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May 29, 2023
The Wheel of the Year turns this month on the Summer Solstice, June 21.
Celebrated on June 20 or 21st this is the longest day, shortest night of the year. Litha or Midsummer is a Celtic holiday celebrating fertility, and fire. The height of the year before the wheel turns towards fall. On this day, honor the sun and everything it rules over: warmth, light, creativity, fire, action. Bonfires are lit, honey cakes are shared, and love is in the air.
Colors of the Season. Yellow, orange, gold and green
Plants of the Season. Fruits and vegetables that are in season. Oak leaves, flowers associated with the sun, are sunflowers and marigolds or any orange or yellow flower. Other plants associated with the sun are St. John’s Wort, Fennel, Rue, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Mallows and Ferns. The lore of Midsummer is that herbs gathered at dawn have special magical and medicinal uses.
Litha/Midsummer Symbols. Objects and items that represent the sun. Stones associated with the sun such as citrine and carnelian. You may want to add drawings or artwork representing the sun.
Suggestions for ways to celebrate.
Traditionally people stayed up all night on Midsummer's Eve to welcome and watch the sunrise. Bonfires were lit to honor the fullness of the Sun . A reflection of the Sun at the peak of its strength. The wood for fires would often be Oak and aromatic herbs were scattered into the fire.
People dance around the fires and leap through them.
Herbs are lit from the bonfire and used to bless the animals.
Blazing torches are carried sunwise around homes and fields.
Coals from the Midsummer fire are gathered and scattered on fields to ensure a good harvest.
If you can set up a bonfire or fire pit for this ritual wonderful, if not use candles or a heat resistant container to simulate one.
Begin by brewing yourself some of the Midsummer tea. This is a solar holiday so you may want to brew a solar tea by placing the tea blend in a jar with a lid, adding cold water and placing in the sun for several hours. Save a cup for an offering.
While your tea is brewing set up an altar space. You may want to set up your altar outside in a sunny location or indoors by a sunny window. If you plan to stay up and watch the sunrise, set up your altar somewhere you can watch the sun move over the horizon.
When you are ready to begin your ritual go to your altar and anoint candles, stones, and any other items you have with Litha oil. Add a Midsummer herbal mix to a muslin bag and holding in your hands let it absorb your troubles, sorrows, illnesses, problems, and pain. Tie it with the red string and place on your altar. Light the candles. Cast a circle using a Midsummer Incense.
You may now want to sing, read a poem, or say a few words that reflect the Sabbat and your personal intentions.
When you are ready pick up your pouch and say something to the effect of,” Now is the time for purification. I allow the sun to burn away the hurtful and the bane”. Light your pouch and when it is burning drop it into the fire or your fireproof vessel. Say something to the effect of “I banish you by the powers of the Sun, I banish you by the powers of Fire.” Watch the bag burn and visualize the thoughts and energies you put into the bag burning away.
Meditation. Close your eyes and visualize your self being filled with the bounties and warmth of the summer season. Allow yourself to connect to and receive messages from the deities, ancestors, and other energies you work with in your practice. When you are ready say something to the effect of “Litha fires, Midsummer night, I thank and honor you. May the sweetness of life and the warmth of the sun fill me. May the bonfires burn bright for all my beloved and friends. Hail Litha, Hail Midsummer night! So, mote it be”.
Extinguishing the candles. You may leave the altar up overnight it you chose. Any objects on the altar may be carried with you or kept on your home altar.
Midsummer, MAY 2015 BY LLEWELLYN, DEBORAH BLAKE
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