The Everyday Lore Project

5 July 2020 – Old Midsummer’s Day

5 July 2020 – Old Midsummer’s Day

After the high adrenaline of yesterday’s championship battle, I needed something a little more sedate to do today. Thanks to calendar shenanigans, it’s Old Midsummer’s Day, so there was a lot that I could have chosen. But as it’s also July’s full moon and a penumbral lunar eclipse, I thought I would go moon again. 

Unlike last month, this month’s folklore didn’t depend on me actually going outside and finding the full moon, I could do it at my desk. It’s the Wyrt Moon, wyrt being Old English for herbs, or the Mead Moon, as the first honey crop meant the first booze making. However, neither of these facts had any bearing on my task, which was to find balance.

Because this month’s full moon falls on a Sunday it meant that I could harness the energies of both moon and sun for this balancing act. Luckily the spell I was working from didn’t specify a time as the actual eclipse was around dawn this morning, and the moon didn’t rise until 9.55pm. So I plumped for full sunshine sometime earlier this evening (Barometer Watch: green water – no change, balloon jar – a fraction above the first reading). 

Having thought about what I wanted to find balance with emotionally, the craic was to then balance something physically while intoning the following:

Help me find my balance today
As the moon and the sun both hold sway

A sort of spiritual equivalent of patting my head while rubbing my tummy and singing I Am The Slime by Frank Zappa. So I had a think. There are plenty of things out of whack in my life at the moment, so it was more of an exercise in prioritisation. Once decided, I then needed to find something to actually balance. The book suggested various methods, but balancing something on my forefinger sounded the easiest, and as they stated that juniper is today’s incense, I thought I would use my foraged sprig from aeons ago.

In a surprising feat of dexterity, it only took me five goes to balance my sprig, but as I didn’t feel as if I’d achieved any kind of actual balance, I carried on intoning. I went on for quite a while, sometimes incorporating my intention into the couplet, sometimes staring out the window. Until I baulked at saying any kind of words and had to stop. 

Although I write these posts up for cheap laughs, when I’m doing stuff like this I am genuinely and sincerely in the moment. But this one didn’t seem to stick. Or maybe I baulked because the powers that be thought I was taking the proverbial and just wanted it to stop. Either way, today’s folklore fell flat. But you never know, a bit of whack might just be shifting back into place. 

Veg Vig
The beans are beaning away, and my herbs seem to be flourishing. No news on the hollyhocks or the mangelwurzels yet though.

Parish Notice: It’s my Half Way Through anniversary on Tuesday. And it corresponds very nicely with World Chocolate Day and Bake Off: The Professionals in the evening. So what can I bake to celebrate? All suggestions will be drooled over accordingly.

UPDATE (6 July 2020):
I was just tweeted this lovely tale from storyteller, Paul A.T. Wilson about how the July full moon also got its name of Stag Moon or Hart Moon and thought I’d share:


Leendertz, L. (2019) The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2020, London, Mitchell Beazley

Neff, A. (ed) (2019) Llewellyn’s 2020 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac, Holidays & Lore, Spells, Rituals & Meditations, Woodbury, MN, Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.

Updated 6 July 2020 to include:

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

2 comments on “5 July 2020 – Old Midsummer’s Day”

  1. Claire-Louise Armstrong-Brealey says:

    Your reads are fabulous! Interesting facts alongside smiles

    1. That’s such a wonderful thing to write, thank you! The smiles are all mine, today.

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