Well, well, welcome to June. June is a really magical time of year, and we are going to talk all about the different ways we can honor this beautiful month, and magically get the most out of it. We have a full moon on the 14th, we’ve got the solstice on the 21st along with the start of Cancer season, and there’s a new moon on the 28th. This time of year represents a major shift in the seasons, a major shift in mindsets and as of today, we are finally out of Mercury Retrograde, thank you and smell ya later. 

What a goddamn nightmare. Mercury is still in its shadow for another little while, but the worst of its effects are behind us. But, Pluto is still retrograde through October, Saturn moves into retrograde on June fourth and stays that way until October, I think on the 23rd, and at the end of this month, Neptune goes retrograde through December. So we are going to talk about all that, but first, I want to just check in on everyone’s mental health.


These have been very trying times. For so many of us. And it’s just really important for us to stay cognizant of how we are feeling mentally and emotionally, because it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We have got to stay mindful of that, and about not allowing ourselves to take on more than we are able to comfortably manage. We really have to be able to say no. And it’s not easy for a lot of us, I know this well. I am a Libra people-pleaser and it hurts me to feel like I’m disappointing someone. But one of my all-time favorite spells is simply to say, No. I have to decline; my plate is very full. It’s taken me nearly 5 decades to learn that spell, but I wanted to share it. It’s empowering and it will change your life. 


Respecting your own boundaries is the only way to make other people respect your boundaries. It is a radical act of self-care. If you continue to give of yourself beyond your limits, it’s no longer an act of love. It’s not a kindness. You’re no longer giving freely, it begins to build resentment, it puts a strain on relationships with other people who may not even realize they are asking too much of you. You start to feel bitterness toward this other person when you could have simply said no. It’s better to have that little bit of awkwardness for a moment than to allow those feelings to build, AND to put yourself in that position in the first place. 


There are of course people who don’t like to take no for an answer, but here’s a secret: they don’t really matter anyway. If they won’t respect your boundaries, let them be mad. They may get offended by you daring to advocate for your own well-being, but why in god’s name would you even want the good opinion of someone like that? It’s an honor to disappoint someone like that. Are they going to talk shit behind your back? Maybe. Let them. Don’t get your ego involved in this other person’s bullshit. It’s not worth your emotional currency. 


Anyway, that’s the end of that little rant. I just felt it needed to be said, and I am trying to honor my intuition more. So I hope that message resonates with whoever needed to hear it. But now let’s talk about all this astrological messiness that we are heading into. I did an episode on retrogrades at the beginning of the year, it was the first episode of 2022, so I’m going to just reiterate what I said then with regard to Saturn and then Neptune going retrograde this month. 


Now Saturn is the rules and limitations planet. He is very authoritative and inhibited. On the positive side, Saturn also rules discipline, organization, and patience, but he also makes sure that we earn the things that we receive. This can obviously be a very good thing when it comes to learning perseverance, but during retrograde, it can just feel like we are never going to get what we want. And Saturn is gonna squat in retrograde for like four and a half months, from June 4th to October 23rd, so when this hits, all we can really do is just settle in and ride it out.


We must stay aware that you may find ourselves or those around us acting overly rigid and unyielding at this time, or on the other hand, we may find that we aren’t exercising our usual self-restraint. If we find ourselves overindulging in your favorite vices, or just generally being really lazy, unmotivated, and slothful, we have to be prepared to call ourselves out and ask if this is really the behavior we want to accept from ourselves, or if we’re just letting Saturn retrograde get the best of us. The most important thing we can bear in mind is to regularly check in with ourselves and make sure we aren’t either being too stubborn with those around us, or conversely that we aren’t letting ourselves backslide into behavior that isn’t in our own best interests.


And then there’s Neptune. Neptune is where we go to daydream. This planet rules nostalgia and romance, but also escapism. So when it’s retrograde, we can find ourselves using really self-destructive means of avoiding reality. We can find ourselves drinking too much, we may start smoking again, we might find ourselves falling back into unhealthy eating habits, going back to that toxic ex. When Neptune goes retrograde, we suddenly find ourselves back on our bullshit.


And we can see how, when this comes into play at the end of the month and overlaps with Saturn retrograde, we are going to have to really dig deep to stay on track. We cannot just let ourselves be slothful and irresponsible and frankly, self destructive. When we do decide to indulge in leisure time, and in those escapist activities, it has to be mindful. We have to make a conscious decision about it, you know. Because it’s going to be really easy to let those escapisms go too far.


Neptune in retrograde can also put us at a higher risk of getting sick, so be especially mindful of your health during those times and take your vitamins, drink plenty of water, and get enough rest. Pisces is ruled by Neptune, so if you are a Pisces, be especially vigilant. Neptune will be retrograde from June 28th to December 3rd, so that’s just a little over 5 months, so it’s going to be important to stay mindful of not sliding into bad habits, poor health, and impulsive decisions, because 5 months is plenty of time to do a lot of damage.


And of course let us not forget that Pluto is already retrograde. Pluto rules, life, death, and rebirth. Pluto is a planet of transformation. Pluto is like the Death card in tarot; when there’s something we need to let go of to reach our next level, Pluto is there for it. Pluto will not go direct again until October 8th. Pluto retrograde is going to have us all doing a lot of introspection though, a lot of shadow work, it’s going to be an excellent time for personal transformation and moments of deep understanding.


So best of luck to all of us, because we are going to need it. 2022 has been one bastard of a year so far, and it isn’t through with us yet. But we don’t have to be victims of the stars; that’s not the point at all. We are affected by these things whether we are aware of it or not, so my point in saying all of this is to help us be prepared. We can establish ways to navigate these weird times and come out on top, but not if we aren’t aware of what’s coming and how it’s going to affect, not only us, but everyone around us. 


So with all of that said and everyone sufficiently prepared for the weeks and months ahead, let’s talk about June. And I want to say at the outset, this episode is pretty Northern hemisphere-centric. I know there are one or two listeners in Australia for sure, and hello, Kate, I hope you’re doing well, bless your cotton socks. But they’re about to enjoy their winter solstice, and up north we are cruising toward the summer solstice, or Litha. I’m going to devote a whole episode to Litha next week, so I don’t know Kate, maybe that one won’t be very interesting until December when it’s summer for you. 


I don’t know. But regardless, I am giving June an episode to itself because there’s just so much magick in the summertime. It’s so much easier to commune with nature and listen to the wind and observe the animals when we aren’t freezing our tits off. Legend tells us that the Oak king and the Holly king are locked in an eternal battle for dominance of the season, and in the summer, the Oak king is at his strongest, and in the winter of course, the Holly king reigns supreme. Midsummer and midwinter are always at odds, and the rest of us just get to sit back and enjoy the show, the changing of the guard, the turning of the leaves.


So as we approach the time of year, here in the North at least, when we pay tribute to summer, let’s talk about some ways we can make the most of these gorgeous summer days and warm summer nights. 


One of my top suggestions has to do with bonfires. Fire pits, burn barrels, however you do it. These small fires are such a part of outdoor summertime activities and it’s easy to give these flames greater significance. My favorite way is to create an herbal talisman to throw into the flames. There are two reasons I do this. The first is to create a mixture of herbs to call in certain intentions, like sage for protection, or rosemary for happiness, or eucalyptus for healing to those sitting around the fire with me. These herbs work better when they’re fresh rather than dried, because the other benefit is that these certain herbs, when burnt, repel mosquitoes. And I love all nature’s creatures except mosquitoes, they can burn in Catholic hell.  


If you’re having folks over for a BBQ, if you’re just enjoying an evening outside with your family, or if you’re burning this fire with any kind of ritual significance, it’s a way to make it more magickal. And speaking of that, we can also imbue these summer get-togethers with extra magick in other ways too. If you’re having friends over for drinks, cocktails, maybe midnight margaritas, consider blessing some of your ingredients ahead of time to give them more meaning. Such as your lemons or limes, which are used in friendship and relationship magick, and of course your salt is already blessed with the powers of purification. Weaving a simple spell of connection and togetherness over these things will make the event, as low-key as it may be, that much more meaningful and enjoyable.


If you work with the Fae at all, and even if you don’t, summer is a lovely time to pay a little tribute to the fae on your property, in your garden, or in your home by leaving a little offering of milk or honey. And incidentally, if you do this, they may repay your kindness by returning some little trinket you’ve lost. Candace knows what’s up, she was doing some deep cleaning recently and knocked over a lamp and lo and behold, there was a shiny earring she had been looking for for years. So the fae bless us when we take care of them and their homes, it’s a very transactional relationship. 


Another way to bring significance to the season is in the foods we eat. Because so many fresh fruits and veg are in season at this time, we can build little spells by choosing ingredients with intention. It’s nice if you’ve grown it yourself, but if you haven’t, that’s ok. If you have a farmer’s market, or even just fruit stands on the side of the road selling local produce, that’s great too. If that’s not something that’s available to you, the produce at your grocery store is perfectly fine. Witches work with what they have. But building a recipe thoughtfully with ingredients that serve your specific intention, is easy to do in the summertime because everything is fresh and in season and it’s easy to do a little reading online and find out what you can add to a dish to bring magick and meaning to it.


Even something as simple as a summer salad can become magickal. And don’t get me wrong, I am not really a salad kind of gal usually, but a spinach and feta salad with sliced strawberries for  luck and candied pecans for money, drizzled with a nice raspberry vinaigrette for protection, let me just tell you. It is so amazing and it pairs very well with Chardonnay, incidentally. But anything we make in the summer we can garnish with fresh fruits, herbs, and edible flowers and we can really be in the moment and very present as we enjoy these meals, and eating is something we already do anyway, so it’s really cool to fold in some magick while we’re at it.


There are also some simple rituals we can perform this month that are really powerful and really low-stress. Again, we will get into Litha and the solstice next week, which is of course a big sort of blow-out witch holiday, but we can do these rituals solo any time that we want with very little preparation. 


The first is a full moon ritual for June, and the June Moon is also called the strawberry moon. So we are going to want to get our hands on a couple of fresh summer strawberries for this ritual. We will also need a candle. Any candle will do, a simple tea light is fine, or if you want to get fancy, you can use one that’s red, orange, yellow, or of course gold. These are summer colors, these are power colors. And take a little time to decide on your intention for this full moon. If we’re not sure what you want to call in, we can always just call in positivity or abundance. We don’t always have something specific we want to manifest, that’s actually a good thing. We don’t always want to be in the state of wanting. So, in those times, we can also just focus on our happiness, our joy. We can express gratitude for all the things that are going well in our lives. 


So meditate on it for a few moments, carve your intention into your candle, and take a big bite of your strawberry and use the bitten side to anoint your candle from the bottom to the top. Focus on imbuing the sweetness of the berry, the freshness, the vitality, into your manifestation or into your expression of gratitude. Then light your candle and allow it to burn down safely, and leave your other strawberry outside as an offering to the birds and the wildlife. 


Another great activity we can do is swimming or at least wading in natural bodies of water. When the weather is finally warm enough to get out in the ocean, or the lake, or the river, even a creek, it’s a really special gift to give yourself. It’s so cleansing, it’s a brilliant way to cleanse yourself, and cleanse your energy. And of course we should always make an offering or pay tribute, so bring along a trash bag and clean up the area where you wade in the water, and leave it in a better state than you found it. The water sprites will look kindly on you.


And of course the new moon comes on the 28th, which is one week after we enter Cancer season, and it is the same day, you may recall, that Neptune goes retrograde, Cancer is a cardinal water sign AND it is ruled by the moon, and so all of this deep water energy might make it an excellent time to have a ritual bath. So gather any herbs that you may want to support you and tie them into a scrap of cloth to make a little bundle, a little herbal bath bomb, add a nice piece of amethyst, or some clear quartz to the bath water, we are going to go in deep into our intuition. Dim the lights, light a candle, and allow your mind to go wherever the moon takes you. Open yourself to messages from your guides, from your ancestors, from any deities you may be working with. 


Whatever we do this month, we can try and be mindful. We can try to remain as present and as in the monet as we are able. The energy this month is going to be a little hectic, definitely, but we can still find joy and create special little moments of magick for ourselves, for our loved ones and for our friends. This is a gorgeous time of year, and we don’t need to spend it stressed out and worried about what the stars and planets may be waiting to unleash. That is not the purpose of this lifetime. We are not here to feel fear. We are here to make magick. And I have seen so much magick from this little community that I feel really confident. How can I have any fear in my heart when there are birds playing in the sprinklers in my garden? 


Please send me pictures of any magickal summertime moments that you create, I would love to see them, either on social media at @middleagedwitch, or by email at eli@middleagedwitch.com,  and we will meet again next week to talk about the solstice. Until then, my name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.

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