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Hedgerow Witch

SUMMER SOLSTICE

Other popular names: Midsummer, The Longest Day

IN BRITAIN THIS IS THE OCCASION since time immemorial when people say 'Gosh it's Midsummer Day and we haven't had any summer at all yet!' forgetting that the warmest weeks of the year have followed the longest day for even longer than they've been saying it, except in particularly strange years. Most importantly in Britain and it's become famous for being the day when druids celebrate the solstice at Stonehenge, something that's become as much a fixture in the news year as Bonfire night or Easter, dimly reminding Britons of their ancient mystical roots going back to when their island was the Tibet of Europe, home of druidry.

Hedge witches at Midsummer tend to venture abroad to seek out their own kind more than usual, though these gatherings could still hardly be called covens. They are far too informal for that, but witches tend to gather at the same fairs and camps where the fire smoke mingles with incense and the atmosphere is full of music and inspiration. There are notable exceptions because most wise-women are seriously private individuals who hate large gatherings, but as a general rule this is a time when good witches gather to enjoy the feeling that for once they are not the odd ones out, and to look for fresh ideas.