Posts Tagged With: Litha

Blessings of Litha To All My Dear Family & Friends!


Litha Comments & Graphics

Blessings of Litha

 

This wheel keeps turning
Turning on and on
As each new Season dawns…
 
It keeps turning
As we pray for the coming of Litha
That’s when we ask you…
Oh Litha carry us into
Sister Moon grace us into
Brother Sun face us towards
Mother Goddess place us
Place us in the blessings of Litha
 
The blessings of Litha that are
Malina’s warm sun
Flora’s sweet flowers
Psyche’s beautiful butterflies
Gaia’s lush green
Yemaya’s liquid bliss
Iris’ colorful rainbow
 
As we dance for the coming of Litha
That’s when we ask you…
Oh Litha embrace us
Sister Moon grace us
Brother Sun face us
Mother Goddess place us
Place us in the blessings of Litha
 
The blessings of Litha that are
Malina’s warm sun on our faces
Flora’s sweet flowers under her graces
Psyche’s beautiful butterflies dancing on the wind
Gaia’s lush green that covers the earth from end to end
Yemaya ‘s liquid bliss that surrounds us with love
Iris’ colorful rainbow that imbues us from above
 
As we sing for the coming of Litha
That’s when we ask you…
Oh Litha carry us into
Mother Earth’s sweet face look over us
Oshun’s liquid grace bliss us
Gaia’s beautiful hidden spaces protect us
Mother Goddess’ wishes place us
Place us in these blessings of Litha
 
These blessings of Litha that are
Given to us with love
From our Mother Goddess above
 
Given to us while this wheel turns
Turns on and on
As each new Sabbat dawns
 
 
By Savannah Skye
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Let’s Talk Witch – Litha, Summer Solstice, or Midsummer


Litha Comments & Graphics

 Litha, Summer Solstice, or Midsummer

Litha (pronounced “LITH-ah”) is one of the Lesser Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, dependant upon the Earth’s rotation around the Sun (check the calendar). According to the old folklore calendar, Summer begins on Beltane (May 1st) and ends on Lughnassadh (August 1st), with the Summer Solstice midway between the two, marking Mid-Summer. This makes more logical sense than suggesting that Summer begins on the day when the Sun’s power begins to wane and the days grow shorter. The most common other names for this holiday are the Summer Solstice or Midsummer, and it celebrates the arrival of Summer, when the hours of daylight are longest. The Sun is now at the highest point before beginning its slide into darkness. Other names for this time in the Wheel of the Year include Alban Heruin, (Caledonii or the Druids), Alban Hefin (Anglo-Saxon Tradition), Sun Blessing, Gathering Day (Welsh), Whit Sunday, Whitsuntide, Vestalia (Ancient Roman), the Feast of Epona (Ancient Gaulish), All-Couple’s Day (Greek), and St. John’s Day. Scottish Pecti-Witans celebrate Feill-Sheathain on July 5th. In the Italian tradition of Aridian Strega, this sabbath (Strega Witches call them Treguendas rather than Sabbats) is known as Summer Fest – La Festa dell’Estate. Scandinavians celebrate this holiday at a later date and call it Thing-Tide. In England, June 21st is “The Day of Cerridwen and Her Cauldron”. And in Ireland, this day is dedicated to the faery goddess Aine of Knockaine. And finally, in Northern Europe – June 21st is “The Day of the Green Man”.

The Litha sabbat is a time to celebrate both work and leisure, it is a time for children and childlike play. It is a time to celebrate the ending of the waxing year and the beginning of the waning year, in preparation for the harvest to come. Midsummer is a time to absorb the Sun’s warming rays and it is another fertility sabbath, not only for humans, but also for crops and animals. Wiccans consider the Goddess to be heavy with pregnancy from the mating at Beltane – honor is given to Her. The Sun God is celebrated as the Sun is at its peak in the sky and we celebrate His approaching fatherhood – honor is also given to Him. The faeries abound at this time and it is customary to leave offerings – such as food or herbs – for them in the evening.

Nurturing and love are key actions related to Midsummer. If you haven’t yet done so, Litha is a good time to perform your Self-Dedication Ceremony… or – if you have been practicing Wicca for a while – you may choose to perform a simple Re-dedication/Affirmation as a part of your sabbath celebration.

Ritual actions for Litha might include placing a flower-ringed cauldron upon your altar, plunging of the sword (or athame) into the cauldron, balefire leaping (outdoors) and the gathering and drying of herbs. Herbs can be dried over the ritual fire if you’re celebrating outdoors. Leap the bonfire for purification and renewed energy. Ritually, use mirrors to capture the light of the Sun or the flames of the fire. Some things that are considered taboo on this holiday are giving away fire, sleeping away from home, and neglecting animals.

Colors associated with the Summer Solstice include white, red, maize yellow or golden yellow, green, blue and tan. Altar candles could be either a combination of blue, green, and yellow — or red and gold. Stones to use during Litha include all green gemstones, especially emerald and jade. Other appropriate gemstones are tiger’s eye, lapus lazuli and diamonds. Animals associated with this sabbath include robins, wrens, all Summer birds, horses and cattle. Mythical creatures include satyrs, faeries, firebirds, dragons and thunderbirds.

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About Litha: A Guide to the Symbolism of the Wiccan Sabbat

a guide to the symbolism of the Wiccan Sabbat

by Arwynn MacFeylynnd

Date: June 20-23 (usually, the date of the calendar summer solstice).

Alternative names: Summer Solstice, Midsummer, Midsummer’s Eve, Alban Heruin, Alban Hefin, Gathering Day, Vestalia, La Festa dell’Estate (Summer Fest), the Day of the Green Man.

Primary meanings:  This Sabbat celebrates the abundance and beauty of the Earth. From this day on, the days will wane, growing shorter and shorter until Yule. It is a time to absorb the Sun’s warming rays, and to celebrate the ending of the waxing year and beginning of the waning year in preparation for the harvest to come. Midsummer is another fertility Sabbat, not only for humans, but also for crops and animals. This is a time to celebrate work and leisure, to appreciate children and childlike play and to look internally at the seeds you’ve planted that should be at full bloom. Some people believe that at twilight on this day, the portals between worlds open and the faery folk pass into our world; welcome them on this day to receive their blessings.

Symbols: Fire, the Sun, blades, mistletoe, oak trees, balefires, Sun wheels, summertime flowers (especially sunflowers), summer fruits, seashells and faeries. If you made Sun wheels at Imbolc, display them now prominently, hanging from the ceiling or on trees in your yard. You may want to decorate them with yellow and gold ribbons and summer herbs.

Colors: White, red, maize yellow or golden yellow, green, blue and tan.

Gemstones: All green gemstones, especially emerald and jade, and also tiger’s eye, lapis lazuli and diamond.

Herbs: Chamomile, cinquefoil, copal, elder, fennel, fern, frankincense, galangal, heliotrope, hemp, larkspur, laurel, lavender, lemon, mistletoe, mugwort, oak, pine, roses, saffron, St. John’s wort, sandalwood, thyme, verbena, wisteria and ylang-ylang. Herbs gathered on this day are said to be extremely powerful.

Gods and goddesses: All father gods and mother goddesses, pregnant goddesses and Sun deities. Particular emphasis might be placed on the goddesses Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar and Venus and other goddesses who preside over love, passion and beauty. Other Litha deities include the goddesses Athena, Artemis, Dana, Kali, Isis and Juno and the gods Apollo, Ares, Dagda, Gwydion, Helios, Llew, Oak/Holly King, Lugh, Ra, Sol, Zeus, Prometheus and Thor.

Customs and myths: One way to express the cycle of the Earth’s fertility that has persisted from early pagan to modern times is the myth of the Oak King and the Holly King, gods respectively of the Waxing and Waning Year. The Oak King rules from Midwinter to Midsummer, the period of fertility, expansion and growth, and the Holly King reigns from Midsummer to Midwinter, the period of harvest, withdrawal and wisdom. They are light and dark twins, each being the other’s alternate self, thus being one. Each represents a necessary phase in the natural rhythm; therefore, both are good. At the two changeover points, they symbolically meet in combat. The incoming twin — the Oak King at Midwinter, the Holly King at Midsummer — “slays” the outgoing one. But the defeated twin is not considered dead — he has merely withdrawn during the six months of his brother’s rule.

On Midsummer Night, it is said that field and forest elves, sprites and faeries abound in great numbers, making this a great time to commune with them. Litha is considered a time of great magickal power, one of the best times to perform magicks of all kinds. Especially effective magick and spells now include those for love, healing and prosperity. Wreaths can be made for your door with yellow feathers for prosperity and red feathers for sexuality, intertwined and tied together with ivy. This is also a very good time to perform blessings and protection spells for pets or other animals.

Nurturing and love are key actions related to Midsummer. Litha is a good time to perform a ceremony of self-dedication or rededication to your spiritual path as a part of your Sabbat celebration. Ritual actions for Litha include placing a flower-ringed cauldron upon your altar, gathering and drying herbs, plunging the sword (or athamé) into the cauldron and leaping the balefire (bonfire) for purification and renewed energy. Considered taboo on this holiday are giving away fire, sleeping away from home and neglecting animals.

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Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual

Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual

By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide

The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun will move further away in the sky.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Approximately 60 minutes

Here’s How: If your tradition requires you to cast a circle , consecrate a space, or call the quarters, now is the time to do so. This ritual is a great one to perform outside, so if you have the opportunity to do this without scaring the neighbors, take advantage of it.

Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you’re limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.

Say either to yourself or out loud:

Today, to celebrate Midsummer, I honor the Earth itself. I am surrounded by tall trees. There is a clear sky above me and cool dirt beneath me, and I am connected to all three. I light this fire as the Ancients did so long ago.

At this point, start your fire.

Say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more
The light has grown for six long months
Until today.

Say:

Today is Litha, called Alban Heruin by my ancestors.
A time for celebration.
Tomorrow the light will begin to fade
As the Wheel of the Year
Turns on and ever on.

Turn to the East, and say:

From the east comes the wind,
Cool and clear.
It brings new seeds to the garden
Bees to the pollen
And birds to the trees.

Turn to Face South, and say:

The sun rises high in the summer sky
And lights our way even into the night
Today the sun casts three rays
The light of fire upon the land, the sea, and the heavens

Turn to face West, saying:

From the west, the mist rolls in
Bringing rain and fog
The life-giving water without which
We would cease to be.

Finally, turn to the North, and say:

Beneath my feet is the Earth,
Soil dark and fertile
The womb in which life begins
And will later die, then return anew.

Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.

If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it.

Say:

Alban Heruin is a time of rededication
To the gods.

The triple goddess watches over me.
She is known by many names.
She is the Morrighan,

Brighid, and Cerridwen.
She is the washer at the ford,
She is the guardian of the hearth,
She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration.

I give honor to You, O mighty ones,
By all your names, known and unknown.
Bless me with Your wisdom
And give life and abundance to me
As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.

Say:

I make this offering to you
To show my allegiance
To show my honor
To show my dedication
To You.

Cast your offering into fire.

Conclude the ritual by saying:

Today, at Litha, I celebrate the life
And love of the gods
And of the Earth and Sun.

Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time.

Allow your fire to go out on its own.

What You Need

A place to build a fire

An offering to the gods (optional)

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The Wicca Book of Days for June 21 – Litha or MidSummer

The Wicca Book of Days for June 21st

Litha or MidSummer

 

The Summer Solstice occurs around now. It is celebrated by Wiccans at their Litha, or MidSummer Sabbat. The Horned God is at the height of his powers – the hours of daylight are longer than those of darkness, and His solar rays and heat are at their fieriest. Their child is growing in the Goddess’s womb, and the world basks in sunshine, while all around the natural evidence of their fruitful union is evident. Yet the Horned God’s strength will start to wane from now on, which is why the Oak King’s rule is said to give way to that of the Holly King at Litha.

 

Harvest Herbs

 

Herbs are particularly potent on the Summer Solstice, which is why Wiccans and Witches harvest them on this day (or night) for future use in potions and remedies. So if you have herbs in your garden, cut yourself a supply today.

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Litha to Lughnasadh

Witchy Comments & Graphics

Litha to Lughnasadh

Litha, a lesser Sabbat, is also called MidSummer, for it marks the Summer Solstice, when the hours of daylight exceed those of darkness. As the Sun King, the Horned God is at the pinnacle of His strength, which He devotes to the land to enable the fruits of the earth conceived by the Goddess to grow and ripen. The world may be basking in sunshine, yet there may be a sad sense that these golden day will not last forever.

 

~Magickal Graphics~

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History of Litha

The History Of Litha

 

The celebration of Midsummer’s Eve (St. John’s Eve among Christians) was from ancient times a festival of the summer solstice. Some people believed that golden-flowered mid-summer plants, especially Calendula, and St. John’s Wort, had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night. Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other powerful beings.

In Sweden, Mid-summer celebration originates from the time before Christianity; it was celebrated as a sacrifice time in the sign of the fertility.

The solstice itself has remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since Neolithic times. The concentration of the observance is not on the day as we reckon it, commencing at midnight or at dawn, as it is customary for cultures following lunar calendars to place the beginning of the day on the previous eve at dusk at the moment when the Sun has set. In Sweden, Finland and Estonia, Midsummer’s Eve is the greatest festival of the year, comparable only with Walpurgis Night, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.

In the 7th century, Saint Eligius (died 659/60) warned the recently converted inhabitants of Flanders against the age-old pagan solstice celebrations. According to the Vita by his companion Ouen, he’d say: “No Christian on the feast of Saint John or the solemnity of any other saint performs solestitia [summer solstice rites] or dancing or leaping or diabolical chants.”

As Christianity entered pagan areas, MidSummer celebrations came to be often borrowed and transferred into new Christian holidays, often resulting in celebrations that mixed Christian traditions with traditions derived from pagan Midsummer festivities. The 13th-century monk of Winchcomb, Gloucestershire, who compiled a book of sermons for the feast days, recorded how St. John’s Eve was celebrated in his time:

Let us speak of the revels which are accustomed to be made on St. John’s Eve, of which there are three kinds. On St. John’s Eve in certain regions the boys collect bones and certain other rubbish, and burn them, and therefrom a smoke is produced on the air. They also make brands and go about the fields with the brands. Thirdly, the wheel which they roll.

The fires, explained the monk of Winchcombe, were to drive away dragons, which were abroad on St. John’s Eve, poisoning springs and wells. The wheel that was rolled downhill he gave its explicitly solstitial explanation:

The wheel is rolled to signify that the sun then rises to the highest point of its circle and at once turns back; thence it comes that the wheel is rolled.

On St John’s Day 1333 Petrarch watched women at Cologne rinsing their hands and arms in the Rhine “so that the threatening calamities of the coming year might be washed away by bathing in the river.”

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The WOTC’s Spell of the Day for June 19: Flame Talisman Spell

Flame Talisman Spell

(To draw energy and strength from the sun)

Purpose:  To gain energy that you can carry right through to the winter solstice.

Background:  Litha, or the summer solstice, celebrates the sun at the height of its powers.  On the longest day, we honor the strength of the sun just before the days begin to shorten again.  It is generally well known that the sun has some positive physiological effects on humans:  at this time of year we are generally more outgoing, happier, and healthier.  This spell enables you to capture some of that sun power to carry with you…

You Will Need:

One red candle, 6-8 inches long

One white candle 6-8 inches long

Matches or a lighter

One sharp iron nail

One plain copper disk with a hole through it

One 24 inch length of fine cord

One tea-light candle in a jar

Timing:

Cast this spell at Litha—the Summer Solstice

Casting the Spell:

As part of your Litha celebrations, work the first part of this spell indoors in a properly cast circle prior to going out overnight to await the Litha sunrise.

1.  Light both candles.

2.  Using the nail, inscribe on the disk a circle divided by eight lines, meeting in the center and overlapping at the edge. 

3.  Hold the disk in your left hand, the  cover it with your right and close your eyes.  Focus on the after image of the candle flames behind your eyelids.  Visualize it moving through your body to your solar plexus and through hour hands into the disk.

4.  Thread the pendant, and take it with you to greet the sunrise.

5.  Place it on a rock next to the tea-light candle which should be lit as dawn breaks.  As sunlight strikes the pendant, raise your arms and say:  “Ignite the sacred Fire within”.

6.  Wear it until the winter solstice.

Reference:

The Witch’s Corner

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