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Litha

Litha Main

Approx. Reading time: About 3 Minutes

Litha Main

Introduction

Litha (the Summer Solstice) marks the longest day of the year. During the summer solstice, it is the time of the first harvest and the celebration of this bounty.

In times gone by this Sabbat was celebrated with large bonfires, they were burned to promote purification, fertility, and love. To leap over the bonfire was to assure a good crop and to encourage these qualities in themselves. This Sabbat glorifies the Sun God and the Sun, fire plays a very prominent role in this festival. The element of Fire is the most easily seen and felt element of transformation.

Litha comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase Aerra Litha, which means “before Midsummer.” At this time the Goddess is fully pregnant, and the Sun God is at the height of his power. Litha is the traditional time for gathering magical and medicinal plants to dry and store for winter use. In Wales, Midsummer is called Gathering Day. Midsummer Night’s Eve has traditionally been a day to perform love and healing magic. This is also a perfect time to communicate with fairies, forest sprites, and pixies.

June was said to be the luckiest month to be married in and is the time of the mead moon or honeymoon. One tradition was for newlyweds to drink mead daily for a month after their wedding, which is why the post-wedding holiday was named the honeymoon. Even though the days begin to grow shorter after the Summer Solstice, the time of greatest abundance is still to come. The promises of the Goddess and God are still to be fulfilled.

Most cultures of the Northern Hemisphere mark Midsummer in some ritualized manner and people past and present acknowledge the rising of the sun on this day. At Stonehenge, the heel stone marks the midsummer sunrise as seen from the centre of the stone circle.

This is a good time for protection magic, empowerment magic, male rituals, and becoming in tune with nature spirits. It is a time of bravery, strength, and overcoming.

Litha Activities

  • Put a ring of flowers around your cauldron.
  • Hang a bundle of fresh herbs out to dry.
  • Litha is a time for healing of all kinds, and protection rituals.
  • Make a Wicker Man and burn him in your bonfire.
  • Decorate your altar with Rose flowers.
  • Leave out milk and honey as an offering to the Fae folk.
  • Make a charm to hang around your neck with a seashell.
  • Have an outdoor breakfast picnic to welcome the Solstice.
  • Stay up and watch the sun come up on the longest day of the year, or watch the sun come down.
  • Take a picture of the sun at sunrise and sunset.
  • Try a fire divination, stare into the coals of your bonfire as it settles, or look for forms in the leaping flames.
  • Create a ritual to bring healing and love to Mother Earth.
  • Make protection amulets for friends and family, dispose of last year’s Litha bonfire.
  • Light a white candle and place it in front of a mirror. Say your own Litha prayer over it, and then let it burn out.
  • Burn the remnants of your Yule Tree in the bonfire to burn away bad luck.
  • Jump the balefire or cauldron.
  • Hang a bundle of fresh herbs out to dry and use them to spice up a Litha feast of cooked summer vegetables
  • * Offer a gift of lavender to the Gods in a bonfire.
  • Make staffs, dream pillows, or a witches’ ladder.
  • Go bird watching. Take a guidebook, so you will know what you are looking at. The birds may bless you with a feather

Deity’s Portfolio

  • Division: Minor Sabbat
  • Other Names: Summer Solstice, Midsummer, Alban Hefin, Sun Blessing, Gathering Day, Whit Sunday, Feill-Sheathain, Whitsuntide, Vestalia, Thing-tide, St. John’s Day.
  • Southern Hemisphere Date: Dec 20-23
  • Northern Hemisphere Date: June 21
  • Associated Holiday: Feast of John the Baptist
  • Associated Deities: Mother Earth, Father Sun, and the fairy people
  • Associated Herbs: Rose, lavender, St John’s Wort, chamomile
  • Associated Stones: Emerald, Jade, Amethyst, opal, quartz, lapis lazuli, malachite, tiger’s eye, and diamonds.
  • Symbols of Litha: Fire, The Sun, Sunflowers love amulets Blades, Mistletoe, Seashells, Oak Trees, Balefires, Sun Wheels, and Fairies.
  • Foods of Litha: Garden fresh fruits and vegetables such as lemons and oranges.
  • Drinks of Litha: Wine, Lemonade, Meade, Ales, Herbal Teas, and fresh fruit juice of any kind
  • Incense of Litha: Frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, lemon, pine, jasmine, rose, lotus, or wysteria.
  • Ritual Oils: Heliotrope, Cinnamon, Sandalwood, Lavender, Orange, All Mint Oils, Lemon, Saffron
  • Colors: of Litha: White, red, maize yellow or golden yellow, green, blue, and tan.
  • Taboos: Giving Away Fire, Sleeping Away from Home, Neglecting Animals.
  • Plants: Oak, Mistletoe, Frankincense, Lemon, Sandalwood, Heliotrope, Copal, Saffron, Galangal, Laurel, Ylang-Ylang
  • Element: Fire
  • Activities: All kinds of magic, Create protective amulets, dry herbs
  • Animals: Robin/Wren, Summer Birds, Horses, Cattle
  • Mythical Creatures: Satyrs, fairies, Firebird, Dragon, Thunderbird, Manticore
  • Celebration of: The Goddess is pregnant with the God.

Other Litha Resources

Recipes

Recipe: Caprese Eggplant Hero

Caprese Eggplant Hero
Caprese Eggplant Hero is a delightful sandwich that blends eggplant, tomato, cheese, and basil with magic. Learn how to make this savory and earthy treat.

Recipe – Bing Cherry-Amaretti Fool

Bing Cherry-Amaretti Fool
Bing Cherry-Amaretti Fool is a delicious dessert that blends cherries and cookies with magic. Learn how to make this sweet and harmonious treat for your blog.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Tart

Tomato Tart
To honor the magic of summer, we have a recipe for a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie that is sure to delight your taste buds and enchant your senses.

Deeper Knowledge

Litha Explained

Summer Solstice

Introduction The Summer Solstice: Celebrating the Height of Light The summer solstice, also known as Midsummer or Litha, is a sacred and joyous time of the year when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, resulting in the longest day and shortest night. This astronomical event holds deep significance in many cultures and spiritual traditions, symbolizing the peak of light, vitality, and abundance. In this article, we will…

Ritual: Litha Summer Feast

Litha Feast
Celebrate midsummer with a Litha Feast that honors Earth’s abundance. A communal celebration of gratitude, unity, and nature’s gifts awaits.

Ritual: Creating a Sacred Litha Altar

Litha Altar
Embrace the summer’s peak with a guide to crafting your own Litha altar, a symbol of light, gratitude, and the sun’s life-giving power.

Vestalia: Honoring the Sacred Hearth

Vestalia: Honoring the Sacred Hearth
Celebrate Vestalia, the ancient Roman festival of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth and home. Learn about the history, traditions, and modern practices of this sacred celebration.

Upcoming Litha Posts

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