Today I’m writing about the Wheel of the Year holiday commonly known as Midsummer or Litha. (Though, as with most old holidays, it has many other names as well.) Litha is one of the solar holidays, or quarter days on the Wheel: It’s best known as the Summer Solstice. On this day the sun is at his most potent, and we are blessed with the longest day of the year. That’s definitely cause for celebration, in my opinion. Yeah, sunshine!
While the calendars in the US attribute the first day of the Summer season to this date, it is really the middle, or apex, of the traditional season. After this date (21 June, usually), we begin the descent into darkness once again. The days start getting shorter and the dark night begins to take over, little by little. This is an opportunity for us Sun Babies to get out and celebrate the warm glow of the Sun.
For those of you who aren’t really all that interested in the long, sunny days of Summer, you can still celebrate. This is the pinnacle of the waxing half of the year. It is during the waxing time that our energies are attuned to growth and progress and the external environment. It is a time of creation and plenty and socialization. The whole natural world is abuzz with activity and production. Those seeds we planted back at Imbolc should be really starting to bloom now.
As with any holiday, there are as many celebratory traditions as there are celebrants. However, some of the common practices of Litha involve bonfires and candles (as an earthly reflection of the Sun), herb/flower/plant decorations, faerie magick, handfastings/weddings, kitchen witchery, and general merriment.
This is also a time when the fields are pregnant with the crops that will be reaped in the coming autumnal harvests. As such, it’s a great time to doing something nurturing for the pregnant ladies in your life (human or animal).
As for me, I’m going to keep it simple. I’ll do some decorating with seashells, candles, sunflowers and faerie dust. (Who doesn’t love sparkles??) I might even try my hand at making a crown of flowers if I can find some good flowers for the job. In the morning, I’ll head out for a hike in the woods. If I’m being really industrious, I’ll make it out to watch the sunrise, but I’m making no promises t. I’m also going to infuse a large jar of filtered water with basil, lemon and orange, and charge it throughout the day. I’ll use the water in my smoothies over the next couple weeks for some added Solstice power. In the evening, I’m planning to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream while enjoying a bountiful fruit and veggie dinner, followed by some divination before bed.
What do you do to celebrate the Solstice? Do you have any Midsummer traditions? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Happy Litha, y’all!