Litha Celebration: The Summer Solstice

Litha - Wheel of the Year - Witche's Sabbat

Litha, also known as the Summer Solstice, is a significant event in the pagan calendar. It occurs on the longest day of the year (June 21) and is associated with an abundance of energy, magic, and power. This event is often celebrated with symbols, rituals, and correspondences that honor the sun and the vibrant energy of midsummer.

Symbols & Signs of Litha

Litha represents the peak of the Sun’s power, the longest day of the year, and the start of the waning half of the year. It is a time of celebration and magic, often associated with faeries, love and prosperity spells, and the potent, masculine energy of the sun. Symbols used during this time often include the circle, representing the sun and the cyclical nature of the seasons, and the yin-yang symbol, indicating balance as daylight begins to give way to increasing nights. Bonfires are also a common feature of Litha celebrations, symbolizing the power of the Sun at its zenith.

Deities of Litha

While the specific deities revered during Litha may vary depending on personal belief and tradition, the focus is primarily on those embodying the sun, light, and abundance. Many pagan paths honor the Sun God during Litha, acknowledging this time as a peak of his power. However, Litha also represents a time of balance – where light and dark meet on equal footing – and as such, both masculine and feminine deities may be honored during this time.

Goddesses & Gods Associated with Litha

In many pagan traditions, goddesses associated with fertility, love, and the moon are honored during Litha. These include Cerridwen, a Celtic goddess of rebirth and transformation; Ishtar, an ancient Mesopotamian goddess of love and war; Astarte, a Phoenician goddess of fertility, sexuality, and war; and Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Oceanic deities like Yemaya and Oshun are also revered, symbolizing the nurturing aspect of the feminine divine.

As the Summer Solstice signifies the height of the Sun God’s power, many pagan paths honor solar deities during this time. These include Ra, the ancient Egyptian sun god; Apollo, the Greek god of light, music, and prophecy; Lugh, the Celtic god of light and all arts and crafts; and Belenus, the Celtic god of the sun, healing, and fertility. These gods represent the potent, masculine energy of the sun at its zenith.

Litha, the summer solstice, is a time of celebration, magic, and honor for the sun. Its symbols, associated herbs and stones, and revered deities all reflect the potent energy and abundant light of this time of year. Whether you celebrate Litha by starting a bonfire, crafting a love spell with herbs like verbena and bay, or honoring sun deities, this event offers a chance to connect with nature’s cycles and the vibrant energy of the sun at its peak.

Some ideas for your Litha altar:

  • Choosing the Right Spot for Your Litha Altar: Consider the energy of the space, your comfort, privacy, and the direction (preferably facing east towards the sunrise).
  • Materials Needed to Set Up a Litha Altar: Gather items that represent the elements – earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Also, incorporate items that symbolize the sun and the summer season. For example: oak leaves, acorns, golden flowers, and solar deities to honor the energy of Litha. Incorporate herbs like St. John’s Wort, verbena, or rosemary and stones like amber, tiger’s eye, or sunstone.
  • How to Arrange Items on Your Litha Altar: Arrange items in a way that resonates with you. For example, you can place items representing the elements in the cardinal directions. Or place all items in a circle, similar to the astrological sun sign (a circle with a dot in the center).
  • Creating a Focal Point for Your Litha Altar: This could be a statue or image of a sun deity, a sun symbol, or even a large candle to represent the sun.
  • Incorporating Personal Elements into Your Litha Altar: Add items that have personal significance to you. This could be a memento, a piece of jewelry, or a picture.
  • How to Use Your Litha Altar for Rituals and Spells: Use the altar as a focus point during your Litha rituals. You can also use it as a place to meditate or cast spells. Rituals relating to love or money, energy and abundance are worthwhile on Litha. Litha is the time of wishes, which you can formulate now and, for example, throw on a piece of paper into the fire.
    However, a review of the last few months of the year can also be worthwhile on Litha: What have you already achieved and what still needs your attention in the coming months?
  • Rue
  • Verbena
  • Laurel
  • St. John’s wort
  • Bay
  • Fluorite
  • Agate
  • Jade
  • Tiger’s eye
  • Amber
  • Golden calcite
  • Sunstone

Creative light and love, Ramona 

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