Summer is my personal favorite season. In New Orleans, we sort of start “Summer” at Beltane, and it runs through almost Mabon, from a weather/temperature perspective. Early May is usually bloody hot, and the heat doesn’t often break until well into September. Still, there’s a lot of societal norms that we must observe which better define/mark the Summer season, such as the end of school. When the kids hit the streets in late May/early June, parents start focusing on what the family’s going to do to pass the time until the kids go back into the academic routine.
Making Summer Magic!
Yes, even though my kids are older now, I still frame Summer around the school year. I haven’t taught high school in over 30 years, but the folks I currently work with often have kids. They structure their schedules around home and hearth, and that determines my current teaching schedule (corporate training). One of my favorite things that truly marks summer is is playground baseball. Folks who have kids, ranging in age from six to twelve often have the kids doing playground sports. Baseball (t-ball for the littles, then up from there, starts in the spring, and is usually over with by Litha. When the team obligations are over, the family can go on holiday!
Many witchy families aren’t that much different from their muggle counterparts when it comes to kids’ activities. Observe Litha, then summer is truly begin. Whether the family takes a travel vacation or everyone stays home, getting out on the grass, next to water, catching a cool breeze when we can, opening up to the vibrations of New Orleans’ hot summer is a great experience.
Kids or no, Summer is about re-charging the batteries. Even when our society was more agrarian, a lot of what folks did in the Summer was watch the crops grow. Living in the modern world, we may not slow down at work, but we do in our off time. Festivals and events in South Louisiana don’t stop because the heat goes on. We just don’t cover as much ground in the heat. It’s easy for witches to blend in to those celebrations, as well as making our own time and space for reflection, improving our connection to our deities.
Working with Air
I have a strong affinity to Water, but in the heat of the Summer, I often work on my focus with Air. Everyone appreciates that cool breeze in the afternoon, or that wind that kicks up just before a thunderstorm passes over. June to November is also hurricane season, and while there’s not much we can do to harness those winds, they’re still dominant in everyone’s thoughts when the storms develop. I’ve got a couple of sets of Elemental stones I keep in my travel bag. Right now, I’m keeping the Air stone with me regularly, to help develop that focus. Thinking about Raphael, the Guardian of Air, the Healer, I use that gold stone to connect with Air.
Before doing an invocation, it’s always a good idea to banish, ground, and center. That way you focus yourself and establish your personal protection from any nasties that may be in the vicinity. Then, if you have an athame or ritual knife, great, if not, extend your right arm with two fingers pointing forward. Draw an Air pentagram by going across, right to left, then down, then up, down, up, so you end where you started, on the right.
Welcome the Guardian of East/Air in your tradition’s way. Invite the Guardian to give you some cool breeze, while you reflect on Air.
(“Summer” graphic shamelessly appropriated from the lovely and talented Katy of Northshore Parent)