Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice Everyone

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year falling this year on June 21 when the Sun enters Cancer.

In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four 'quarter-days' of the year, and modern Witches call them the four 'Lesser Sabbats', or the four 'Low Holidays'. The Summer Solstice is one of them.

Litha, also known as Midsummer and Summer Solstice, is traditionally seen by many Pagan beliefs to be the time when the reign of the Oak King gives way to the Holly King. It is a time when the power of the sun is at its strongest and summer is at its peak.
Litha marks the birth of the Holly King, just as Yule marks the birth of the Oak King. The Holly King will rise to power at the fall equinox (Mabon), when we enter the dark half of the year. But today is the day to celebrate the Lord, as represented by the Sun

Because Litha is a fire festival it has some rites that are also performed during Beltane, such as lighting bonfires and handfasting. It is a time for rededication, healing, purification and, of course, a good dose of fun. Being the longest day of the year, it can be the perfect day to spend outdoors enjoying the Sun God in all his glory.

A fire lit and kept alight until midnight brings good luck to the house and its occupants.

Many ancient traditions begin the day's celebration by rising early enough to greet the rising Sun.

There is still a famous summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. On the night before midsummer, a group of white-robed Druids gather at Stonehenge to watch the sun rising. As it comes up, the sun rises exactly over the Heel Stone, one of the stones that lies outside the main circle at Stonehenge

This is also a very good time to perform blessings and protection spells for your pets or other animals. You may want to choose to include your pet within your cast Circle at this sabbath celebration, and even present him or her with a special gift such as a tiny pentacle to attach to his or her collar.

Go to the beach at Litha, and gather salt-water. you can bring offerings of flowers and nuts, and 3 pennies or 3 dimes for prosperity and throw these into the waves before taking the water. You can honor Aphrodite and Yameya as the Goddesses of the Sea by taking some jewelry as an offering. It can be simply a broken silver chain, a ring you used to wear, one half of an earring set, things like that. You will find that doing this means that when you visit the beach anytime at all, you won't have to worry about losing any of your "good" jewelry to a jealous Goddess!

If you don't live near the sea, another excellent source of magickal water, is rain water from a thunderstorm, and there are plenty that occur at this time of year. The more electrical energy the storm puts out, the more energized the water is, so the fiercer the better! Collect in a glass jar, or porcelain, avoid metal containers. Store on a shelf, and don't leave the jar on the ground, or the energy will ground. Use the water for 6 months, after that return the water to the source, and collect fresh. The energized water really only lasts about 6 months. If you add shells, rocks from the sea, or other non-perishable sea items such as coral, the energy of the water will stay higher during the 6 months. This water is not for drinking, but only for magickal use.

The following are some ideas of ways that you, your family and friends can celebrate Litha.

If the weather is good then bring your family on a picnic and enjoy the warm, uplifting sunlight. Bring fruits and vegetables that are in season in order to honor the Mother’s abundant blessings.
If you or anyone in your group has a fire pit, have an evening bonfire ritual for purification and protection. Traditional herbs to be tossed into the bonfire are wild thyme, chamomile, sage, mugwort and lavender. Other herbs and plants associated with Litha are mint, rose, daisy, yarrow, oak, elder, heather and St. John’s Wort.
This is a good time for pet blessings so you may want to have a special family ceremony to bless your beloved pet or pets.
Have an outdoor or indoor feast with foods that are symbolic of Litha such as corn cakes, berries, seasonal vegetables, honey cakes, fruit salad and freshly baked bread.
If you have young children, let them draw or color pictures of dragons, fairies, butterflies or images of the sun. Then hang their works of art in the windows of your home or display them on a large bulletin board or display board.
But don’t let the children have all the fun! Create your own works of art depicting anything that symbolizes Litha for you and even make it part of a ritual of healing or inspiration if you wish. If you’re having a large gathering of people, buy a roll of butcher paper and have everyone bring their own art supplies such as crayons, markers or color pencils. Unroll the paper on a large table or any hard surface and everyone can take part in a Litha work of art.
Have family or group craft projects such as making a Solar Wheel, a Witches Ladder or dream pillows filled with lavender and rosemary.
Create an outdoor or indoor altar as a group or family project. Some traditional items to place on the altar are flowers such as iris, honeysuckle and sunflowers, summer fruits, bundles of heather, herbs that represent Litha, honey cakes and orange, gold or yellow candles.
Use your imagination and intuition to think of other ways that you, your family and friends can honor the God and Goddess at this sacred and uplifting time of year. The sighting of Fairy have been reported more often during
Midsummer than at any other time. Leaving out a little food for the fairies is a common practice at Midsummer. Milk, water, butter, honey, wine and bread are their favored foods.

My grandson and I took an offering outside before he went to bed tonight of milk and cookies for the fairies. I loved the look on his face as he looked around trying to understand what a fairy was. They say that young children and animals can see things that we as adults can not...So...who knows. Either way it was fun for both of us.

Have fun and let the magick of the day fill your heart with light.



Blogger Em said...

I've just discovered your blog and I'm having so much fun reading!

Happy Litha to you and yours.

June 21, 2007 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Happy Summer Solstice!

June 21, 2007 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Happy Solstice to you too! Thanks for visiting my Litha TT; non-TT comments are just as welcome!

June 21, 2007 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Sacred Suzie said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you for this and blessed summer solstice to you Autumn. I wish I could do something fantastic to celebrate but I'm going to the dentist...I'll light candles tonight and celebrate in my own way. Have a beautiful long sunshiny day!

June 21, 2007 at 12:33 PM  
Anonymous cathy said...

Happy Solstice :)

June 21, 2007 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger peppylady said...

Happy Lithia to you and your family. Need to try your cooling gel sound very smoothing.

June 21, 2007 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger kim said...

Happy Summer Soltice!!

June 21, 2007 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

Happy Summer Solstice to you dear Patty:-) I so enjoyed reading the history behind this celebration. Oh, how I'd love to be able to join in the celebrations at Stonehenge!! That would be so awesome! xox

June 21, 2007 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger miss*R said...

this is wonderful information! thankyou dear Autumn... I have my yule candle going xox :)

June 22, 2007 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger Meow said...

Happy Summer Solstice, Autumn.
We had our Winter Solstice ... our shortest day ... on the 21st. Thank goodness our days will become longer now !!
Take care, Meow

June 26, 2007 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Julie Marie said...

Thank you so much for that information. I got so caught up on celebrating Fairy Day on Thursday that I forgot about the other components of Midsummer and the connetion with Stonehenge. I have loved it since I did a term paper on it when I was a senior in h.s.

June 26, 2007 at 7:15 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home