LITHA – SUMMER SOLSTICE
Colors: Yellow and gold
Altar: Upon cloth of yellow and gold light eight yellow candles, incense of cedar and bay, many yellow flowers, a golden chalice of mead, another of citrus fruit juice, and as many figures of the sun as you can find or make. A great sun on a pole should be brought in procession, and one man should stand before the altar with it, and read the call and response.
Offerings: Open the House to others to share the ritual, or take it elsewhere. Like all the great high holidays, this ritual should be shared with the greater community.
Daily Meal: Yellow and orange food of any kind.
(Four who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual come forward and cast the quarters.)
North Caller: All hail the Standing Stone of the North,
Guardian of the Earth!
Whose name is the Great Bear,
Whose name is Midnight Star,
Whose name is Sleep of Winter
Whose name is Constancy.
West Caller: All hail the Standing Stone of the West,
Guardian of the Waters!
Whose name is the Salmon of Knowledge,
Whose name is Edge of Twilight
Whose name is Autumn Rain
Whose name is Yielding.
South Caller: All hail the Standing Stone of the South,
Guardian of the Fire!
Whose name is the Coiled Dragon,
Whose name is High Noon
Whose name is Summer Solstice,
Whose name is Fervor.
East Caller: All hail the Standing Stone of the East,
Guardian of the Air!
Whose name is Hawk in Flight,
Whose name is Light of Dawn,
Whose name is Equinox,
Whose name is Wanderer.
One steps forward and pours a libation of mead onto the ground, and says:
Accept this offering, O sun above us, whose golden rays pour down and give us Life, and yet can give Death if we do not take care. Teach us to glory in your generosity and yet respect your power. Do not desert us, but burn forever in our souls.
Call and Response:
All Hail the longest day!
We have slept away the shortest night,
We have watched the wheel turn
From early darkness to early light.
All hail the highest moment of the year!
Come forth Sun and shine upon us!
Let nothing cloud your brilliance!
Let nothing cloud your light!
Let all your veils of rain be cast away!
Come forth and give us life, O Sun!
We stand where our ancestors stood,
We hail you on the day they hailed you,
We follow in their footsteps!
Hail Apollo of the golden chariot,
Hail Lugh Sun-Face of many talents,
Hail Ra who battles serpents each night,
Hail Amaterasu Omikami, mother of emperors!
Take joy in the morning rays!
Take joy in the noon heat!
Take joy in the sunset colors!
Take joy! Take joy! Take joy!
(One steps forward and says:)
Never forget that we live because our world, our green Gaea, is the right distance away from the Sun’s power. Further away and we would be robbed of its lifegiving rays; further in and we would be burned to death by them. Never forget that life depends on the right amount of closeness and distance. Ponder this as you go your ways, and remember it every time you look up at the Sun above you.
(Another steps forward and says:)
For this is the time of the Sun’s highest glory, and like Him, we will fade and decline, and then be reborn new. For this is the way of the Universe: unending cycles within cycles. Rather than praying for an end to things, see it rather as a source of comfort that all dies and is reborn, and so nothing truly dies forever, and so nothing ever truly ends.
Song: Oak and Ash and Thorn
[Pagan Book of Hours]