Symbolism: life, fire, rebirth, transformation, power, purity
Symbols: sun flowers, leaves, sword, spear, sun, God’s eye, sun wheels, bonfire, balefires, fire, sun dials, bird feathers, seashells,
Colors: red, gold, orange, yellow, white, green, blue
Food and Drink: mead, ale, summer fruits and vegetables, strawberries, honey cakes, whipped cream, oranges, lemons, summer squash, honey
Deities: Ra, Bast, Helios, Oak King, Fotuna, Arinna, and other sun god.
Crystals and Gemstones: Lapis, diamond, tiger’s eye, emerald, jade, and other green stones
Animals: butterflies, wren, horse, stag, robin, cattle, phoenix, dragon, faeries, satyrs
Magic: Litha is the time to celebrate the Sun and all that he provides for us. Protection spells and fire magic are great to perform on this night. Make protective amulets to be empowered in the balefire lit on Midsummer’s eve. Looking to promote a transformation, a new career, or create a new or strengthen an old relationship? Litha is a great night to perform such magic. Collect herbs, especially St. John’s Wort, on the eve of this sabbat to bring luck and enhance the herbs’ power. Renew your wedding vows or just enjoy the time with your friends and family. This is also a great time to communicate with faeries and seek their help if you so wish. Be careful though. Faeries can be tricky.
Please note this is not a complete list but a brief overview of symbols, colors, herbs, deities, and the like. If I have missed something that you feel should make the list, please feel free to contact me via the comments or through email. Willow
The gardens are blooming, and summer is in full swing. Fire up the barbeque, turn on the sprinkler, and enjoy the celebrations of Midsummer! Also called Litha, this summer solstice Sabbat honors the longest day of the year. Take advantage of the extra hours of daylight and spend as much time as you can outdoors!
Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Litha, but the focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the sun. It’s the time of year when the crops are growing heartily and the earth has warmed up. We can spend long sunny afternoons enjoying the outdoors, and getting back to nature under the long daylight hours.
Are you headed to the beach this summer? Take advantage of all of the magic it has to offer, with Seven Ways to Use Beach Magic. If you have little Pagans in your family, you can get them involved in the festivities too, with these 5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Litha with Kids. Finally, if you’re not sure how to get started celebrating Litha, try these Ten Great Ways to Celebrate Litha.
Interested in learning about some of the history behind Litha? Here’s some background on Midsummer celebrations—learn who the gods and goddesses of summer are, how they’ve been honored throughout the centuries, and about the magic of stone circles! Let’s start with a quick look at the history behind the celebrations of the summer solstice, as well as some of the customs and traditions of Litha.
There’s a ton of solar magic and myths and legends out there, and many cultures have worshiped the sun as part of religious practice throughout time. In Native American spirituality, the Sun Dance is an important part of ritual.
June is a traditional time for weddings, but if you’re Pagan or Wiccan, a Handfasting ceremony may be more appropriate. Find out the origins of this custom, how you can have a fantastic ceremony, selecting a cake, and some great ideas on gifts for your guests!
In a historical context, handfasting is an old tradition that has seen a resurgence in popularity lately. There are plenty of ways to have a magical ceremony that celebrates your spirituality as part of your special day. You may even want to invite some of the deities of love and marriage to be part of your ceremony!
If you’re not sure about how to have a handfasting, make sure you’ve got someone who is legally able to perform it, especially if you’re looking for a state-licensed marriage. You can use a basic handfasting ceremony template as a structure for your ceremony, and you might want to consider a Pagan-friendly custom like broom-jumping as part of your celebration.
Don’t forget, you’ll need a cake! Keep a few simple tips in mind when you’re selecting your handfasting cake.
As Litha approaches, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects…
This month, we compiled a list of our all-time favorite Summer Solstice crafts and recipes.
With the kids out of school and the days getting longer, escape the heat with these lazy-afternoon projects.
Foraged Fairy Ladder/Trellis
It’s the season of fairies, and nothing delights the inner child more than playing with the woodland spirits.
This one is so easy, it’s almost self-explanatory.
Literally: Glue some sticks together. Yup. That’s it. I used hot glue for the one above.
If you want to get fancy, add little bits of (affiliate link —–>) sheet moss to get that aged-in-the-garden feel.
You can even train roses or herbs to grow on it.
Honey Cakes …
After a long and seriously unforgiving winter, folks in the Northern Hemisphere are finally reaping the benefits of summer, as June 21 marks the official 2021 summer solstice. Many of us are already marking our calendars with beach days, hikes, and picnics galore — but if you’re looking to tap into the spiritual aspect of the seasonal shift, there are several solstice rituals you can do to welcome summer, in all its glory.
From gifting friends with sachets as a natural mosquito deterrent, to enjoying a seasonal feast of locally-grown goodies, there are so many fun ways to welcome and celebrate summer, sustainably.
Make a suncatcher…
An Ancient Solar Celebration
Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date–usually around June 21 or 22 (or December 21/22 in the southern hemisphere)–the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded. Stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.
Did You Know?
- Early European traditions celebrated midsummer by setting large wheels on fire and then rolling them down a hill into a body of water.
- The Romans honored this time as sacred to Juno, the wife of Jupiter and goddess of women and childbirth; her name gives us the month of June.
- The word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.”
December Solstice marks the arrival of the first day of summer in the southern hemisphere. That’s why in the earth’s southern areas, the December Solstice is known as the Summer Solstice. In 2021, the official first day of summer in Australia (southern hemisphere) will occur on Wednesday, December 22, at sharp 02:59 Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).
Not to mention, this astronomical event will also mark the brightest as well as the longest day of the year in the southern hemisphere. On the other hand, for people living in the northern hemisphere, this solstice marks the arrival of the first day of winter. That’s why in the earth’s northern areas, December Solstice is known as the Winter or Hibernal Solstice. Again, for the people living in the northern half of the earth, this astronomical event will also mark the darkest as well as the shortest day of the year.
Simply speaking, one can say that the meaning of solstice changes depending…
To understand the difference between summer and winter solstices, we need to have a clear understanding of the word solstice. We know that earth revolves around sun in an elliptical orbit, but it also spins around its own axis. This is an imaginary line going right across the planet from North Pole to South Pole. Fortunately for our planet, this axis is not perpendicular but tilted about 23.5 degrees and it is this tilt that gives us seasons on earth. This tilt makes one half of earth receive more direct rays from sun than the other half which remains away from earth.
The axis, when it tilts towards the sun, it makes northern hemisphere receive more direct rays from the sun than southern hemisphere. This phenomenon occurs between June and September and thus this is the period when it is summer season in the northern hemisphere. Again, this axis tilts away from the sun between December and March which is why we have winter season in the northern hemisphere during this period. While it is summers in northern hemisphere as it receives more direct rays from the sun, it is winter in the southern hemisphere, and vice versa in winters.
Magickal Activity for December 21, The Summer Solstice
Midsummer is a celebration of light and life, symbolized by the flame of a candle and the movement of water. A large glass bowl filled with an assortment of floating candles makes a wonderful point of focus for ritual. Choose bright yellow sunflowers, white lilies, and red tulip-shaped candles. Have each person participating in the ritual inscribe his or her desire, with a pin, on a candle. Have each person come forward, place his or her candle in the bowl and light it as he makes his wish. Following the ritual, the bowl is placed outdoors, and the candles are left to burn out.
The Sun Wheel
One of the most popular symbols of Midsummer is the Sun Wheel, the turning of which suggests the turning, or progression, of the seasons. The Wheel is decorated with flowers, fresh herbs, and brightly colored ribbons.
The simplest method for making a Sun Wheel is to buy an already-prepared natural-branch wreath from an arts and crafts store. Affix small branches of rowan to form the spokes of the wheel (four spokes to represent the elements and cross-quarter days or eight to symbolize the eight Wiccan Sabbats). Use floral wire to attach fresh flowers and herbs to the wreath. Embellish with brightly colored ribbons. The wheel can be used as the focal point for your Midsummer rites or hung on the front door of your home for decoration.
This song is short but sweet.