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Origins of Midsummer

The Midsummer solstice is an astronomical point, that is due to the procession to the equinox. It occurs when the sun reaches the tropic of cancer, which is the longest day of the year, usually around June 20th to the 22nd, but may vary from year to year. Since most of the Euopean people did not have access to the stonehenge at Salisbury Plain they would use a fixed date for their celebration which was June 24th. However the Celts days were from sundown to sundown so the sabbat would be celebrate on the sundown of the 23rd. Pagan ancestors probable celebrated this sabbat on the June 24th, and to this day most european folk still use this date for there festivals. However the sensibility of the modern witches prefer to have the festivals on the actual solstice, and would begin their festivities on the eve of the solstice, usually at sunset. Just as Yule was adopted by the Christians as Christmas, the midsummer sabbat was adopted by them too for the feast of John the Baptist. Modern witches use a generic name of midsummer for this holliday but its very probable that a few hundred years ago it was called St. Johns eve by their ancestors. This comes from a wealth of folklore that surrounds the summer solstice. This is a night that is sacred to the fairie folk but is ascribed to St. Johns Eve, with no mention of the suns position. St John was often seen as a pagan figure, and was called The Oak King. His connection to the wilderness was often emphasized in the rustic nature of his shrines. There are many statues which show him as a horned figure.

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