Happy Summer Solstice! I've always had mixed feelings for the Summer Solstice because even though it's the longest day of the year, so begins the steady descent into Winter and every day from now on gets shorter! Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere of course it's completely the opposite!
Oak trees are full with new growth on this, the peak of the solar year (young Oak leaves are great for making Oak leaf wine). I recently learnt that the Celtic word for Oak is "Duir", meaning doorway and that the Midsummer festival holds much significance in the kingly Oak tree, supposedly symbolising a doorway into the second, waning part of the year. As we head closer to the Winter Solstice, the Oak also wanes and it becomes the Holly tree which then becomes King. I quite like this idea.
Another significant tree at this time of the year is the Elder, the Queen of Trees. Thought to be a protective, healing and nurturing force, this tree, like the Oak is shrouded in mystery and features a lot in British folklore. The Elder also peaks at Midsummer and is a great time to pick the flowers for your Elderflower sparkling wines, or cordials. Not to mention the berries in Autumn. I love the Elder. Just one problem; what to drink, Oak Leaf or Elderflower wine?! #findyourinnerpagan #mythicaltrees #summersolstice #midsummerfestival #oakleafwine #elderflowerwine #woodlandtrust