“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare, and left the flushed print in a poppy there.” Francis Thompson
Many have varying views on summer and it’s significance to them. Take a moment to think about what summer means to you. Perhaps it’s warmth, tank tops and flip-flops, fireworks, road trips, BBQs, and bonfires. There’s excitement, energy, a joy for life, wanting to go-go-go! This type of energy present is very masculine, very active, and very bursting with fruition! There’s still a potentiality in the air though we are beginning to witness intentions set at the new year blossom and grow into manifestation. Amazing, huh?
Well, the very first day of summer (the summer solstice) marks the celebration of all of this and more. Also known as Litha, this sabbat is overflowing with light, passion, creativity, and oh so much more. It’s when the Sun God is at His height of power and this is evident by this being the longest day of the year. He is basking and shining radiantly upon all His children. The Goddess is pregnant with (1) the harvest we’ll reap in the fall and (2) the Sun God who’ll be reborn at Yule. While it’s most certainly a festival of celebration and enjoyment, it is also tinged with a underlying sadness as we understand that after this the God will be in decline as we enter the dark half of the year. Night begins growing once more as we head towards Mabon (the autumn equinox) where day and night are equal. After that, the nights are longer than the days.
No reason not to celebrate what we have presently though which is definitely a beautiful lesson in being present, gratitude, and making the best of any situation.
“The great gift of the energy of the Summer Solstice is that it’s designed to move you from one phase to the next on your terms.” Deborah King
Litha occurs anywhere from the 20th to the 23rd of June (I just use a farmer’s almanac to find the Summer Solstice) though traditionally it happened when the sun was in 1 degree of Cancer. Wait, what? Yeah, I was confused as well. A solar festival—like the BIGGEST solar festival—is during a water sign?! However, I soon realized that was the beauty of it! It’s when the Sun God is at his pinnacle point in the year and alongside Him, equal, is His consort, His wife, the Goddess. Neither one is pushed aside for the other. They both stand together in harmony and brilliance.
“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty
This is the classic time for magick! One example would be how the morning dew of this day was supposed to be powerful for glamour so young ladies would venture out to bathe in this dew for a youthful appearance. Herbs collected at Midday (when the Sun is at His height of the day) today are incredibly potent. It is also on this day the fairies are out as they too revel in delight. Invoke their aid and do not forget to thank them—not so much with words but perhaps a bowl of milk or butter! You do not want to offend the Good Folk. Any spells for protection are great for today.
On this day the Oak and Holly Kings dual again with the Holly King winning. This also marks the transition of the Sun God into the Grain God who will be sacrificed during the harvest. The Goddess is mostly seen as Gaia who nourishes and sustains us daily. However, all solar deities are appropriate as well as Father Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Pregnant Deities.
Local flowers—especially sunflowers, bright colors, and all things that symbolize summer are welcomed on the altar as well as décor around the home. Think of colors you naturally turn to during this time of year and more than likely most of them can be found in nature during this time which means go for them when decorating. Yellow, Orange, Red, Gold, ad Green are traditional with blue being great for Cancer. However, brown and/or tan is also permissible. I like to use many reds and yellows alongside greens for this particular sabbat.
Quick Correspondence List:
- Symbols: Fire, The Sun, Blades, Oak Trees, Bonfires, Sun Wheels, and Fairies.
- Animals: Horses, Cattles, and Summer Birds
- Crystals/Stones: Emerald, Tiger’s Eye, Lapis Lazuli, and Ruby
- Herbs: Frankincense, Lemon, Sandalwood, Copal, Saffron, Cinnamon, Laurel, and Orange
This is a sabbat of duality. Not only are we celebrating and honoring the Sun God in all His glory but also preparing for the harvest we know is coming. We honor the Pregnant Goddess and the beginning of the waning year. We delight in the light while acknowledging the beginning of the dark half of the year.
- Watch the Sun Rise and Set
- Bask in the Summer Heat. Get outside!
- Give Offerings to the Fairies.—Make Some Fairy Butter!
- Bless Fathers
- Tie Cinnamon Bundles for Protection
- Create Protective Herbal Blends
- Communicate with the Fairies
- Create Smudge Bundles
- Have a Bonfire
- Take a Walk
- Have a Picnic
- Make Sun Tea (this is a favorite of mine!)
These are where I got loads of my information. Check them out! 😊
- Sabbats: A Witch’s Approach to Living the Old Ways by Edain McCoy
- Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows by Silver Ravenwolf
- Wicca by Scott Cunningham
- Wicca by D.J. Conway
- The Simple Sabbat: A Family-Friendly Approach to the Eight Pagan Holidays by M. Flora Peterson
- Litha-The Witch’s Zodiac with Laura Daligan and Zoe Hind
- CharmingPixieFlora’s videos (I don’t think they are still available)
A song that I found on youtube that really reasonates with this Sabbat and connects me to it is: Celtic Woman-Tir Na Nog
I had class on Litha last summer and I listened to this song on repeat on my drive there and back (no joking lol I LOVE it) and it helped keep the vibe going. 😊
The Brightest of Summer Blessings,
The Autumn Witch