Mystickal Realms Wishes
all Members, Staff and Friends
who celebrate the Sabbats
A Blessed and Happy Litha!
History of Litha (MidSummer)
Also known as Summer Solstice, Litha, Alban Hefin, Sun Blessing, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheathain, Whit Sunday, Whitsuntide, Vestalia, Thing-tide, St. John's Day
addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan
Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as
well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes.
In folklore, these are referred to as the four
'quarter-days' of the year, and modern Witches
call them the four 'Lesser Sabbats', or the four
'Low Holidays'. The Summer Solstice is one of
is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies
somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, dependant
upon the Earth's rotation around the Sun. According
to the old folklore calendar, Summer begins on
Beltane (May 1st) and ends on Lughnassadh (August
1st), with the Summer Solstice midway between
the two, marking MID-Summer. This makes more logical
sense than suggesting that Summer begins on the
day when the Sun's power begins to wane and the
days grow shorter. The most common other names
for this holiday are the Summer Solstice or Midsummer,
and it celebrates the arrival of Summer, when
the hours of daylight are longest. The Sun is
now at the highest point before beginning its
slide into darkness.
has been celebrating Litha and the triumph of
light since ancient times. On the Wheel of the
Year Litha lies directly across from Yule, the
shortest day of the calendar year, that cold and
dark winter turning when days begin to lengthen
and humanity looks wistfully toward warmth, sunlight
and growing things. Although Litha and Yule are
low holidays or lesser sabats in the ancient parlance,
they are celebrated with more revel and merriment
than any other day on the wheel except perhaps
Samhain (my own favourite). The joyous rituals
of Litha celebrate the verdant Earth in high summer,
abundance, fertility, and all the riches of Nature
in full bloom. This is a madcap time of strong
magic and empowerment, traditionally the time
for handfasting or weddings and for communication
with the spirits of Nature. At Litha, the veils
between the worlds are thin; the portals between
"the fields we know" and the worlds beyond stand
open. This is an excellent time for rites of divination.
Those who celebrated Litha did so wearing garlands or crowns of flowers, and of course, their millinery always included the yellow blossoms of St. John's Wort. The Litha rites of the ancients were boisterous communal festivities with morris dancing, singing, storytelling, pageantry and feasting taking place by the village bonfire and torch lit processions through the villages after dark. People believed that the Litha fires possessed great power, and that prosperity and protection for oneself and one's clan could be earned merely by jumping over the Litha bonfire. It was also common for courting couples joined hands and jump over the embers of the Litha fire three times to ensure a long and happy marriage, financial prosperity and many children. Even the charred embers from the Litha bonfire possessed protective powers - they were charms against injury and bad wwweather in harvest time, and embers were commonly placed around fields of grain and orchards to protect the crops and ensure an abundant reaping. Other Litha customs included carrying an ember of the Litha fire home and placing it on one's hearth and decking one's home with birch, fennel, St. John's Wort, orpin, and white lilies for blessing and protection.
Litha Sabbat is a time to celebrate both work
and leisure, it is a time for children and childlike
play. It is a time to celebrate the ending of
the waxing year and the beginning of the waning
year, in preparation for the harvest to come.
Midsummer is a time to absorb the Sun's warming
rays and it is another fertility Sabbat, not only
for humans, but also for crops and animals. Wiccans
consider the Goddess to be heavy with pregnancy
from the mating at Beltane - honor is given to
Her. The Sun God is celebrated as the Sun is at
its peak in the sky and we celebrate His approaching
fatherhood - honor is also given to Him. The faeries
abound at this time and it is customary to leave
offerings - such as food or herbs - for them in
Although Litha may seem at first glance to be a masculine observance and one which focuses on Lugh, the day is also dedicated to the Goddess, and Her flowers are the white blossoms of the elder.
Rededication to the Lord and Lady, beginning of
the harvest, honoring the Sun God,
honoring the pregnant Godddess
Crowning of the Sun God, death of the Oak King,
assumption of the Holly King,
end the ordeal of the Green Man
Tools, Symbols & Decorations
sun, oak, birch & fir branches, sun flowers, lilies,
red/maize/yellow or gold flower, love amulets,
seashells, summer fruits & flowers, feather/flower
door wreath, sun wheel, fire, circles of stone,
sun dials and swords/blades, bird feathers, Witches'
green, gold, yellow and red.
processions, all night vigil, singing, feasting,
celebrating with others, cutting
divining rods, dowsing rods & wands, herb gathering,
handfastings, weddings, Druidic
gathering of mistletoe in oak groves, needfires,
leaping between two fires, mistletoe
(without berries, use as a protection amulet),
women walking naked through gardens
to ensure continued fertility, enjoying the seasonal
fruits & vegetables, honor the
Mother's fullness, richness and abundance, put
garlands of St. Johnís Wort placed
over doors/ windows & a sprig in the car for protection.
Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Venus, Aphrodite,
Yemaya, Astarte, Freya, Hathor,
Ishtar, all Goddesses of love, passion, beauty
and the Sea, and Pregnant,
lusty Goddesses, Green Forest Mother; Great One
of the Stars, Goddess of the Wells
Father Sun/Sky, Oak King, Holly King, Arthur,
Gods at peak power and strength.
robin, horses, cattle, satyrs, faeries, firebird,
lazuli, diamond, tigerís eye, all green gemstones,
especially emerald and jade
mugwort, chamomile, rose, wild rose, oak blossoms,
lily, cinquefoil, lavender,
fennel, elder, mistletoe, hemp, thyme, larkspur,
nettle, wisteria, vervain ( verbena),
St. Johnís wort, heartsease, rue, fern, wormwood,
oak & holly trees
saffron, orange, frankincense & myrrh, wisteria,
cinnamon, mint, rose, lemon, lavender, sandalwood,
spirit/fey communion, planet healing, divination,
love & protection magicks.
The battle between Oak King, God of the waxing
year & Holly King, God of the waning
year (can be a ritual play), or act out scenes
from the Bardís (an incarnation of Merlin)
"A Midsummer Nightís Dream", rededication of faith,
rites of inspiration.
fresh vegetables, lemons, oranges, summer fruits,
pumpernickel bread, ale, carrot drinks, mead.
on Charm to Return to Holiday Index
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Greeting & Adoptions Page
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