Litha (lee-thah) – June 21st
Lesser Sabbat / Quarter Day
The celebration of Litha takes place on the Summer Solstice and is a time of fertility and love. This day is also called Mid-Summers Eve, Summer Solstice, St. John the Baptist Day, and Mean Samhraidh. This Sabbat marks the official first day of summer although for pagans summer starts on Beltane and ends at Lughnasadh. This places Litha at the mid-point of summer, hence the name “Mid-Summer”. According to the old calendars, days were marked from evening to evening. Therefore traditional celebrations would begin at sunset on the day prior to the Sabbat. On the wheel of the year, Litha is the opposite of Yule, which is the shortest day. Mid-Summer celebrations were also observed by the Romans. They honored the goddess Fortuna and it was a day of drinking and fun.
Litha celebrates the bounty of summer. The youthful energy that we saw at Beltane has ripened into maturity as the courtship of the Goddess and God solidifies into marriage. The first fruits and vegetables have ripened and the first flowers of spring have given way to the lush fertile growth of summer. As nature moves toward the bounty of the harvest ahead, we must place our trust in the sun and rain to do their part in the continuation of the growing season. This time is sacred to the Sun King, his power is at its strongest and he is in his prime and at the peak of his strength. The Goddess is also at her finest, she is becoming a mother and with each passing day, her pregnancy becomes more apparent. Lord and Lady walk hand in hand glorying in their love for each other and the new life they have created.
This Sabbat is also vibrantly alive with the magic of the Faerie Realm. Like Samhain the veil between the worlds is thin and the Sidhe join in mortal revelries. Strange things happen when the Sidhe are loose in the world and it is easy to catch a glimpse of them. You can find them dancing among the flowers, trees, and faerie rings and it is a time for merriment and making wishes.
Activities for Litha include gathering herbs like mugwort. This herb is traditionally gathered today and girls would make wreaths to wear and hang in the home. Fire also plays an important part in this Sabbat. Lit torches were carried through the fields to ward off swarms of insects and other bad things that could negatively affect the upcoming harvest. In Germanic lands, small lanterns were lit and then set afloat on rivers and other bodies of water as offerings for a bountiful harvest. Bonfires were built and were generally attended by all and in many places, the hearth fires were put out and relit from the Litha bonfire. It is also a good time to clear out old negative and unwanted energies from your life and your home. Healing rites and spells of protection are also favorable at this time.
Litha is a glorious time, one made for the celebration of all nature, the power of the god, the goddess, and the new life she carries, and the joy of just living
Colors~Blue, green, gold or yellow, orange, white and red
Plants and Herbs: Anise, Mugwort, Chamomile, Rose, Lily, Cinquefoil, Lavender, Fennel, Sun Flower, Mistletoe, Hemp, Thyme, Larkspur, Nettle, Vervain, St. John’s Wort, Heartsease, Fern, Wormwood, Chickweed, Heather, Yarrow,
Trees: Oak, Holly
Sacred Stones: agate, alexandrite, fluorite, moonstone, pearl, emerald, jade, lapis lazuli, diamond, tiger’s eye, all green stones
Food: Honey, Mead, Summer Fruits & Vegetables, lemons, oranges, Honey Cakes, Strawberries
Things To do: Picnics, leaving food for the faeries, jumping bonfires, gathering herbs.
Spells: Fire spells, Empowerment, Healing, Love Magick, Protection, Purification, making and charging amulets.
Incense and Oils: Heliotrope, saffron, orange, frankincense & myrrh, wisteria, cinnamon, mint, rose, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, pine
Animals: Wren, Robin, Peacock, Frog, Butterfly, Horse, Cattle
Other Creatures: Fairies, Satyrs, the Firebird, dragon, the Thunderbird
Sacred Symbols: The Sun, Love Amulets, Shells, Summer fruits & flowers, Solar Wheel, Balefire, Stone Circles, Sundial, Swords, Blades, Feathers, Witches’ Ladder, Gods Eye
Goddesses~~Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Bast, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, Amaterasu, Hestia.
Gods~~Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, Arthur, Gods at peak power and strength, sun, fire and fertility gods. Apollo, Baal, Baldur, Helios, Horus, Hephaestus, Jupiter/ Zeus , Lugh, Osiris, Ra, Sol.
I invite you to check out my websites!
The Desert Path: The dusty ramblings of a desert pagan. https://thedesertpath.com/
Sacred Spirals (the place where all paths meet)