Guest post by Jechanovia of Tarot & Thyme
Litha – also known as Summer Solstice, Midsummer, and Alban Hefin – is the longest day of the year, and is celebrated between June 20th to 22nd each year. In 2020, it lands on June 20th.
For some traditions, this is the end/beginning of the year, and is a wonderful time to reminisce about the lessons you’ve learned since last Litha. The energy around this occasion is one of a warm and sunny vibe, when we find it easier to be optimistic, have fun, and otherwise enjoy life.
Many feel motivated, inspired, and excited to be creative, make changes, and work toward their goals. We see hints of validation that our efforts are showing potential for success, which boosts our confidence and drive even more.
For others, this season can feel overwhelming, exhausting and even stressful, particularly those who struggle to keep up with high energy people and experiences. If you find yourself in this category, you may like to dive deep into your meditation practices, take vacation time away from the world, and adopt a healthy self-love routine.
One of my favourite Freebird Apothecary products is one that adds to my own self-care practice: the Empress Oil face serum blend. Aptly named, too, because the heavenly scent, and my soft, hydrated skin, using it makes me feel absolutely Divine!
In other exciting news, Stonehenge will be live streaming the Solstice on Facebook, from sunset through to sunrise – I will definitely be tuning in for this event.
I’ve curated some details about the associations of Litha, as well as some ideas on ways to celebrate with rituals and activities – I hope they get your creativity flowing, and that you find joy in this beautiful season!
Symbology Sun, seashells, feathers, fire, butterflies, bees, candles, wands, fairies, flowers, forests
Practices & Rituals Storytelling – share tales from your family’s (or culture’s) history Faerie magicks – leave out a small bowl of milk and honey Feasts and gatherings – this year, try meeting virtually to celebrate Make sacred tools from items collected in nature – especially wands Divination – excellent time for forecasting the dark half of the year, through to Yule Refresh your altar and set new intentions Burn /discard spellwork from Yule – final release of the energy, workings are complete Study the mysteries of herb & crystal magicks Collect herbs to store for your practice Shake a few drops of dew from your collected herbs into a glass of water to sip from
Crystals Jade, emerald, tiger’s eye, amber
Herbs Chamomile, Thyme, Mugwort, Rose, Sunflower, Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary, Mint, Fennel
(other sacred plants for non-edible use – ivy, holly, marigold, mistletoe, iris, daisy)
Incense Sandalwood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Oak, Fir
Altar Add fresh flowers or potted plants, holly, oak, shells, ivy, flower chains, and any other collected items. You may like to leave an offering of some shiny coins, small sweet cakes, candy, or even a splash of wine for the Faeries.
Colours Gold, red, white, orange, yellow, blue, green
Food & Drink Citrus, any fresh fruits and veggies Mead, wine, ale Add edible flowers to salads, drinks, and desserts
Faerie Queen Litha Beverage 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp honey 1 cup cold water 1 sprig rosemary 7 lilac blossoms
If lilacs aren’t available, substitute any edible flower in bloom where you are
Cerridwen – The day of Cerridwen and her cauldron – she is keeper of the cauldron of inspiration (Awen) – holds the knowledge of all that was, is, will be. Goddess of many things, including prophecy, wisdom and transformation.
Holly & Oak Kings – Details can vary, but essentially, the Holly King (ruler of the dark half of the year) defeats the Oak King (ruler of the light half of the year). They battle again at Yule, when the Oak King wins and brings the dawn of the light half of the year.
Sol/Sun – illumination, inspiration.
Minerva – goddess of wisdom and enlightenment.