Litha, also known as Midsummer, is celebrated on the summer solstice – the longest day and shortest night of the year. Litha is a celebration of the Sun, so get outside and honour the Solar Deities as this is the time at which the Holly King takes over from the Oak King, who will reign from now until Yule – the winter solstice.
Litha is an excellent time to conduct healing magick and rituals, to perform prosperity and abundance spells, for magick aimed at success, strength, growth, wisdom, energy and optimism, along with love spells, luck magick and engaging in and enhancing your divination practices. If possible, you should also gather any herbs or medicinal plants, as they will have additional magickal and healing properties when harvested on the solstice. (St. John’s Wort is one of the most commonly harvested medicinal plant available at this time of year). Spells for male potency and virility are also exceptionally powerful on this Sabbat.
As a celebration of the Sun, Litha is also a good time to connect with masculine energies, the Divine masculine principle, Gods such as Cernunnos, Pan and the Green Man, Belenos, Amun Ra and Apollo. Herbs associated with masculine energies and spells and rituals for male virility, stamina and endurance are also important themes for Litha.
Rituals focusing on yourself are also appropriate, as the sun represents and reflects your individuality and what makes you special and unique. Engage in rituals that bolster your confidence, increase your self-esteem and reflect your sense of self-worth, as you are as much a part of the universe as any other living thing and are just as important! As a celebration of light and life, use the energies of the solstice to honour yourself and your connections with Mother Earth, Nature, and the Universe itself.
Your Litha Altar
Your altar could include flowers such as sunflowers, St. John’s Wort and lilies, and candles representing the Sun such as gold, red, yellow and orange candles.
Cast spells for healing using healing herbs such as St. John’s Wort, lavender, sandalwood, cinquefoil, yarrow or chamomile.
Cast spells for luck using Irish moss, clover, dandelion, rosemary or mint.
Practice your divination skills with a pendulum, tarot cards, oracle cards, or water or mirror scrying.
Use any herbs you’ve gathered (after they’ve had time to dry) in a protection, love, luck or self-confidence sachet or spell bottle.
Put mugwort, sage or lavender under your pillow to induce prophetic dreams.
A Gratitude, Joy and Self-Appreciation Ritual
Create a circle with salt, rocks or crystals or draw out an energy circle with your athame or finger, if circle casting is part of your practice.
Set a glass of water out in the Sun within your circle to charge in its rays while you conduct your meditation. If you have any herbs you’ve gathered, set some of them aside as part of an offering to the Sun and Mother Earth or have dried herbs or incense on hand to burn as an offering.
Face towards the East, thanking the Element of Air for attending your ceremony. Next, turn towards the South, thanking the element of Fire – and the Sun – for attending your ceremony. Then face West, thanking the element of Water for attending your ceremony and, finally, face North, thanking the element of Earth for attending your ceremony.
Stand tall and upright in the center of your circle of candles and thank Mother Earth/Gaia/Nature for all that She provides for you. Raise your arms up to the sky, and thank the Sun for all that it provides for you – warmth, light, the rays it provides for the growth of the plants and its life-giving properties.
If you have any herbs collected or have any dried herbs you can burn such as bay leaves, thyme, basil, lavender, sage, or have incense or any other preferred offering, set them in a fire-proof container and burn them as an offering, sending thoughts of love, life, light, joy and gratitude up in the smoke.
Remind yourself that you have a place and a purpose in the world and are a unique and important part of the universe at large and that you are supported and sustained by the strength of the Sun and the abundance of the Earth, just as any other living thing is. Continue your meditation, reminding yourself of just how valuable you are, for as long as you’d like.
When your meditation is finished, take a sip of your Sun-infused water and pour the remainder out onto the ground as an offering to the Earth. Dismiss the four quarters by facing North, then West, then South, then East, thanking them for attending your ceremony. Undo your circle and enjoy some Litha Lemon and Lavender cookies
Litha Lemon and Lavender Cookies
1 C margarine (or butter at room temperature)
½ C powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
1-1/2 C flour
¼ C corn starch
Pinch of salt
1 C powdered sugar
1-1/2 to 2 T lemon juice
Purple food colouring
Beat margarine or butter until creamy. Add ½ C powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 T lemon juice. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Add the flour mixture in batches to the butter mixture and stir until well combined. Cover dough and refrigerate for one hour.
Spoon cookie batter onto cookie sheet in 1-inch balls or mounds and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Cool on wire racks.
Mix glaze ingredients and drizzle or spread over cooled cookies. Sprinkle lavender buds over glazed cookies and enjoy!
Have a safe and happy Litha!