Alban Hefin (Summer Solstice)

Hello my fellow travellers of the old ways, it has been a while since my last blog, I have had quite a few things happen in my life these past few months so not been able to post my blogs as much as I was hoping to.  My Path as a Druid is getting busier and busier with one thing and another, not that I mind but I also have to make sure I keep myself grounded and not forget why I started doing this blog in the first place.

I want to now move on to the next part of working with the Wheel of the Year, Alban Hefin (Summer Solstice). 


Alban Hefin (Summer Solstice)

This festival usually falls around the 21st of June, a time when the sun has reached its peak in the sky and the time for the Holly King once again comes to us as he takes the crown from the Oak King to take us back into the dark part of the year.  A time when we can stay out in nature amongst the trees and wildlife and enjoy their presence for longer before it gets dark.  A time which marks the longest day and the shortest night.  Alban Hefin was known by the Welsh as “Gathering Day” as the festival also marks the first of three harvest festivals. Collecting young vegetables, peas, beans and early fruits is done during this time of year, along with collecting honey.  It is also a time that the Goddess Vesta (a Roman Deity) was worshipped.  This story I’d like to share with you.

Goddess Vesta

Vesta, the Goddess of hearth and Home, is a Roman deity who caught the lustful attention of the gods Neptune and Apollo.

Vesta did not want to marry but did not want to upset the gods, as she was a peacemaker by nature. She asked the God Jupiter if he would grant her permission to stay a virgin, Jupiter granted her request, and as such, she became the Goddess of hearth and Home.

As the summer solstice is a fire festival, Vesta's connection to fires in the Home makes her an excellent deity to work with. In the Roman period, the fireplace was the central part of the Home where the family gathered, and the upkeep of the fire within the fireplace was an essential task. Many sacrifices, offerings and meals would be prepared over this fire which also made it sacred.

Because Vestas will stay an eternal virgin, there are not many other stories about her. However, Vesta had temples built in her name and a week dedicated to honouring her between the 7 and 15 of June.

On the festival's first day, women would offer sacrifices to Vesta at her temples. If the curtain of the temple was open, mothers who were barefoot and destitute could bring offerings in return for blessings upon their families.

Donkeys were honoured on the 9th due to their help to the village bakers. The donkeys would be dressed in flowers and crowns.

The final day of Vestalia would be dedicated to cleaning and purifying the Temple of Vesta.

In the temples, the women considered priestesses of Vesta in the modern era were known as Vestal Virgins. These women would take a vow of celibacy for 30 years to tend to the sacred fires in the temple.

In each temple, you would expect to see between four and six Vestal Virgins; not only would they tend the sacred fire, but they would also oversee rituals and protect sacred objects.

These Vestal Virgins would be chosen from a young age by a priest, and once their 30 years had come to a close, they were free to marry whomever they chose. If a Vestal Virgin broke her vow during the 30 years of celibacy, punishments would be severe as they were so highly regarded by their local society. Very few would break their vows.


Herbs and Plants

As we know working with herbs was part of the Druid way. Herbs were used for medicinal purposes, in food and as offerings. For this spoke of the wheel I will give a short list of herbs associated with Alban Hefin and a brief idea of their uses. A list of herbs are as follows, and as always care should always be taken when working with any herbs.

St John’s Wort: A herb of Jupiter.  Jupiter is the bringer of abundance, so Jupiter plants and usually big, and bold, and often edible. These herbs expand consciousness and opportunity. They bring growth on all levels and are helpful in health matters as they expand the body’s ability to heal itself. They expand the mind allowing for a greater understanding.  Health; power; protection; strength; love; divination; happiness. Talismans of red cloth stuffed with St John’s wort can be hung above the front door and tucked under your mattress to protect from malevolent spirits. Placed in a jar and hung by a window, it can protect against thunderbolts, fire, and evil spirits.  It can be placed under a pillow to induce prophetic or romantic dreams. It may be carried to strengthen courage and conviction.

Can be poisonous, use with caution.

Mugwort: Another of the herbs linked with the planet Venus as with Chickweed.  Venus herbs activate love. They include all scented herbs and plants that smell pleasant and sweet.  These herbs bring joy, beauty, artistry, sensitivity, and compassion.  It is also linked with the Moon, Moon plants affect the subconscious mind and aid in the development of intuition. They include all herbs that turn towards the moon.  Mugwort is associated with strength; psychic powers; protection; prophetic dreams; increase lust; healing; astral projection. Protects children. Use a wash or oil for consecrating magical tools. Carried to bring loved ones safely home from journeys.   Burn with sandalwood or wormwood to aid scrying. Make an infusion, sweetened with honey to enhance divination. Use in a sleep pillow or place it under your pillowcase to invoke prophetic dreams.  

Mugwort can be harmful to pregnant women.

Chamomile:  A herb of the Sun.  These herbs promote self- confidence and personal success. They impart a sense of purpose and help develop a sense of identity and willpower. Sun herbs bring vitality, health, creativity, and dignity.  This herb is associated with Love; money; purification; luck; justice; prosperity; rest. Sprinkle around the house to remove hexes, curses, and spells. Use in incense for sleep and meditation.   Sprinkle around your home to ward against psychic or magical attack.  When gambling, wash your hands in chamomile tea to ensure good luck at the tables.

Lavender:  A herb of Mercury.  These herbs facilitate clear thinking and eloquent communication. They help in business success, where a clear head is needed, and in recovery from illness.  Mercury herbs enable you to communicate more and improve your learning skills. They tend to stimulate the central nervous system and brain.  Mainly used for love magic. Protection; sleep; chastity (with rosemary); longevity; purification; money; creativity; clarity of thought; happiness, and peace. Burn the flowers to induce sleep and rest, then scatter the ashes around the home to bring peace and harmony. To bring love your way, carry lavender flowers in a sachet. Use lavender oil to anoint and dress candles in love spells and lavender incense to invoke love deities.    Lavender folklore also claims that if lavender is used in combination with rosemary, it will preserve virtue. Lavender was hung above the door to protect against evil spirits and added to the bath to drive away evil spirits. Lavender was strewn during festivals, particularly around Midsummer’s eve when it was often used to summon fairies and elves.

Fennel:  Another Herb of Mercury (see Lavender).   Fennel is one of nine Anglo-Saxon herbs known for secret powers. During medieval times, evil spirits were thought to roam freely as the sun turned southwards. Fennel, when hung over doorways, was thought to protect those within from the spirits. Fennel was often strewn across the path of newly married couples. Fennel seeds inserted into keyholes were thought to protect a dwelling from ghosts on any night but particularly Midsummer’s eve. Protection; healing; purification.   Carry fennel to influence others to trust your words.

Sage: A herb of Jupiter.  Jupiter is the bringer of abundance, so Jupiter plants and usually big, and bold, and often edible. These herbs expand consciousness and opportunity. They bring growth on all levels and are helpful in health matters as they expand the body’s ability to heal itself. They expand the mind allowing for a greater understanding.   The Latin name for sage, salvia, means ‘to save’ and in the Middle Ages, it was the herbal equivalent of modern-day aspirin. In ancient times people used to take sage baths to keep away evil spirits. An infusion of sage was said to be good to sharpen the brain, memory, and senses. Eating sage daily during May was said to give immortality.  Longevity; wisdom; protection; money; absorbs negativity and misfortune; drives away disturbances and tensions.   Burn it to consecrate a ritual space. Carry it as a herb of protection and to promote wisdom.  Used for self-purification and dealing with grief and loss. Place near a personal object of someone who is ill when performing healing spells or rituals. Write a wish on a sage leaf and place it under your pillow for three nights. If you then dream about your wish, it will come true. Otherwise, bury the leaf in the ground so no harm will come to you.

Mint:  Another herb of Jupiter as with Sage above.   Mint is associated with money; love; lust; healing; travel; protection; sharpens the mind; psychic awareness; promotes energy, communication, and vitality. Draws customers to a business.  Use dried leaves to stuff a green poppet for healing. Place in wallet or purse or rub on money to bring wealth and prosperity. For protection while asleep, stuff a pillow or mattress with spearmint.  Burn for healing magic. Write a wish on paper, wrap in spearmint leaves; place in a red cloth and sew with red thread, then keep in a safe secret place. By the time the scent is gone your wish should have come true.  Rub against walls, furniture, and floorboards to cleanse them of evil and negativity.  Place in a pillow to ensure a peaceful sleep and bring about prophetic dreams.  Burn in a new home to clear out sickness and negative energy. Carry with other herbs to boost love and abundance wishes.

Thyme:  Another herb associated with Venus.  Thyme can be used in healing rituals or to bring about restful sleep. Relieves giddiness and nightmares; attracts loyalty, affection, and the good opinion of others. Wear a sprig to ward off grief or provide strength and courage.  Burn or hang for banishing, purification, and to attract good health for all occupants of a home. Add an infusion of thyme to your bath to ensure a constant flow of money. Often burned before magical rituals to cleanse the space.  Venus plants overwhelm the senses with sweet scents and lovely flowers, red fruits, or soft, furry leaves. These herbs bring joy, beauty, artistry, sensitivity, and compassion.  Venus herbs activate love. They include all scented herbs and plants that smell pleasant and sweet.



Crystals are another thing that some people choose to use/work with, as with everything on my Druid journey I look at things and see if it is something I would like to work with or not everyone’s journey is their own there is no right or wrong way. I have once again picked six crystals that link closely to the Summer Solstice and these are:-

Citrine -  Citrine is another amazing crystal linked to the sun and its stunning yellow pigmentation makes you feel all kinds of sunshiney! It’s all about manifesting action and vibrance—perfect for the summer solstice when you are brimming with ideas and energy. Citrine is also known for its ability to awaken the powers of your creative energy. Spend some time with Citrine this summer solstice and let its energizing focus help you manifest your summer dreams and make them a reality

Moss Agate -  Moss agate is known as a beneficial stone for agricultural or botany and anyone that works within these areas. It is regarded by many as a good choice for women in labour and to help lessen pain and ensure a good delivery. This is a stone of new beginning and is thought to also help in releasing blockages.  Moss agate is also a good choice of crystal for encouraging trust and an optimistic outlook.

Orange Calcite - These citrus-coloured crystals bring a literal ray of sunlight into the dark corners of your energy field, encouraging you to shake off those winter blues and refocus on the brightness of your dreams and goals. Orange Calcite is imbued with joyous energy that resonates so well with the summer solstice. Its vital energy encourages the flow of energy and can serve as a catalyst for the release of past traumas that may be holding you back, giving you space to welcome joy and optimism back into your life.

Carnelian - This orange-red crystal has a stabilising energy and is excellent for restoring vitality, motivation and creativity. When used in meditation, carnelian can help to keep your mind focused and stop daydreaming. It protects against feelings of rage, envy and resentment. This crystal is believed to have a positive influence on the female reproductive system and to be beneficial in promoting fertility. The energy of carnelian stones encourages compassion and kindness in all situations. Carnelian is a beneficial crystal for anyone looking to make improvements to their lifestyle.

Sunstone - Of all the crystals on our beautiful planet Earth, Sunstone is a true reflection of the qualities of the sun—openness, warmth, mental clarity, and the willingness to bring love and kindness to others. It carries the frequency of Solar Light representing strong leadership and the know-how to use your knowledge for the greater good. Sunstone transforms anger into happiness, judgment into joy. It takes the negative energy and emotions surrounding you and turns them into positivity and warmth.

Amber - Amber has a connection to the sun that is unlike any other crystal or stone. It has been referred to as a form of solidified sunlight because it is created through the synthesis of light by plants and trees. Most crystals are born within the Earth, but Amber’s direct link to the sun makes it a wonderful source of Light energy. Its warming energy protects against negative energy and is often used by those with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Bringing this beacon of light and positivity into the summer amplifies this energy, making Amber a wonderful companion during the summer solstice.



The celtic tree alphabet, because of where Alban Hefin falls on the calender there are three trees/plants associated with it within the Ogham.

The First is Hawthorn carrying into Summer Solstice from Beltaine, the Celtic Ogham name for this is Huath (roughly pronounced Hoh-uh), this is the Hawthorn month and is a time of fertility, masculine energy, and fire.  Use it for magic related to masculine power, business decisions, making professional connections. The Hawthorn is also associated with the realm of Faerie, and when the Hawthorn grows in tandem with an Ash and Oak, it is said to attract the Fae.

The Second is Oak, the Celtic Ogham name for this is Duir (roughly pronounced Door) The mighty Oak is strong, powerful, and typically towering over all of its neighbours. The Oak King rules over the summer months, and this tree was sacred to the Druids. The Celts called this month Duir, which some scholars believe to mean "door", the root word of "Druid." The Oak is connected with spells for protection and strength, fertility, money and success, and good fortune. Carry an acorn in your pocket when you go to an interview or business meeting; it will be bring you good luck. If you catch a falling Oak leaf before it hits the ground, you'll stay healthy the following year.

The Third is Holly, the Celtic Ogham name for this is Tinne (roughly pronounced chihnn-uh).  Holly was a symbol of masculine energy and firmness. The ancients used the wood of the Holly in the construction of weapons, but also in protective magic. Hang a sprig of Holly in your house to ensure good luck and safety to your family. Wear as a charm, or make Holly Water by soaking leaves overnight in spring water under a full moon — then use the water as a blessing to sprinkle on people or around the house for protection and cleansing.S


Working with this part of the Wheel

When we look at working with this, as with all other parts of the wheel we have to think about what it means and its relation as a whole to the rest of the wheel.  Alban Hefin is an excellent time to set goals and birth new ideas. The festival offers renewal, a time of manifestation and a chance to shed anything which no longer serves us.  Divination, psychic awareness and the fae folk are all potent now; any spellcraft based around these will be enhanced.  Why not make a Psychic Dream Pouch as detailed below.


Psychic Dream Pouch

Create a psychic dream pouch using yellow fabric or felt and fill it with mugwort and bay leaves. Mugwort is a visionary herb that allows you to drift between the universal portals; dimensions and bay leaves are often associated with the sun, adding solstice magic to the charm.  Sew the pouch with red thread, the colour of action and the sacred fire and place it under your pillow. 


Well, there we are for now the next part of working with the wheel.  I really hope you are enjoying these and they are giving you something to think about.


As always I will end on one of my poems, as I said previously I have been getting lots of inspiration lately and have been writing more and more poems.  This one came to me as I was in the garden one morning doing my daily ritual, there is always this one crow that sits up on the roof calling first thing.  It is a real honour sharing my time with this magnificent bird person so I decided to honour him more in a poem it’s called "The Corvids Cry" I hope you enjoy it.



Three by three the Crow doth call

His welcome to the day

Perched atop a lightening tree.

On branches as they sway


His jet-black feathers, sleek and smooth

In dawn’s light gently glisten

Awakening all other birds

To his cry they all listen


Three calls from him means danger

All other birds now fear

He gives an early warning

That a predator is near


Four calls to mark his territory

As he stands upon his tree

A signal to the others

That’s where he’s meant to be


But early in the morning

When his calls begin anew

It’s a sign from Mother Nature

That her watchful eyes on you


The crow he is a messenger

As he calls throughout the day

Signaling to all who hear

Good fortune’s on its way


Then as dusk approaches

And the sun begins to set

To his roost you’ll see him fly

Where for years his friends have met


There he’ll stay all through the night

‘til morning when he’ll fly

Right back to his lightening tree

And give the corvids cry


As always my friends thank you for bearing with me, I hope you find this interesting, let me know if you want to.

Take care my friends, stay safe

Blessed be /|\