Summer Solstice, Midsummer, Litha, Alban Hefin, Inti Raymi, Feast of the Sun, Celtic New Year, St. John’s Day
Summer Solstice – Midsummer – Litha (Celtic/Wiccan) – Alban Hefin (Druidic) – Inti Raymi (Incan) – Feast of the Sun (Aztec) – Celtic New Year, according to some – St. John’s Day/Festival of Saint John the Baptist (Christian)
As the wheel turns again we find ourselves at Summer Solstice. Litha/Midsummer is one of the Lesser Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on December 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, dependent upon the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. The sun is at the height of it power before beginning its slide into darkness and we experience the longest day and shortest night of the year. It is important to note that the separation of the light and dark halves of the year have nothing to do with good and evil. Light signifies growth and expansion; dark means withdrawal and rest. Both are necessary.
While steamy Midsummer marks the beginning of the Sun’s dying strength the season itself is very lush, erotic and sexy. The Sun, flowers and Earth are in full bloom. Hot Midsummer creates a fiery, mature, breathless passion. The God is at the very height of his power as we hit midsummer, at this point of the year the crops are coming along nicely (literally and figuratively). We have done all of the planting associated with spring and life gets a little easier as we sit back and tend what we’ve created. It’s a time of great celebration before we meet the work ahead as the harvest comes in. We honor the God and Goddess whose union has blessed us with the fertility to create the projects we began way back at Imbolc. On Midsummer the veil between the worlds is said to be very thin making this a great time for divination, historically many maidens would divine a husband at this time. Midsummers Eve is said to be a time when fairies abound in great numbers this is a great time to commune with them and leave gifts of sweets outdoors. Litha celebrates abundance, fertility, virility, the beauty and bounty of Nature. Harnessing the Suns great power makes all types of magick appropriate now. We can also harvest the first of our magickal herbs at this time since they are drenched with the great power of the sun on this longest day of the year. It is a good time for empowerment, for strong magick and male rituals, for handfastings and communing with Nature Spirits, for workings of culmination. The journey into the harvest season has begun.