Setting Up Your Litha Altar

Setting Up Your Litha Altar

It’s Litha, and that means the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It’s a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can’t, that’s okay — but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.

Colors of the Season

This sabbat is all about the sun celebration, so think of solar colors. Yellows, oranges, fiery reds and golds are all appropriate this time of year. Use candles in bright sunny colors, or cover your altar with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season.

Solar Symbols

Litha is when the sun is at its highest point above us. In some traditions, the sun rolls across the sky like a great wheel – consider using pinwheels or some other disc to represent the sun.

Circles and discs are the most basic sun symbol of all, and are seen as far back as the tombs of ancient Egypt. Use equal-armed crosses, such as the Brighid’s Cross, or even the swastika – remember, it was originally a good luck symbol to both the Hindus and Scandinavians before it became associated with the Nazis.

A Time of Light and Dark

The solstice is also a time seen as a battle between light and dark. Although the sun is strong now, in just six months the days will be short again. Much like the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, light and dark must battle for supremacy. At this sabbat, darkness wins, and the days will begin to grow shorter once more. Decorate your altar with symbols of the triumph of darkness over light – and that includes using other opposites, such as fire and water, night and day, etc.

Other Symbols of Litha

  • Midsummer flowers, fruits and vegetables from your garden
  • Gods Eyes in sunny colors
  • Sunflowers, roses
  • Oak trees and acorns
  • Sandalwood, saffron, frankincense, laurel

 

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Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual

Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual

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.

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.

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. For this sample, we’re including the use of a triple goddess in the invocation, but this is where you should substitute the names of the deities of your personal tradition.

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.

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.

 

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Sun Ritual for Midsummer

Sun Ritual for Midsummer

Midsummer is the time of the summer solstice, the Litha sabbat, and it’s the longest day of the year. Falling around June 21 in the northern hemisphere, and around December 21 below the equator, this is a time to celebrate the warmth and power of the sun. It’s a great time of year to get outside, enjoy the extra hours of daylight, and celebrate the season with family and friends. You can do this ritual as a group or adapt it to perform as a solitary practitioner.

You’ll need the following items:

  • A larger candle to represent the sun
  • An individual candle for each participant to hold

Also, be sure to decorate your altar with symbols of the season – solar symbols, fresh flowers, in-season summer produce and crops that you’ve harvested. You should do this ritual outside if at all possible, so you can take advantage of the sun’s light and energy.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, go ahead and do that first.

Take a moment to ground and center, and get yourself focused. Bask in the rays of the sun, feeling its warmth on your face, and welcoming its power into you.

The person who is leading the ritual – for ease of purpose, we’ll call that person the HPs – should stand at the altar.

HPs: We are here today to celebrate the power and energy of the sun. The sun is the source of warmth and light around the world. Today, at Litha, the summer solstice, we mark the longest day of the year. From Yule until this day, the sun has been moving ever closer to the earth. Flowers are blooming, crops are growing, and life has returned once more. Today we honor the gods and goddesses of the sun.

The HPs lights the sun candle on the altar.

HPs: The sun is the ultimate source of fire and light. Like all sources of light, the sun shines brightly and spreads around the world. Even as it gives its light and power to each of us, it is never diminished by the sharing of that energy. The sun passes over us each day, in the never-ending circle of light. Today, we share that light with each other, passing it around the circle, forming a ring of light.

Using the sun candle, the HPs lights her own candle, and turns to the next person in the circle. As she lights the next person’s candle, she says: May you be warmed and rejuvenated by the light of the sun.

The second person turns to the third, lighting their candle, and passing along the blessing. Continue until the last candle in the circle has been lit, returning back to the HPs.

Remember, this is a joyous celebration – feel free to include dancing, clapping, music or even a drum circle as you enjoy the power of the sun!

As each person in the group holds their lit candle, the HPs calls upon the gods and goddesses of the sun. Feel free to add or substitute different solar deities as your tradition or needs require.

HPs: Gods who bring us light, we honor you!
Hail, Ra, whose mighty chariot brings us light each morning!
Hail, Ra!
Hail, Apollo, who brings us the healing energies of the sun!
Hail, Apollo!
Hail, Saule, whose fertility blooms as the sun gains in strength!
Hail, Saule!
Hail, Helios, whose great steeds race the flames across the sky!
Hail, Helios!
Hail, Hestia, whose sacred flame lights our way in the darkness!
Hail, Hestia!
Hail, Sunna, who is sister of the moon, and bringer of light!
Hail, Sunna!

We call upon you today, thanking you for your blessings, accepting your gifts. We draw upon your strength, your energy, your healing light, and your life giving power!
Hail to you, mighty gods and goddesses of the sun!

Each member of the group should now place their candles on the altar, surrounding the sun candle.

HPS: The sun radiates out, never dying, never fading. The light and warmth of today will stay with us, even as the days begin to grow shorter, and the nights grow cold once more. Hail, gods of the sun!

Invite everyone to take in the warmth of the sun once more, and when you are done, end the ritual as you normally would.

 

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Article originally published on & owned by About.com

For the Super, Super Superstitious


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For the Super, Super Superstitious

 

First Full moon at summer solstice in 70 years TONIGHT ‘could spark madness and lunatics’
A FULL moon TONIGHT as we welcome the summer solstice could bring chaos, delusional behaviour and spark lunacy, an astrologer has warned.

By Jon Austin

Timothy Halloran, who runs the Rasa Lila Healing YouTube astrology channel, filmed a chilling video in woods in Savannah, Georgia, on Thursday warning that the events around the Pagan-celebrated solstice may not be a calm and spiritual as people imagine.

It is the first time the full moon, known as a strawberry moon, has coincided with the solstice for 70 years, leading to his fears.

He spoke of fears of an “increased energy” bringing about “madness, hallucinations and delusions of grandeur” among the population.

Mr Halloran, whose facial expressions and mannerisms have been compared to those of Russell Brand, the British comic turned turned revolutionist, prioduced promotional material for the video, called Full Moon in Sagittarius, June 16 2016 – Psychic Warfare and Crusading.

In it he said: “Words such as enlightenment and illumination generally are perceived as being wonderful and pleasant things that we should strive for and desire to achieve.

“Yet the light is piercing, and it is hot, and it can be unbearable at times, particularly for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere during the Summer Solstice, when the Sun scorches down and we have our longest day of the year.

“Coinciding with this celestial event (a day before) we have a Full Moon at the final degree of Sagittarius square to Chiron.

“He said at the time Mercury would activate a ‘mutable grand cross between Saturn, Jupiter and a stationed retrograde Neptune’.

He said: “To Say that this is a stable time to be awake and aware would be a lie.

“The transitioning occurring now is like a giant wave crashing onto the shore of our own perspectives and beliefs, scattering debris everywhere, and in so doing also ripping a hole through the veil; Exposing a reality we never knew existed underneath.”

In a rambling 40-minute video, Mr Halloran said: “We are in the closing square. This is when this s***t starts to fall apart.

“This is what is may going on with this full moon in Sagittarius, the ripping away of veils “This is a critical time energetically. This is a time when people go off the deep end, people lose control.

“People do go on shooting sprees. People do have to run into total insanity.

“This is a potent time. This is time a time when we are going to look back and remember the events – the transformations that are going on these days, as there is a lot of stuff that is lining up to make this moon quite potent.

“It is very easy to go off the deep end kept swept away with paranoia and philosophy

“There is an explosion of energy that will go on with this full moon.”

If anyone does turn psychopath during the solstice, the barmy presenter disputed they should be locked up and urged the most violent of killers to be treated with 24-hour love bombing by the most most “unbelievably loving and attractive people in world”.

And, according to Halloran, who, in a similar stance to Brand, claimed in the video there is no democracy in the world, said there is hope among all the carnage.

He urged people to “bite the bullet” to see the “mechanism beneath the surface” rather than becoming “more delusional, even more crazy and even more in denial”.

After another rocky time of eclipses in September, will come peace through the dwarf planet Ceres.

He said: “What is light at the end of the tunnel is Ceres is saying peace and love

“Things will start to calm down going into the future.

“After all the changes, all the awaking, the electro shock, then comes Cancer nurturing time – back into our beloved ones circles, our tribes and empathy for one another.”

Author: Jon Austin
Article originally published on Express, Home of the Daily and Sunday Express

 

Magickal Activity for June 20, The Summer Solstice


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Magickal Activity for June 20, The Summer Solstice

 

Floating Candles

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.

 

Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year 20, 21, and 22 June: Midsummer Eve/Summer Solstice


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20, 21, and 22 June

Midsummer Eve/Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice is celebrated between June 20 and June 22-the longest day and shortest night of the year. The festival of Midsummer venerates the potential of the life-sustaining powers of fire and water, forces that were vital to our ancestors’ survival. It was believed that fire would help keep the sun alive and that the blessing of waterwells would continue their flow to nurture the parched earth. Without sun and water, there would be no crops and all would perish.

One of the most popular customs that grew out of the early fertility rites was that of jumping or leaping over Midsummer bonfires. The idea being, the higher one jumped, the higher the crops would grow.

Another symbol that was popularized at this time was the wheel. The turning of the wheel represented the turning or progression of the seasons. Wheels were decorated with brightly colored ribbons and fresh flowers. Lighted candles were placed on them, and then they were set afloat on the lakes and rivers.

Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Night are genuinely thought to be particularly uncanny times. It was reasoned that certain plants were endowed with magickal properties on this night, that, if gathered before sunrise, could be used for protection against all evil spirits and forces.

With the sun at its zenith, Midsummer was, and still is, a time for marriages, family celebrations, and coming-of-age parties.

Symbolically, Midsummer is the time to nurture those goals you made at the beginning of the year as you reflect on the progress you have made toward bringing them into fruition.

The Witches Magick for Monday, June 20, The Summer Solstice – Sun Spell


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The Witches Magick for Monday, June 20, The Summer Solstice – Sun Spell

A simple sun spell can help you capture the power of this most important time in the sun’s journey across our skies. And who doesn’t need a bit of that potent energy in their everyday lives? This simple sun spell harnesses the energy of the sun into an amulet (token) that you can carry with you. Call on it whenever you need a bit of that brightness.

You will need:
A candle and something to light it with— I like to use a red candle because the sun is a fire element, but use any color you have or that speaks to you
A pinch of dried spice— dried chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or black pepper
A daisy (ruled by the element of fire)
A plate or saucer to work from

Gather your spell materials together and go outside into the sunshine. Sit somewhere green and quiet if you can, and hold your candle, spices, and daisy in one hand. Cup your other hand over the top. Concentrate on focusing your energy into what you are holding. Focus on the creation of something that will bring you brightness when you need it.

When you’re ready, light the candle carefully and drop wax onto the plate or saucer to create a pool of wax. Extinguish the candle and, working swiftly, sprinkle the spice onto the molten wax. Place the daisy onto the wax and spice. Carefully mould the still-warm wax into a ball or penny shape, enclosing the spices and daisy within it. You can always drip more wax onto the top to ensure that the spell is fully enclosed.

When the wax has cooled, hold the amulet in one hand and raise your hand to the sun. Close your eyes and imagine the brightness and warmth of the sun’s energy forming a sphere around your amulet, empowering it with its energy.

Say some simple words like:

Power of the sun, charge this spell till it is done.

When you feel that your amulet has absorbed the sun’s power, thank the sun for lending you its strength. When you return home, relight your candle and burn it in thanks for the success of your spell.

Carry this amulet with you and reach for it whenever you need to lend the sun’s power to whatever you are doing. Use it when a spell needs an extra boost, or on a cold gray day that leaves you feeling down, or when a friend is in need of some brightness at a difficult time. This powerful little spell can also be recharged by holding the amulet up to the sun whenever you need a boost. You can use it as a focus in fire spells as well.
 

Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell