Open the Summer Solstice celebration pages as a pdf Summer Solstice Festival Pages



As part of the 2015 Earth Pathways Diary festival pages we are including extra information on these festival web pages, to encourage you to explore the energy of the festivals yourself through stories and storytelling. We have been gifted these beautiful stories and chants by Marion McCartney. Immerse yourself in this Summer Solstice festival story.

 The Midsummer Bride  (Outline)

A young man out riding at sunrise on Midsummer morning met a young woman with golden hair wearing a green gown
What is your name?
Where are you from?
Where are you going?
She didn’t know.
Looked as though she smiled at something half remembered

They married
She never danced
One day he saw her dancing alone.
I heard the music; I had to dance.

A year passed
He was journeying home at Midsummer Dawn
He saw dancers — one wearing crimson
His horse bolted
Found her in bed
The hem of her crimson gown was wet.

He went to visit a wise woman.
”Your wife is of the fairy people.
“On Midsummer Eve she will always have to dance with her people and one day she may not return.
Offer her a love so full and perfect that it leaves no room in her mind for any other memories.

Next Midsummer Eve
she slipped from the castle in a gown of blue velvet
He followed and found her dancing in bare feet
He seized her arm.

Her people called:
“Be strong our sister. Be strong and come back to us.”
She became: Tree — wind in branches.
He hugged and held her.

“Be fierce our sister. Be fierce and come back to us.”
Vixen — bit him to the bone. Held her in his arms.

“Be wild our sister. Be wild and come back to us.”
Salmon – twisting. He gripped it firmly.

“Be formless our sister. Be formless and come back to us.”
Water — trickle – He cupped his hands and held it..

“Be swift our sister. Be swift and come back to us.”
Breath of wind — clasped it to his heart

“Be burning our sister. Be burning and come back to us.”
Flame. He held on.

“I cannot escape. You are too strong for me.”

“if you stayed with me will you remember your people and be sad?”
“ I shall always know that there is something which I have lost, but not what it is.”

“If you returned to your people, would you remember our life together and regret that it was past?”
“I would forget you completely”

“I do not wish you to have even a moment’s sorrow. Return to your people and be happy.”

So, how would you end the story?

How would you tell it (given that you have an outline, including key ‘poetic phrasing’ but not a  complete text)? This is a good way of learning a story to tell rather than recite, using your own words as much as possible.

I based the outline on the version by Barbara Leonie Picard, illustrated by Alan Marks (Oxford University Press).
I’ll give you her ending at Lammas, when I’ll share more stories as it’s  good time of year to tell them outdoors.

Look out for other stories involving shapeshifting. You can find the traditional story of Tam Lin, a human trapped in the land of ‘faery’, recounted in Wikipedia, played by Fairport Convention and also performed (as ‘Tam Lyn – retold’) by  Benjamin Zephaniah – search on You Tube.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.