The summer solstice is almost upon us. Here are 3 easy Midsummer & Litha rituals to help you celebrate the sun and the longest day of the year.
Here in Scotland, the days are gloriously long in summer, and we're quickly approaching the longest day of all. Litha or Midsummer is the modern pagan festival marking the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
There's definitely magick in the air and abundance all around. The lazy days of summer are setting in as we simply sit back and let the power of the sun bring the world to life. It definitely deserves a celebration.
This turn in the wheel of the year honors the Sun King at the height of his power and brings out fairies and other magical beings. It's also the time of the year when magical herbs are at their most potent. Gathering herbs and botanicals on Midsummer's Eve is a longstanding tradition in many cultures. And if you want to do it naked at midnight with a silver dagger, be my guest.
Cultures around the world have marked the summer solstice for centuries. Keep the tradition going with these easy and family friendly Litha rituals.
Grab a basket and some garden shears or scissors and get out there and gather some herbs, flowers, and other botanicals. Use your common sense and avoid things you know are dangerous like stinging nettles or poison ivy, and don't eat or drink anything unless you're 100% sure that it's safe. But beyond that, let yourself be drawn to anything you think is interesting or beautiful.
Consider downloading a plant identification app to learn more about the local flora in your area. The Earth is soaking up all this sun energy, so plants are plentiful right now, but if you want it to stay that way, make sure you're being responsible with your foraging and only taking what you need. Never take more than 10% of a plant. And if it feels right to you, ask permission before cutting anything from a live plant. Also consider leaving an offering of water at each plant you take from.
Then when you get home, you can hang flowers and herbs to dry, craft herb bundles for burning, or weave a wreath or flower crown to decorate yourself or your home. Check out my Kitchen Magick page to learn a bit more about the magical properties of common kitchen herbs.
Bring Fire & Water Together
Litha also coincides with the start of Cancer season. The sign of the crab is ruled by water and the Moon, so ritual bathing is just as common as bonfires at Midsummer. If you can get yourself down to your nearest lake, river, or beach for a bit of wild swimming and a bonfire, that would be awesome.
Enter the water with the intention of cleansing yourself of any stress or negative energy you've picked up so far this year. Then reignite your energy with a fire. Work with the correspondences of the trees the wood comes from, or burn magical, fragrant herbs in the fire to call in your intentions.
If a day at the beach isn't in the cards, a simple bath or shower spell and a candle are also beautiful ways to work with fire and water. Make yourself a magical salt scrub and carve a red or yellow candle with your wishes for the season and let it burn down completely, releasing your intention to the Universe.
Honoring the Sun
Any solar sabbat, which includes the solstices and equinoxes, is good for honoring the progress of the sun. At the summer solstice, we are acknowledging the longest day of the year and the life giving power of the sun.
Something I like to do on these days is to mark the time of the sunrise and the sunset. You can usually find this information in your weather app. You can then watch the sun come up and go back down again, meditating on the change of seasons as you do so. Admittedly, Litha poses the greatest challenge as sunrise will be very early and sunset quite late, but you have my permission to take a long nap to get you through the day.
Do this from a window in your house, or if you're able, go to your favorite nature spot to more deeply connect with the Earth. Even if you're just at your local park, notice how the light changes. How does the sun affect the colors around you? What are the birds and other animals up to? How does the sun feel on your skin? Spend as much time as you can outside, mindfully observing the subtle shifts in the natural world.
Then allow yourself some time to meditate or journal on the subtle shifts in your own life, both internally and externally. Consider what has changed for you since the spring equinox in March. What is reaching its peak? What is beginning to fade? How can you sink into the ease of the season? Combine this with other Litha rituals that are less solitary for a whole day of magick.
May your Litha Rituals Light You Up with Joy
I hope this has given you some ideas for how to honor Litha in your own way. As long as you're doing what feels right to you, it's perfect. To learn more about this sabbat, check out the Litha episode of The Coven of Awesomeness Podcast. And if you're planning a Litha feast, don't forget to check out my Recipes to Celebrate Litha. May your summer solstice be truly awesome.
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