The Midsummer Fire Festivals of Old Europe

Human Voices Wake Us

Jun 12 2023 • 47 mins

An episode from 6/12/23: Tonight, I read from James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough, and the accounts he collected on the midsummer fire festivals in premodern Europe. I also discuss the relevance of these stories to a long poem-in-progress of mine, The Great Year, as well as my own adventures in acquiring all thirteen volumes of Frazer’s great work.

The sections I read from all appear in the first volume of Balder the Beautiful, and searching through this .pdf, it should be easy to find any of the stories I chose. The entirety of The Golden Bough can be downloaded here.

Don’t forget to support Human Voices Wake Us on Substack, where you can also get our newsletter and other extras. You can also support the podcast by ordering any of my books: Notes from the Grid, To the House of the Sun, The Lonely Young & the Lonely Old, and Bone Antler Stone.

Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to

--- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast: