Wheel of Life – Litha
I thank the waves as they crash upon the beach
I thank the wind blowing through the trees
I thank the fire as it crackles through midsummer
I thank the Earth for its richness and bounty
I thank the Gods and Goddesses
For the blessings of love health and prosperity.
- Pronounced “LITH-ah”
- Other names for this holiday are the Summer Solstice or Midsummer.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, this is traditionally celebrated in June. In England, June 21st is “The Day of Cerridwen and Her Cauldron”. And in Ireland, this day is dedicated to the faery goddess Aine of Knockaine. And finally, in Northern Europe – June 21st is “The Day of the Green Man”.
- The longest day of the year (Midsummer Solstice) and the Sun God at his strongest. The Goddess is heavy with pregnancy just as the Earth is ready for harvesting. It also marks the waning of the year as each day becomes shorter, heralding the onset of Autumn and then Winter.
- The Oak King (representing the waxing year and growing Youth) is triumphed over by the Holly King (representing the waning year and Mature Man).
- Dreams are traditionally more lucid on this night so ensure that you have a journal ready. To help remember your dream experiences and the information presented in the dream state try Nephrite, Moonstone, Blue Kyanite, and/or Strawberry Quartz.
- Midsummer’s Night is also a time when the veil between worlds is thin. It is deemed a special time for our Faery Folk to be active in our world.
- A fire lit and kept alight until midnight brings good luck to the house and its occupants.
- Cutting divining rods, dowsing rods and wands
- Herb gathering
- Women walking naked through gardens to ensure continued fertility
- The faeries abound at this time and it is customary to leave offerings – such as food or herbs – for them in the evening.
- Acting out the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King.
- Perform Self-Dedication and/or Affirmation Ceremonies
- Some things that are considered taboo on this holiday are giving away fire, sleeping away from home, and neglecting animals.
It is a day to celebrate life and make wishes for the future.
- Decorate your home with the colors, green, white, blue and yellow. In addition, use fresh herbs, flowers and greenery for your home’s décor as well as wearing some in your hair. A wreath can be made for your door with yellow feathers for prosperity and red feathers for sexuality – intertwined and tied together with ivy.
- Making floral wreaths to wear on your head.
- If it’s permitted in your area, make a small outside fire and jump over it to bring good health and good luck for the rest of the year. Be VERY careful while doing this.
- Go on a hike and/or picnic with family and friends. Spicy food as well as fresh fruit and vegetables are particularly fitting for this celebration.
- Have a dance or drum circle. Invite some friends over and have fun while you raise the energy!
- Bless and protect your animals by doing something for them ~ a special wash, a new collar with an engraved tag.
- Collect magical water during thunder and lightning storms. Collect your water in a glass jar or porcelain, never metal. Store it on a shelf and never leave it on the ground, as the energy will ground itself out. After 6 months, return whatever hasn’t been used to its source. Feel free to add coral, shells and rocks to the water to increase its energy during this time. This water is for magickal use and not for drinking purposes.
- Put garlands of St. John’s Wort placed over doors/ windows & a sprig in the car for protection.
- Nurturing and love are key actions related to Midsummer; so do something to help someone else… whether it be on a large or small scale.
Chamomile, cinquefoil, elder, fennel, hemp, larkspur, lavender, male fern, mugwort, pine, roses, Saint John’s wort, wild thyme, wisteria and verbena.
White, red, maize yellow or golden yellow, green, blue and tan.
- Include all Father Gods and Mother Goddesses, Pregnant Goddesses and Sun Deities.
- Particular emphasis might be placed on the Goddesses Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, Venus and other Goddesses who preside over love, passion and beauty.
- Other Litha deities include Athena, Artemis, Dana, Kali, Isis, Juno, Apollo, Dagda, Gwydion, Helios, Llew, Oak/Holly King, Lugh, Ra, Sol, Zeus, Prometheus, Ares, and Thor.
Frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, lemon, pine, jasmine, rose, lotus, or wisteria.
Traditional associations include: oak, mistletoe, frankincense, lemon, sandalwood, heliotrope, copal, saffron, galangal, laurel and ylang-ylang.
Traditional time to harvest your magickal and medicinal herbs; to take no more than a 1/3 of the plant if possible so that healthy growth may continue (always remember to ask and then thank the plant for its gift.)
Australian Plants in bloom during Summer: Agapanthus; Bougainvillea, Frangipani, Plumeria, Gardenia, Grevillea, Jacaranda, Lavender, Poinciana, Roses, Geraniums (and many more!)
Food and Beverage Associations
- Include fresh vegetables of all kinds and fresh fruits such as lemons and oranges; stone fruit.
- Pumpernickel bread as well as Summer squash and any yellow or orange coloured foods.
- Flaming foods are also appropriate.
- Traditional drinks are ale, mead, and fresh fruit juice of any kind.
- All Summer birds (including Magpie, Laughing Kookaburra, Willy Wagtail, Cockatoos and Lorikeets), horses and cattle.
- Mythical creatures include satyrs, faeries, firebirds, dragons, thunderbirds and manticores.
- Lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green gemstones, especially emerald and jade
- The Sun, blades, mistletoe, oak trees, balefires, Sun wheels and faeries.
- Altar decorations might include Summertime flowers – especially sunflowers – love amulets, seashells, aromatic potpourri and Summer fruits.
- Display Imbolc Sun Wheels from the ceiling or garden; decorate with yellow/gold and red ribbons as well as Midsummer Herbs.
Put in soap or anoint candles:
- 5 drops lavender
- 4 drops rosemary
- 4 drops rose
Add a piece of dried vervain, a small citrine, clear quartz crystal, and a sprinkle of gold glitter. So magical and beautiful!
- 1.5kg honey
- 4 litres water
- 1 cup of cold tea
- 25g citric acid
Boil the honey, water and tea together, skimming the scum off the top until there is no more forming. Pour into a bucket, cover with plastic film and when cool add the citric acid, nutrient and the yeast. Stir twice daily for seven days or until it is fermenting well, and provided that it is not frothing violently, pour it into a five litre jar and fit a fermentation lock. When the fermentation has ceased (no more bubbles are rising) siphon the Mead into a clean jar and refit the fermentation lock. After two or three months the Mead can be bottled. From 5 litres you should get about 6½ bottles.
Taste your Mead at bottling time. If will probably taste pretty good! Mead will continue to mellow and improve for a couple of years, kept in a cool, dark place.
Mead Recipe: http://www.bindaree.com.au/hints/hint9_mead.htm