omorrow we embark on a midsummer journey. The Litha solstice brings us to the longest day and the shortest night of the year where the Earth is at the midpoint on her journey around the sun. The word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which translates to “sun stands still” Depending on the year Litha will fall between June 20-22 or the 25th which was the Old Litha. Litha is also known as Alban Heruin and Midsummer’s Night. Historical writings have shown summer solstice celebrations all over the world and continue today as we honor the Old Ways.
In the Pacific Northwest, we are surrounded by the lushness of summer beauty
due to the warmth. Usually we are still experiencing some precipitation, however, this year has been unseasonably hot for us. The gardens are bursting with roses, lavendar, honeysuckle, mock-orange, rhodies and lungwort. The apple trees have little baby apples that we have spent many an hour culling so that larger apples may grow, but not be such a burden on the trees. We are keeping an eye on the just budding St. Johns Wort that will be used in our protection bundles at Lughnassadh. The promise of abundance is everywhere and continues to grow until harvested at Mabon.
At this time we approach the sacred grove in perfect love and perfect trust, setting aside our difference and stresses of the mundane world to celebrate the Goddess in her lushness. We honor deity and adorn our altars with yellow flowers (sunflowers if I can get them to bloom in time), yellow candles, bouquets of rose, peony, lavendar, mugwort, thyme, rue, fern, cock feathers and iris. Fruits of the garden such as early strawberries and oak & holly leaves. Stones of lapis, tigers eye, jade and moss agate round out the frequencies we are aligning ourselves for the season of Litha. We praise the Horned God in his passionate love for the Goddess and the abundance and life their joining brings. In ritual we call forth the Sacred Spark of light and life to ignite change within ourselves, drawing on the strong and long light to bring forth balance and sustain us in our journey. We give offerings of honey cakes which are a favorite this time of year, remembering to leave plenty for the bees.
We close our rite by lighting a fire to Brigid and focusing on the necessary balance and changes needed in our life-sacrificing that which no longer sustains or benefits our journey so that we make room in our storehouse for the inspiration that will enable future abundance in our lives and our work.
How do you celebrate this sabbat in your own life?
Blessed be the season of Summer!