Litha is fast approaching, and whether it's your first year observing the turning of the wheel, or your 20th, sometimes you just need some added inspiration to help you prepare for the festivities. To get you started, we've put together some of our favorite ways to celebrate the longest day of the year.
Litha occurs between June 20 and June 22 each year, and may also be referred to as Alban Hefin, Midsummer, Summer Solstice or Alban Heruin.
Litha in and of itself means "light," and is the celebration of the longest day of the year, as well as the peak of the God's strength and His coronation as the King of Summer. It's a bittersweet day, however, as from this point forward, the Sun God's strength wanes each day in a steady decline. It is on this day that the Dark Twin, the Holly King, is born and begins his journey to take the crown at Yule.
The Solstice is also one of the three Spirit Nights of the year, with the other two being Beltaine and Samhain. Spirits, of those departed, and faeries abound, making themselves easily visible to those who are sensitive to the veil's thinning.
1. Make Sun Water
Many of us are familiar with the concept of Moon Water, but rarely do we think about charging water with the energy of the sun. To create your own sun water, you'll need a mason jar, a piece of clear quartz, and a piece of citrine. Add the citrine and clear quartz to the jar and fill it with spring, mineral, or distilled water. Seal your jar and set it outside where it will be in the path of the first rays of sun in the morning. Allow your jar to sit there until at least noon to capture the full charge of the sun in its peak strength.
This water can be used as an energizer in baths or drinks, and can event be used to anoint the forehead to clear the aura and call in extra energy in moments of fatigue.
2. Make a Household Charm
St. John's Wort is renowned for bringing peace and prosperity to the house across the Celtic lands, as well as being protective in nature. Litha is a time of harvest for the star-shaped, golden blossoms, filled with the energy of the sun at its peak, and was often the first of the herbs to be gathered.
To create this charm, you'll need a small amount of St. John's Wort, a small pouch, and a piece of parchment or scrap paper.
On the piece of paper, write the names of all who reside within your home, then roll it into a small scroll and place it inside the pouch. Add the St. John's Wort to the bag, but be sure to leave enough room to tie the pouch closed.
Charge the bag with your intention to bring peace, prosperity, and protection to all within the house, then hang it above the main door.
3. Host a Bonfire
What better way to celebrate the Sun's peak of strength than with a living flame within the physical realm? I personally enjoy making a blend of herbs to add to the fire when it's first lit, this adds a level of ritual to the fire, and allows you to infuse it with intention. As with the other Spirit Nights, I also take a moment to honor those who may be crossing between the realms.
Bri's Litha Herbal Blend
1 part St. John's Wort
1 part Rose
1 part Meadowsweet
1 part Red Clover
1 part Dandelion Leaf
Be sure to charge your herbal blend with your intentions, whether it's a tribute to the Sun God, or to honor the Ancestors and Fey that are visiting the physical realm. Sprinkle the mixture around the base of your firewood before lighting it
4. Make a Wish Wreath
Start by creating a large wreath with flowers and moss. Once you've created a wreath, attach strips of paper to it that contain blessings or wishes written by you, friends, and family. Throughout the day and evening, pass the wheel around and take turns holding it, dancing with it, and participating in general merrymaking.
Before the end of the night, be sure to place the wreath in the fire and allow it to burn, sending your wishes, blessings, and intentions out to the universe.
5. Hold a Re-dedication Ritual
What you'll need:
1 White Candle
Smudge your space and call the quarters as you normally would.
Invoke the God and Goddess.
Sprinkle sea salt on the ground in front of you as you stand before your altar, then step upon it.
Light the white candle and take a moment to gaze upon it, feel its warmth. Consider for a moment your motivations for performing this dedication, your intentions, and goals for your spiritual journey.
Stand before your altar and state:
"I am a child of the Gods, and I ask them to bless me."
Dip your finger in the blessing oil, and with eyes closed anoint your forehead and say:
"May my mind be blessed, so that I can accept the wisdom of the Gods."
Anoint your eyelids (be cautious to avoid your actual eyes), and state:
"May my eyes be blessed, so I can see my way clearly upon this path."
Anoint the tip of your nose and state:
"May my nose be blessed, so I can breathe in the essence of all that is divine."
Anoint your lips and state:
"May my lips be blessed, so I may always speak with honor and respect."
Anoint your chest and state:
"May my heart be blessed, so I may love and be loved."
Anoint the tops of your hands and state:
"May my hands be blessed, that I may use them to heal and help others."
Anoint the sacral region of the body (just below the navel) and state:
"May my hara be blessed, that I may honor the creation of life."
Anoint the soles of your feet and state:
"May my feet be blessed, that I may walk along side the Divine."
If you have specific deities that you work with or follow, replace God and Goddess with their names below.
State: " Tonight, I pledge my dedication to the God and Goddess. I will walk with them beside me, and ask them to guide me on this journey. I pledge to honor them, and all their creations, and ask that they allow me to grow closer to them. As I will, so it shall be."
Release God and Goddess, dismiss the quarters as you normally would.