On June 2oth we are greeting yet another beautiful holiday, which is a part of the Pagan Wheel of the Year - Litha or Summer Solstice.
This holiday actually has many names, as it was celebrated in various traditions for thousands of years. Litha is also known as Midsummer's Day (in Celtic tradition) and is celebrated around June 21st, depending on your location.
The reason why it is called Midsummer's Day lies in the fact that for Celts summer started on Beltane and ended on Lammas. Litha is translated from Anglo-Saxon as "the longest day in a year."
But the most common name we hear is, of course, Summer Solstice.
And it is not surprising for Litha to have so many names, as it happens to be the longest day in the year and the Sun reaches its peak. It is a culmination peak that creates a massive blowout of the fiery energy of the Sun.
Naturally, such a powerful time was recognized by every tradition or culture in its own unique way.
Mother Nature on this day speaks to us that you reap what you sow. We see beautiful trees that soon will offer us ripe fruit and fields are covered with flowers of bright gorgeous colours.
It was also very important to monitor the weather on Litha. If the weather was bad, it was a sign of a poor harvest season. Interestingly, if it was foggy on this day, this was the biggest blessing.
Litha Specifics and Attributes:
Litha Colours: Yellow, Gold, Green
Litha Deities: All Gods and Goddesses associated with the Sun: Ra, Horus, Lugh, Sol, Cernunnos
Elemental Work: Fire
Litha Flowers & Plants: St. John's Wort, Lilies, Birch, Fennel, Fern
Litha Drinks: fruit & herbal teas, smoothies
Litha Crystals: Carnelian, Red Jasper, Citrine, Red Coral
Litha Animals: Butterfly, Moth
Other Ostara Ritual Attributes: Sun symbols, candles, birch branches, black salt
For complete list of correspondences, Litha rituals, recipes and Litha Tarot spread, check out my Litha Printable product.
What are some of the old and modern ways to celebrate Litha?
1. Spend the Day in Nature
I want to start off with the simplest activity for you to honour Mother Nature on this day.
And it is doing something that aligns you with the rhythms of nature.
After all, this is exactly what our ancestors have been doing for centuries!
You can decorate your home with flowers and herbs. And, by the way, the herbs you collect on this day have the most powerful healing qualities.
One of the most powerful Solstice herbs is St. John's wort, which is not surprising, as you can feel it radiating the energy of the Sun just by looking at it.
Back in the day, it was also customary to give gifts to nature in the form of flower wreaths or baked goods.
By the evening, people would usually gather around a fire pit or go for a swim in the lake or river to cleanse the body, mind and soul.
See what you can do from that list on Midsummer's Day. Things don't have to be complicated. A simple family hike and lunch in nature will already fill you with the positive energy of the Sun.
2. Ancestral Love Traditions and Rituals on Litha/Midsummer's Day
Of course, I will have to mention love rituals and traditions, as they were an integral part of many Pagan holiday celebrations and still are to this date.
Many love traditions were focused on strengthening family bonds between partners or foreseeing a future relationship.
For example, unmarried women would make a herbal wreath from 7 different herbs, chanting a spell that would allow them to their future partner in their dream.
One of the more known old traditions on Litha was to jump over the fire, holding hands with your partner. You were to jump 3 times in order for the marriage to be strong and long and, of course, to have many healthy children, as it was quite important at the time.
Of course, it is not common in our day and age to perform such rituals, but I want to offer you both historical and modern versions and adjustments.
You may also be familiar with the word "Honeymoon" but not many know that the roots of this word go back to the time when it was customary to pick up the first honey in June and celebrate the weddings.
Many people still choose the month of June for their wedding, as they being in alignment with Nature and its laws will bring their family union love, happiness and understanding.
3. Honour Your Ancestors
As it would be a good idea to do this on any holiday of the Wheel, I want to start by suggesting honouring your ancestors on this day.
Visit your loved one and bring some fresh flowers to their grave.
Tell them how grateful you are for everything they did for you in life and how forgiving you are for everything they couldn't do.
As we celebrate the creative force of Mother Nature, we need to come to an agreement that YOU are a fruit of creation too.
4. Decorate Your Home
As I have mentioned on countless occasions in this blog post, being in tune with nature is what Litha is all about.
Decorate your home with flowers, preferably hand-picked by you. If you can add St. John's Wort to your bouquet, it would be an amazing bonus.
Other flowers of your choice can be lilies.
Birch twigs are symbolic of Litha too.
5. Create an Amulet
One of the easy and powerful Rituals you can do on Litha is "Witch's Stairs", or simply, knot magic.
For this Ritual you will need the following:
yellow or gold colour ribbon or thread (natural material only, no synthetics)
9 beads (natural semi-precious crystal beads would be the best choice)
While the number of beads can vary, stick to these choices: 6 or 9
*Start by making a knot at one end of the thread.
*Then put through your first bead. While you are doing this, think of a wish you want to manifest. Make another knot.
*Continue with the second bead. Option here would be to either REPEAT the same wish, if it is so important and big that you want to dedicate all beads to it, or choose 9 different "smaller" wishes and dedicate one bead to each wish.
*When you are done with your beads, make a final end knot, saying "And so, this is done."
If you follow Wiccan path, you can say traditional "So mote it be." I prefer to give my rituals a finished effect.
*Hang your stairs at the entry to your home (If you only have a room, you can hang it by the window) and leave it there until the following Solstice next year.
6. Cook Litha/Summer Solstice Food
You may cook any traditional food of your culture, the key is to follow some Litha-specific food tips.
One Solstice specific food is greens and lots of them!
Some other good choices are the following:
Baked or boiled potatoes, covered with chopped greens like dill or parsley;
Sorrel Soup (more traditional for Slavic Pagans)
Any green salads or even smoothies!
Cheese! Yes, the big blocks of cheese were a customary Solstice food and decoration for a dinner table.
Honey. As I talked about above, picking honey was a big event for people at this time of year.
7. Do a Litha Meditation
Meditation is a great way to ground and connect with your soul. And holidays of the Wheel give us an opportunity for a much more energetically powerful and deep meditation.
On this day, your meditation can be dedicated to the following:
Remembering and honouring your ancestors
Making a wish and doing a manifestation type of meditation
Express gratitude to the Sun and Mother Earth
Don't forget to light a candle or incense and create a calming atmosphere.
8. Other Rituals For Litha:
Litha is closely associated with the Fire element. Make sure fire is a part of your ritual working.
This holiday also allows you to perform both release and invitation types of rituals.
Cleansing types of rituals:
For this ritual you will need:
Candle, preferably black or white with sage or other cleansing herbs
Piece of paper and pen
Cauldron or a bowl
Litha Cleansing Ritual Instructions:
*Light your candle. Please use matches, not a lighter. I explain why in this video.
*Take a piece of paper and write down everything you want to release on this day.
*Start with your name and the day you are writing on. For example, I would write "I, Veronika, on this Summer Solstice Eve/Day release the following:
*List everything you want to purge from your life. You can write things in a bullet format or write it all as a letter.
*Finish your release with the following: "So, this is done", "So, mote it be", "Blessed Be"
*Ignite the paper from the candle and let it burn in your cauldron or bowl
*Preferably, allow your candle to burn through entirely.
9. Perform a Divination Work
Litha is a great time to perform Tarot or oracle readings.
The theme for Summer Solstice readings is usually love/relationship, finances and career.
Image Information: If you are interested in a deck, this is Shadowscapes Tarot Cards deck by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.
10. Show Love and Gratitude
Litha is a very special and beautiful holiday.
When summertime comes, we all become a little kinder, a little more open to give and receive love.
Don't shy away from showing your feelings, to give thanks and appreciate your family, partner and friends.
Happy Litha Summer Solstice, my friends!
May this day be filled with Love, Health & Happiness.