Blessed Litha

summer-solstice-2433807_960_720Here in the northern hemisphere, it is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The warm (ok…hot) weather is here and everything is alive and booming. However, Litha is definitely a global event.  There are many customs and traditions that celebrate this joyous and happy time of the year. Bonfires used to blaze all across Europe and North Africa, and at one time, no self-respecting village would be without its Midsummer bonfire.  

Midsummer is magical time, perfect for divination, when the fairies and spirits are out and playing in the warm weather. A time for love magic, herb magic, and fire magic! Litha represents fun, joy, and relishing in the warmth and light of the Sun.  Below are some fun, easy, and in some cases, free, ways to celebrate!

  • Enjoy the sunrise and/or sunset
  • Make a flower crown to wear
  • Leave some offerings of Honey Cakes outside (a recipe can be found here)
  • Leave some milk outside for the Fae
  • Go wildflower hunting
  • Attend a Summer Festival
  • Decorate your home with fresh (or even fake) flowers
  • Make or buy pretty suncatchers
  • Make solar water

The possibilities are endless!

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Here are some common correspondences for Litha:

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Ritual

Here is a fun ritual the family and I did a couple of years ago, feel free to use as is, or tweek it to make it your own!  During this ritual we made a sun. I have put the instructions for how to make it at the end of this ritual.

Tools:

  • Altar cloth, table
  • Pentacle
  • Athame
  • Chalice
  • God / goddess candle
  • Incense
  • Censor
  • Charcoal
  • Lighter
  • Salt for water
  • Cookies / mead
  • Dixie cups
  • Plates for cookies

In addition to your usual tools:

  • Offering to burn (pouch of herbs, incense, fruit peelings….)
  • Sticks for the sun
  • Ribbons, yarn, decorations

Preparation:Sweep area moving in deosil manner. Decorate the altar with seasonal flowers,

Calling East:

Guardians of the East, I call upon you

to watch over the rites of this family.

Powers of knowledge and wisdom, guided by Air,

we ask that you keep watch over us

today within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance

do so in perfect love and perfect trust.
Calling South:

Guardians of the South, I call upon you

to watch over the rites of this family.

Powers of energy and will, guided by Fire,

we ask that you keep watch over us

tonight within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance

do so in perfect love and perfect trust.

Calling West:

Guardians of the West, I call upon you

to watch over the rites of this family.

Powers of passion and emotion, guided by Water,

we ask that you keep watch over us

tonight within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance

do so in perfect love and perfect trust.

Calling North:

Guardians of the North, I call upon you

to watch over the rites of this family.

Powers of endurance and strength, guided by Earth,

we ask that you keep watch over us

tonight within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance

do so in perfect love and perfect trust.

Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet.

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.

Make an offering (we can make something to burn) to the god and goddess Say:

Litha is a time of re-dedication to the gods and goddesses

Ra watches over us.

He is the sunlight, warmth, and growth.

Light God candle.

Isis watches over us.

She is the Maker of Sunrise, Queen of all Gods, and Goddess of Motherhood.

Light Goddess Candle.

We give honor to You, By all your names, known and unknown.

Bless us with Your wisdom

And give life and abundance to us

As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.

We make this offering to you

To show our allegiance

To show our honor

To show our dedication

To You.

Cast your offering into fire. Conclude the ritual by saying:

Today, at Litha, we celebrate the life

And love of the gods

And of the Earth and Sun.

Make the sun!

We can now make our giant sun, putting positive energy into it and that it will continue to hold our wishes of good health, fortune, and prosperity.

Finish by having the Cakes and Ale Ceremony and closing the circle as usual.

East:

Guardians of the East, thank you for joining us for this rite.  

Go if you will, stay if you must. Blessed Be.

South:

Guardians of the South, thank you for joining us for this rite.  

Go if you will, stay if you must. Blessed Be.

West:

Guardians of the West, thank you for joining us for this rite.  

Go if you will, stay if you must. Blessed Be.

North:

Guardians of the North, thank you for joining us for this rite.  

Go if you will, stay if you must. Blessed Be.

The circle is open, but unbroken.

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How to make a stick sun:

You’ll need about 6-8 sticks, the length would depend on the size of the sun you want to make.  We made ours pretty big so we used sticks about 2ft long. Just ones we found in the yard from a recent storm that came through.  We then took different ribbons and fabric strips in various yellow, orange, red, and white colors and weaved them around each stick until we were happy with the result.  Below is a picture from where I had gotten the idea from.

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Photo: http://twigandtoadstool.blogspot.com/2010/06/here-comes-sun-week-lets-weave-giant.html

I hope you all have a very blessed Summer Solstice!

 

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