Midsummer - sometimes called the Summer Solstice or Litha - is a magical time of year, when the days are at their longest. Pagans celebrate the power of the sun at its strongest, on June 21, with rituals, celebrations, feasting and fun.
There are lots of pagan events - including open rituals to honour the Summer Solstice - taking place over the next couple of weeks in London and southern England. Here are some of the events for the following fortnight:
Tuesday 14 June; Experiencing Etheric Influences in the Landscape: The Limitations of Earth Energy Dowsing. Talk by Pat Toms at London Earth Mysteries Circle. Admission is £4.50, concessions £4, members £3, concessions are £4. Talks are usually held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7.15PM at First Floor, 50 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8EA. http://www.londonearth.com/
Tuesday 14 June; Hermes Trismegistus: Fall and Rise of a Magical Figure. Lecture by Gary Lachman, author of The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus: From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World,at Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Entry £7, booking essential. Tel: 020 7240 8906 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.treadwells-london.com/lectures.asp
Wednesday; 15 June, The Liberty - a talk by John Constable, author of The Southwark Mysteries and Secret Bankside, at the Urban Physic Garden, 100 Union Street, London SE1 0NL. Time: 1.15pm–2pm. This is a free event.
Wednesday 15 June; Creating Oracle spreads and readings for guidance. Psychic Cafe at pagan forum The Moot with No Name, arranged through Atlantis Bookshop. Venue: Devereux public house, 20 Devereux Court, off Essex Street, London WC2R 3JJ. Meet from 7.30pm, event starts at 8pm. Admission £5. http://www.theatlantisbookshopevents.com/page2.htm
Thursday, 16 June, John Constable, author of Southwark Mysteries (Oberon Book)and Secret Bankside: Walks Around the Outlaw Borough,will be talking, performing and signing books at Woolfson and Tay Bookshop, 12 Bermondsey Square, London SE1 3UN. Time: 7pm. Cost: £5/£3 concs, including a £2 reduction on John's books. For more information and advance booking call 020 7407 9316 or email http://www.woolfsonandtay.com/
Friday, 17 June; Animal Healing. Special event by Elizabeth Whiter at The College of Psychic Studies 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm - 8.30pm. Cost: £8/£12. Advance booking essential. Tel: 020 7589 3292. http://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/index.html
17-20 June; Pendle Witch Camp, including a festival of folklore. Festival in Pendle, Lancashire, with talks and workshops. Tickets are £33. For more details and to book tickets visit http://www.penwitchcamp.co.uk/default.asp
Saturday, 18 June; The Cauldron of Cerridwen will be hosting their Open Ritual for the Solstice at The Sun Circle, Avebury, Wilts, Avebury, United Kingdom. The event starts at noon. This is a free, family-friendly event and will take place in the field opposite the pub.
Saturday, 18 June; Free and Open Gorsedd Summer Solstice Rite by the Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Abiri at The Sun Circle, Avebury, Wilts, Avebury, United Kingdom. Druidic style open ceremony to celebrate summer - all faith paths welcome. Meet at the Red Lion pub from noon for ceremony from 2pm-3.30pm. Offerings of bread or cake, mead, poetry and song are welcome.
Saturday, 18 June; Hilly Fields Midsummer Fayre. Annual summer community fair in its 36th year in a lovely park with its own stone circle. This is not a specifically pagan event, but has a lovely atmosphere of a traditional summer fair with stalls, children's rides, farm animals, crafts, refreshments, arena entertainments, a dog show and more. Location: Hilly Fields (pictured at the top of the page), Hilly Fields Crescent, London SE4 1QA. From noon to 5pm. Free entry. Visit http://www2.lewisham.gov.uk/lbl/Events/event_detail.asp?eventid=6211
Sunday 19 June; Understanding Midsummer. An intensive one-day course on symbolism, folklore, custom and magic by Suzanne Corbie at Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am - 6pm. Cost £45, advance booking and deposit essential. Tel: 020 7240 8906 or email: email@example.com. www.treadwells-london.com/lectures.asp
Sunday 19 June; Anderida Gorsedd Summer Solstice open ritual at the Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex. Meet near the car park between 1.30pm and 2pm for a walk up to the chalk hill figure at 2pm. Afterwards back to the Giants Rest pub in Wilmington for a social drink together.
Monday 20 June; Croydon Crows. PF moot held every 3rd Monday of each month at the Skylark pub, South End, South Croydon from 8pm onwards.
Monday, 20 June; Food and Magic. Talk by Drewd Galdron at pagan forum Secret Chiefs. Venue: Devereux public house, 20 Devereux Court, off Essex Street, London WC2R 3JJ. Meet from 7.30pm, event starts at 8.30pm. Admission £2. http://secretchiefslondon.wordpress.com
Monday, 20 June - Tuesday 21 June; Stonehenge, the 5,000-year-old megalithic monument on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, is the most famous place in England to celebrate the solstices. Entry is normally restricted although English Heritage, which manages the site, will be providing what it calls "managed open access" to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice, from the evening of 20 June until early morning on 21 June. No camping is allowed. Please use public transport to get there, buses run from Salisbury railway station. For details about access to the stones, visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/explore/summer-solstice-2011/ or http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/stonehenge/2011/
Tuesday, 21 June; 2012 - A Time to Change. Channelled lecture by Sarah Tyler Walters at The College of Psychic Studies 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm - 8.30pm. Cost: £5/£8. Advance booking essential. Tel: 020 7589 3292. http://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/index.html
Tuesday, 21 June; The Circle of Ankerwycke Litha (Midsummer) Open Ritual. Location: woods at Ankerwycke, near Staines. Places are limited, if you want to attend, call 07889 126311.
Thursday, 23 June; Red Cross Bards for Crossbones. John Constable, author of The Southwark Mysteries and Secret Bankside, will be hosting an evening of open-air poetry and song in the Red Cross Garden with Nigel of Bermondsey and others. There will be floor spots so you can perform your own poem or song inspired by Crossbones Graveyard or by your experience of living in Southwark. Location: Red Cross Garden, Redcross Way, SE1 (2 minutes south of Crossbones) Time: 5pm. At 6.45 There will be a procession up Redcross Way for the monthly 7pm vigil at the gates of Crossbones Graveyard.
Thursday, 23 June; Demons and Angels - The Jewish Tradition. Lecture by James LaForest at Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Entry £7, booking essential. Tel: 020 7240 8906 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.treadwells-london.com/lectures.asp
Wednesday 22, June; Terry Welbourn talking about Colin Wilson, author of The Outsider,at Pagan forum The Moot with No Name, arranged through Atlantis Bookshop. Venue: Devereux public house, 20 Devereux Court, off Essex Street, London WC2R 3JJ. Meet from 7.30pm, event starts at 8pm. Admission £5. http://www.theatlantisbookshopevents.com/page2.htm
Thursday 23 June; PFL Midsummer Open Ritual with Jeremy Morgan, the Druid of Wormwood Scrubs. Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London. Turn up by 7.30pm for pre-ritual social. The ritual starts at 8pm. Entrance: PF members/consc £5. All others £6. Please also bring seasonal food/home-made food and drinks to share at the feast after the ritual.
Saturday, 25 June; The Flow of Domnu. Goddess workshop with priest of Avalon David Spofforth. Venue: Bonnington Centre, 11 Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 1TD. Time: 1pm for 1.30pm start. Ends at 5.30pm. Cost: £15 on the day, £10 in advance. For more details and to book places visit http://www.priestofavalon.com/