Wizard Wednesdays: An Egyptian Summer Solstice

My Baby Wizard

The seasons are starting to turn their backs on winter, and with the summer solstice fast approaching here, wizards tend to throw some wild parties to welcome the longest day of the year. Ancient Wizard folk are always invited to join in with the classic Egyptian celebrations, and here are some fun ways that you can hold an Egyptian style summer solstice celebration of your own.

The Decorations:

Ancient Egyptian magic is so strong that when you think of Egypt you can picture the dark secrets lurking in the bottom of the pyramids, strange writing in curious hieroglyphics and with gods and goddesses with the heads of animals.

A good decoration idea for your party is to pin up heaps and heaps of hieroglyphics. Download a few from the internet and draw the designs on a piece of cardboard using thick black ink. To make it seem a little more aged, you can mix ground coffee powder with water and then paint it on the paper, letting it dry before drawing the hieroglyphics on it. This will give it the brown, faded, aged look synonymous with Ancient Egypt.

A few other decorational ideas include making small pyramids out of weathered cardboard and putting them around the dessert table, as well as using old items that you planned on throwing out (such as baskets, boxes and vases) and spray paint them gold to make piles of “Pharaoh’s treasures”. Collect grasses, reeds and cane from a local riverbank and tie them together with bits of raffia to create magical brushes from the River Nile.

And don’t forget the sand! Set some up on the tablecloth of the dessert table and create the ultimate Egyptian ambiance!

The Costumes:

A metal collar was a well-known mark of power in ancient Egypt, and only the rich and powerful could afford a gold or silver collar that was embossed with beans, enamels and jewels. It’s only fair to spread this power around with your party guests, so here is a way that you can do just that:

Ingredients:

An old T-shirt

Newspaper

Pencil, ruler, hole punch and scissors

A metal spoon

Oven liner and 1 yard small ribbon or cord

Decorations like acrylic paints and beads

Method:

  1. Lay your t-shirt front side up on a flat surface. Smooth out an wrinkles and cover the shirt with an unfolded sheet of newspaper. You should still be able to feel the neckline with your fingers. Move the paper so that the neckline is just about centered under your paper.
  2. Use the pencil to trace the bottom part of the curved neckline onto the newspaper. Feel for the shoulder lines and use the pencil to trace them onto the newspaper. Remove the shirt from under the paper and set it aside.
  3. Use the ruler and pencil to make marks on the newspaper 4inches from the curved neckline. Connect the marks and make a curved line that crosses both sides of the marked shoulder lines. Let this line cross the shoulder line and extend it about 5 inches.
  4. Extend the neckline from the shoulder line to match what you drew in step 5. You should see a fat U-Shape. Use the scissors to cut it out. Try on the pattern, wrapping the long ends over your shoulders. Trim the pattern as needed.
  5. Lay the pattern on the oven liner and trace around the pattern with the scissors. Lay the liner cutout on a flat surface. Use the back of the spoon to smooth out any preprinted patterns on the liner.
  6. Carefully fold up all edges of the metal about 6mm. Press the folded edges down with the back of the spoon – this will protect you from any sharp edges. Use the punch to make a hole at the back of the inner neck edge on both sides.
  7. Cut the length of ribbon or cord in half. Fold one length in half and thread the doubled end through one of the holes. Pull the loose ends through the loop and tighten, repeating with the other length of ribbon.
  8. Next decorate the collar to your hearts content, keeping in mind the Egyptian hieroglyphics. Use enamel paint in gold or silver to set a metal look to the collar and glue jewels on it too. Once all done, wear it!!!

Wizards

The Food:

One of the favourite drinks of Egyptian royalty was the Ra Herbal Sun Tea, named after the power of the mighty Ra, the Egyptian sun god. Here is how you can get some of your own:

Ingredients:

Large glass jar with lid

Herbal tea bags

Water

Sugar or Honey

Method:

  1. Fill the jar with water and add the tea bags, covering it with the lid.
  2. Put the jar in a sunny window and let it suit for at least 30 minutes. The tea may take longer to steep if it’s a col day. You’ll know it’s ready when the herbs change the colour of the water.
  3. Add the sugar or honey to taste and serve chilled.

The Activities:

The Yes/No Pendulum Game

We all want answers to the future, and a pendulum is an Ancient Egyptian’s way of finding them out. A pendulum is a weight on a string that swings back and forth as it feels enegery from people and objects. Party guests can use this board game to ask questions that can be answered with a yes or a no.

Ingredients:

Poster board squares

A ruler, permanent marker and a quick dry glue

A pointed piece of quartz

Jewelry Chain or string

Method:

  1. To make the answer board, use the ruler to measure to the centrepoint of the poster board and mark it with the marker. Use the marker to draw teo 8-inch lines, forming a cross in the middle of the board.
  2. Write the word “yes” at both ends of one line, and the word “no” at both ends of the other line.
  3. To make the pendulum, apply a little quick-dry glue inside the bead cap and attach it to the bluntest end of the piece of quartz, bending to the cap to fit. Let it dry.
  4. Thread one end of the chain or string through the loop on the fastender. Tie it in place and apply a dot of glue to the knot. Let this dry also.
  5. Put the answer board on the table and have the players sit around it. One at a time, each player holds the chain from the pendulum so that the pendulum hangs above the board, but doesn’t touch it.
  6. Next, each player asks a question that can be answered “yes” or “no”. The pendulum will start to swing by itself along the lines of the answer boards. Then you will know your answer in this old school version of an 8-Ball!

Don’t forget to get all of your guests involved by reading some Ancient Egyptian stories like tales of Cleopatra and King Tutankhamen to get them in the mood! You can also throw the song “Walk like an Egyptian!” in there for good measure!

So there you have it, how the wizards celebrate an Egyptian Summer Solstice. Gee, all these wizards do is party! Stay tuned for the next celebration – a spooky Druid Halloween gathering.

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