 
One could see these two as Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies, so Midsummer "elves" or "tomtar" are the fairies. 

If you want, you can have an "elf on the shelf", or fairy in the air. Just don't use it as a snitch, a threat scaring the children to "behave". Traditions for children are supposed to be fun. All these "if you are not nice, the devil will come and get you! You won't get any presents, just coal in your sock, if you're not nice, obedient and do what I say!" traditions are despicable crap. If you can't raise your children without slapping and threatening them, you shouldn't have children. 

The theme of Midsummer is life, abundance, fertility and light.  So, all the magic related to these themes is appropriate at this time of the year. 
As a fertility feast, sex is an essential part of the holiday. You really should go out on the fields and make love in the flowers. 
(Now, of course, only if you want to and your partner wants to, and you protect yourself from STDs and unwanted intrusion and so on and so forth... *sigh* I hate it that this world is so twisted about sex and sexuality. I wish it would be as safe and normal to go frolic in the wild flowers as it is to go to a corner shop to buy some milk. I wish I didn't remember that it's not all too safe to go to a corner shop to buy some milk either...) 

I have noticed that deep cleaning everything and decorating is a huge part of my holidays. Now, one thing about decorating the house for Midsummer, is that Midsummer is celebrated outside, in the nature. You should be up all night and watch the sun set and rise the next morning - and in Finland where I come from, it barely even happens. The night is three hours long, from 11 P.M. to 2 A.M. In Stockholm it's 5 1/2 hours. In Finland it's like solar eclipse... the world lives in twilight for 3 hours, it never gets really dark, one can barely see any stars, but the birds are quiet, except for the evening singers, nightingale and song thrush... it feels like the wind even quiets down... the magic is so thick in the air one can feel it even when one isn't used to feeling it. I feel the Mother's heartbeat, Gaia's Song, almost as if I was wading ankledeep in the soil... It is amazing. I'd even let children fall asleep where they happen to be, they will be protected in Midsummer's Night, and not take any harm. Now, I celebrate my Midsummer in the Finnish countryside, where there are no other people within miles (except for a couple of neighbors), so I don't need to be vary about strangers... I don't believe the people in more habitated areas harken to the Midsummer Magic and let people be in peace, so I wouldn't recommend letting children fall asleep in some park just because it's Midsummer.

So, if you can't get out or can't be outside the whole Midsummer, bring the greenery inside. In the winter, one uses evergreens as a reminder of that there still is life even in the coldest midwinter. In the summer, one uses anything and everything green that grows outside :-D Bring in leafy branches (don't just take branches from living trees that grow around you, go buy them as you would a Christmas tree. There's bound to be some landowner somewhere who cuts trees for firewood, and you can ask to get the branches. Do this a good time beforehand.) Build yourself a small indoor sukkah. use the artificial greenery. Use treelike indoor plants, like figs and hibiscus. Use green fabric to imitate lush greenery. Make paper leaves and staple on a green sheet. Use camouflage netting. I am imagining sort of nature taking over the home, or Sleeping Beauty's rose growing all over the place. hang leaf garlands everywhere they can be hanged, stick boughs, flowers, fake greenery behind every painting and fill all the vases, pots and jugs with bouquets of summer flowers.

If you can be outside, the best place to be is by water. Have a beach party. And have a bonfire.

This connection with water is my other Midsummer theme. I associate mermaids to midsummer. As you can see on my Midsummer board at Pinterest, there's quite a lot of fishes. Now, in Christmas, the Scandinavian symbolic animal is the pig. I have chosen fishes as the symbolic animal of Midsummer. You could also use white horses, white snakes and white cows, or even white reindeer/deer.

 Roses are heavily associated with Midsummer as well, as are daisies.

Anyway, what I want you to do today is to plan your Midsummer. What do you want to do, how much, and all that.

I don't expect that to take more than a couple of hours, because I expect you to have at least some sort of idea of what you want to do. I also don't expect you to plan on doing a lot to honor this day. Most people aren't as mad as I am :-D

This means that you should also have time to make a preliminary budget and menu as well.


It is not fun if you worry about money or if you spend more money than you have and have to pay with giving up things. There is always a possibility to get what you want by spending less or no money.