Summer Solstice + Litha
The Summer Solstice/Litha marks a time of celebration and acknowledgement of the powerful life force energy and momentum of this dynamic season.
On this day the light of the sun is most available to us. It is an excellent time for the recognition of or work on (depending on your needs) gratitude, abundance, expansion, growth, and the illumination of the courage and strength needed to aid us in our transformation into our more awakened selves.
Litha is believed to be a time when faerie folk pass into the human world at Twilight and offer blessings. Flowers are in bloom and gardens are producing fresh vegetables and fruits. It is the perfect time to gather family and friends to celebrate the longest day of the year and coming harvest season!
A BRIEF HISTORY
Midsummer Night is the longest night of the year and has been celebrated in some fashion since ancient times. In Pagan tradition, Litha marked the end of the Oak King’s reign and the rise of the Holly King, who oversees the world as the days gradually get shorter as the world descends into the cold dark of winter.
Like Beltane, fire is an element of Litha. Bonfires were lit to assist the sun as it journeyed across the sky, changing course and shortening the days. It was believed that the faerie realm was the most accessible during Midsummer Night.
Litha was also a celebration of the Celctic goddess Danu (Anu) who represents earth and fruitfulness. According to Irish mythology Danu was the Universal Mother of Tuatha De Danaan - a tribe of ancient people in Ireland believed to have invaded Ireland and ruled until being defeated in war on midsummer’s day, after which they retreated to the hills and eventually became the Faerie folk.
As Christianity swept across Europe in the early middle ages, Litha / Midsummer Night was adopted by the Catholic church as St. John’s Day, celebrating John the Baptist.
SYMBOLS FOR LITHA
Colors: Blue, green, yellow, pink, purple
Foods: Honey, elderberry, strawberry, fennel, thyme, fresh greens, mead, light wines
Stones: Peridot, diamond, emeralds, lapis lazuli
Symbols: Bonfire, sun wheels, flowers
Flowers & Plants: Oak, mistletoe, elderflower, lavender, pine, fern, pine, rose
Deities: Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Ishtar, Helios, Llew, Holly King, Lugh, Sol, Ra, Zeus, Thor
WAYS TO CELEBRATE
Make a floral wreath for your front door
Make sun tea using fresh herbs
Host a bonfire and potluck for family and friends
Gather and dry herbs to use throughout the coming year
Take time to meditate and give thanks for the blessings you have in your life