Summer Solstice and Litha Rituals

Welcome to Summer Solstice, or Litha as it is known in the Wheel of the Year, is a Quarter day and a lesser Sabbat.

Not only is it the longest day and the shortest night of the year, but it is also a celebration of the sun's peak and the return of the darkness. As we sit with this imagery, we understand the Wise Woman is always willing to go deeper, and further into the shadows to learn and expand. With each spiral, each season, each turn upon the Wheel of the Year, she is awakening.

Summer Solstice is celebrated all around the world in different ways and each of them brings in dance, music, and play to this day of light in the northern hemisphere. Solstice meaning “the sun standing still” is a time when the sun won’t move from its spot in the sky for the next three days, and invites light into all of who we are if we allow it.

The polarities of the different energies at play are asking us to stand into our truth, to let the light shine fully through us, to open our hearts, and to be real. With the Mars fire energy also in the game, it’s important to stay grounded and calm, use your fire energy to create where it is time to create, and destroy where it is time to let go.

The Sun has moved into Cancer bringing awareness to love, family, and home. Questions that are good to ponder at this time:

Where do you feel at home? Who is your chosen family? How can you open your heart to what might be challenging?

Cancer, the Mother sign of the zodiac is also a water sign. This time bringing big contrast between Mars’ action-driven fire and Cancer's softness, invites us to stay in the balance between the fire and water energies. Know when to step forward and when to step back.

Moving through the spirals even further with this transition welcoming in the dark. Litha invites us to celebrate life and all that we are, to let the wheel of life keep turning, which is a sacred symbol of Summer Solstice. In times past, it was a celebratory ritual to light up a straw wheel and roll it down a hill - they were called “wheels of fate”.

Some other rituals and symbols of this time include:

The colours of yellow, gold, red and orange (all the colours of the flame)! Foods of abundance from the garden, citrus, honey and flowers. Fire is also a strong symbol at this time, and on mid-summer’s eve, two fires would be made, one with Oak wood (to represent the light) and one made with Holly, to represent the dark.  Fire is a key symbol in all Celtic fire festivals.

The Oak Tree & Holly Tree are also represented at this time, as the sacred tree of the light, is the Oak (Duir in the Ogham), and during the fire celebration, you can leap over the fire for abundance, fertility, and protection. Mistletoe is also gathered at Solstice from the Oak tree and is considered to be exceptionally potent at this time.

Holly on the other hand, represents the dark. It is the tree of protection and is often used to ward of negativity. From Solstice to Midwinter, Holly King reigns, and from Winter Solstice to Midsummer, the Oak King reigns.

Suggested Rituals for Solstice

  • Gather medicinal & healing herbs at Solstice. It is a potent time when the plants are charged, and full of potential. It is a great time to harvest herbs for the year ahead and for creating your healing tinctures, salves, and potions.
  • Burn that which doesn’t serve you - create a paper filled with things you wish to let go of and burn it in your solstice fire. Wonderful if you can do that with the wood of the Holly Tree!
  • Create a sacred marriage for yourself - Litha was a common time for hand-fasting, and you can use this time to “hand-fast” yourself to your inner divine masculine and feminine parts. Consider integrating the power of the rose in this ceremony
  • Make a sun tea, or herbal medicine by placing your herbs in spring water and allowing it to be out in the sunlight all day and into the evening - this can be done for up to three days.
  • Reset your altar and include sunlight - maybe even consider moving it, so that it receives direct sunlight in the coming days. Include symbols and colours such as those listed above, as well as herbs of St. Johns Wort, Citrus, Sunflowers, Oak or Holly, Rowan, Mint, Basil or Elder, sun symbolism and divine masculine elements as we are at the peak of its energy within the year

Blessings and Happy Summer Solstice!


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