High Days: Midsummer

Midsummer is, in modern culture, celebrated as the first day of summer. But traditionally it is the middle of the light half of the year, hence the term “Mid Summer”. It is the half-point of the year, and now symbolizes all of the days getting shorter again; a reminder of the upcoming winter. Now we prepare for the first harvest, often many fruits such as raspberries and cherries (at least at my place) are ready for picking. Honeysuckle blooms, filling the air with sweet aroma, and the sun also blooms, filling the world with warmth.

To many Native American cultures, summer is heaven and winter is hell. This time of year often brings many tribes together for their ritualistic (and often perceived as barbaric) sundance. It’s a time to renew yourself through pain and self-sacrifice over several days of fasting and symbolic icons, which all come together to represent personal rebirth.

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