For the past few months, progress with my spirituality has felt stagnant due to impending life changes and stress weighing on me day and night. What I really needed all this time was good quality time with myself and my practice, but unfortunately, when you’re depressed and weak from stress, the last thing you want to do is put effort into something extra.
For whatever reason, the closer it got to Midsummer, the more excited I got. I felt ready to practice magick again and celebrate the sabbat.
On the night of Midsummer, I cleaned off my dusty altar and began to arrange things differently. While I did this, I burnt a white candle to symbolize purity and new beginnings, which I felt was relevant for creating my new altar. I burnt frankincense incense and anointed each object on my altar, old and new, with the smoke. I went to bed that night feeling like a new person and excited to continue celebrating the next day.
When I woke up, my dad was making one of his “concoctions,” which consisted this time of eggs and produce from our farm share: kale, carrots, tomato, broccoli, and squash. With some hot sauce on top, it was divine. My parents are Catholic, not pagan, so it was a happy coincidence that we were having seasonal produce for our meal, which is appropriate for Midsummer.
As it happens, my brother (also Catholic) was having a Midsummer party at his house that day. His motivations were cultural, rather than religious, but I appreciated the overlap of our celebrations. My brother is worldly and an excellent cook, so he made the full Swedish spread for their traditional Midsommar. Fancy cheeses, salmon (which he cured himself), fruit, salad, crackers with spicy mustard, boiled potatoes with sour cream and chives on the side, and strawberry shortcake. We also shared a toast and took shots of Swedish Akvavit, a clear vodka-like liquor with an aftertaste that reminded me of rye bread.
From 4 PM to around 11, we kept a fire going and sat around it outside. We got so lucky because it didn’t rain on us and it cooled down quite a bit. I feel so fortunate that my brother’s interest in other cultures overlapped with my religion that day. I’m out of the broom closet, though, and he appreciated when I brought “witchy” honey and lavender cookies that I had made. Even though we may have different religions, there is nothing better than coming together and sharing a fun tradition.