By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Litha. Summer Solstice. Midsummer’s. However you choose to say it, it is a special time of year. It is, for starters, the longest day of the year. And, as many countries change their clocks forward in Spring, the days seem to go on endlessly… in the UK it won’t become dark until almost 9:30 pm! Loads of daylight and warmer days – a veritable recipe for fun!
So, what does all this mean for the Pagan/Wiccan/Witch folk? Many solitaries, like myself, hold very private and spiritual “rituals”, if you like. Some groups, or covens, may have a Midsummer’s Night Bonfire where much merriment may be made. No matter whether you are alone or with a group of friends, the day is in honour of the Sun, for it is part of why our crops…or small gardens…or just our little pot plants are growing well this time of year. It is why our world is so much warmer than it had only been a few short weeks earlier and we were gasping for warmth and tired of layers of clothing and frozen breath.
One of the first things many of us do, if we have one, is to decorate our altars to reflect the summer Sun and to add fresh flowers as proof that things can bloom again after a harsh winter. You can dress it up any way you wish, just theme it around the Sun and your favourite Sun God or Goddess and you can have a gorgeous altar setting for your Litha rituals. I often make a Litha loose incense to burn on a charcoal disc, put a vase of freshly foraged wildflowers mixed with some freshly cut herbs for more greenery and a shooshed up scent. Because Litha falls near Father’s Day I generally place a picture I have of my dad sitting on a blanket on the beach at the seaside before I was born. He very much loved the Sun, and nothing made him happier than to have a warm, sunny day to work in his gardens. It only seems fitting to honour him at the same time.
If you want to add a statue or picture of a Sun honouring deity, a few good ones come to mind: Amaterasu [Shinto], a solar goddess who was sister to the Moon deity whom is known as the goddess “from which all light comes”. Aten [Egypt] who was represented by the disc of the sun, with rays of light emanating outward. Horus [Egypt] was one of the solar deities of the ancient Egyptians. He rose and set every day. Sulis Minerva [Celtic, Roman: When the Romans occupied the British Isles, they took the aspects of the Celtic Sun goddess, Sulis, and blended her with their own goddess of wisdom, Minerva. The resulting combination was Sulis Minerva, who watched over the hot springs and sacred waters in the town of Bath.
Mind, there are many others to choose from so with a little research you’ll find one you resonate with and it is easy and inexpensive to find artists on Etsy and other places who paint gorgeous cards of Gods and Goddesses you can purchase very inexpensively to set on your altar. One of my favourite artists from Etsy is Emily Balivet if you care to have a look at hers.
If you have young children, find the story of the Holly King and the Oak King and help them come up with a little pantomime to tell the story. Have them give you a hand in the kitchen getting the witchy victuals ready for feasting. Let them draw and colour in pictures of their favourite things about summer to make a bunting of to hang between a pair of trees in your garden to add to the summery ambience of the festivities. I’m sure you can come up with loads more things to make the day special for them and the entire family!
No matter how you are planning to celebrate, I know you will make it special. Enjoy the day and with that, I shall leave you with a list of important Pagan happenings which occurred in June over the years and now – I see they didn’t add my Mum’s birthday but I think it’s pretty important as I wouldn’t be here without her 😊 Happy birthday, Mum, wherever you are!
Magickal Happenings in June: [past and present]
• 1: England’s Witchcraft Act of 1563 goes into effect
• 7–15: Roman Festival of Vestalia, honoring the vestal virgins
• 9: Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn ends
• 10: Celtic Tree Month of Oak begins
• 10: Hanging of Bridget Bishop, first of twenty victims to be executed in the Salem Witch Trials.
• 13: Birthday of Gerald Gardner, founder of modern Wiccan, in 1884
• 17: Birthday of Wiccan author Starhawk
• 17: Father’s Day
• 21: Litha, the summer solstice
• 21: Yule (Southern Hemisphere), the winter solstice
• 22: England’s last Witchcraft Law is repealed in 1951
• 27: Birthday of author Scott Cunningham in 1956
• 28: Full moon–Strong Sun Moon at 12:53 am. June is full of long, light-filled days, and the nights are short and warm. This month’s magical workings are perfect for maintaining and enhancing things you already have.
Many thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed and possibly got a few ideas for the day! Please feel free to share via the social media buttons, comment, and like. Have a very Magickal Litha, from my family to yours x