Litha is one of the smaller Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on June 21st, but sometimes it can vary from June 20th to 23rd, depending on the rotation of earth around the sun. According to the traditional calendar, summer begins on Beltane Sabbat (May 1st) and ends at Lammas Sabbat (August 1st), with the Litha (summer solstice) in the middle between them, marked as the middle of summer.
Litha has a more well-known name, the Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, and it is celebrated in honor of summer, when daylight hours are the longest. On Litha, the sun is at the highest point before slipping into the darkness.
Litha Sabbat is a time to celebrate both work and leisure. It is a time for children and children’s games. The middle of summer is a time to enjoy the sun’s warm rays, a time of fertility – not only in humans, but in crops and animals as well. Wiccans believe that the Goddess will be pregnant after the connection with Beltane. The holiday also marks the Sun God, as the sun reaches its peak in the sky, and we can celebrate his paternity.
Litha is a time of development, when the crops sprout, when we forget winter’s troubles and spend our days enjoying the sunlight. The summer solstice is the time of lovers and weddings. Beltane’s passion is empowered on Litha, a love between partners who are bound by soul and body, and a love of parents and children.
The night of midsummer is a perfect time to meet elves, spirits and fairies, and you can use this time to communicate with them. Litha is considered one of the best periods for practicing magic of all types due to the powerful magical presence. Love spells and magic are especially effective on Litha. Blessings and protection spells are also powerful on Litha. You might want to add your house pet into your rituals and into your magic circle during Litha, and even make special gifts to your pet (for example, a small pentagram necklace to put on your pet).
Litha nights are full of energy and magic. Reality and dreams are mixed, the boundaries between the worlds are thinner. Litha symbolizes the highest point, the peak, ecstasy in nature as well as in human life. The holiday represents fertility, glory, triumph, generosity, fullness of life and happiness. From a mystical point of view, Litha combines all four elements, which are part of the celebrations. In ancient times, people have celebrated Litha night by performing rituals and ceremonies in honor of the elements, so that they might receive elemental strength and energy.
Love and solicitude are the key elements that are connected to midsummer. Litha is a good time to perform a self initiation ritual, if you still haven’t done so.
There are several things you could do on Litha; Taking a walk outdoors and experience the beautiful nature, creating a bonfire, dancing around the bonfire, arranging a party, having a ritual bath.
- Other names for Litha: Summer Solstice, Midsummer.
- Symbolism: Midsummer, butterfly, self initiation, sun, roses.
- Gods & deities: Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, Venus, Athena, Artemis, Isis, Apollo, Dagda, Guidon, Helios, Lugh, Ra, Sol, Zeus, Prometheus, Ares.
- Decorations: Fire, mistletoe, oak trees, bonfires, sun wheel, fairies.
- Stones: Topaz, agate, alexandrite, moonstone, pearl, emerald, jasper, flourite.
- Plants: Oak, mistletoe, frankincense, lemon, sandalwood, heliotrope, copal, saffron, galangal, laurel, chamomile, cinquefoil, elder, fennel, hemp, lavender, mugwort, pine, rose, wild thyme, verbena.
- Incense: Basil, clover, lavender, lemon, lily.
- Colors: Gold, green, red.
- Mythical creatures: Fairies, elves.
The Wiccan altar can be decorated with flowers (especially roses) on summer solstice. On the altar you can place things which you have finished working on or things which you want to release. You can add any first fruits of the season on the altar, as well as a symbol of the sun (which can be an image, a symbol, statue) and other symbols of Litha. There should be a special place for gifts on your altar.
It is accustomed to burn a sacrificial a dummy doll. It can something like the Celts make, the Wicker Man, where you can put sacrificial items or objects inside of it. The Wicker Man is then burned with the first rays of sun. It can be made out of straw or hay from last year. It is placed in the center of the bonfire, which is lit in the beginning of the evening. This custom is a sacrifice for the Gods of fertility, so that the harvest will be plentiful.
Goddess in Litha
The Goddess is a generous mother who gives life and fertility to all of her children. Everything in nature is generous, otherwise we couldn’t live. There are hundreds of apples growing on each apple tree every year, and it takes only one seed to grow a whole new tree. Bees gather honey so that the whole beehive could survive winter, and they work throughout the summer to reserve enough honey. Life can exist without rose pines, colorful butterflies, singing birds or wild flowers, but the Goddess continues to create new forms of beauty for us to enjoy. The Goddess of Litha gives us much more than we need. We can get closer to the Goddess if we will generous, if we give more than what is asked of us. The symbol of the Goddess on Litha is the rose. Roses bloom in June, and we can enjoy their sweet aroma and tremendous colors.
God in Litha
In the course of the first half of the year, the God has lived in a visible and tangible world during the winter solstice. Now, during the summer solstice, he changes. Daylight hours are long and strong in this time, but now the power of night will grow again. Everything and everyone who fulfills their goals, will change. The God dies in this world, in order to be born in another. Before that, he has woken in this world and fell asleep in the world of sadness. Now he becomes a dreamer, falling asleep in this world and wakes up in dreams and visions, the seed of which will come to our world. He becomes a messenger, carrying our dreams and prayers into the spirit world. God is also a companion of the Goddess, bringing fertility to all of nature. He is Lugh, Sun God and he is an ancient force of life, which was knowns as the Good God, the keeper of crops, the provider of his people.