June 21, 2011

Litha ~ Summer Solstice

Litha, Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, is usually celebrated around June 21st. Although it is one of the Lesser Sabbats, it has been one of the favorites since Ancient times! Litha is an excellent time for rites of divination, strong magic, empowerment, and re-dedication to the Lord and Lady. Druids referred to the Summer Solstice as the "marriage of Heaven and Earth".

Traditionally, the rites of Litha include handfastings, communicating with the spirits of Nature (especially Fae Folk), feasting, dancing, story-telling, and singing. It was common, during celebrations of Litha, to wear garlands or crowns of flowers, and for courting couples to jump over the embers of the Litha fire three times to insure a long, happy marriage, and financial prosperity. Even the ash from the bonfire is believed to have protective powers. It may be placed around orchards or fields of grain. Some may still carry an ember from the Litha fire home and place it in the hearth, often decorating their homes with Birch, St. John's Wort, white Lilies, and Fennel.

Supply Resources and Notes for Litha:

Incenses and Oils:  Frankincense, Myrrh, Lemon, Orange, Sandalwood, Pine, Cinnamon, and Rose.

Herbs:  Anise, St. John's Wort, Chamomile, Lavendar, Rose, Fennel, Yarrow, Wormwood, Rue

Gemstones:  Any green gemstones, Emerald, Jade, Tiger's Eye, Lapis

Colors and Candles:  Blue, green, yellow, gold, red

Litha is a wonderful time for Magic involving healing of the Planet, love, and protection. We rejoice in the lush greenery, the vibrant life all around us, the crowning of the Sun God, and the fullness of the pregnant earth Mother - along with the promise of a bountiful harvest. Below are some wonderful resources from the Author of witchery:

Create a Fairy Ring prior to Litha using either patio planters or a section of your lawn. Environmental Graffiti has Fairy Ring photos, a wonderful description of the folklore, and the modern science behind the natural occurrence of Fairy Rings. Today, while we may not want to spread lawn-killing fungal spores in our yards, we can still attract the Fae Folk with some careful plantings.

Fairies are said to enjoy dancing among a circular grouping of Ash tree saplings, equipped with wildflowers, Hibiscus, Foxglove, Honeysuckle, Chamomile, and Lavender. Some folks plant a bit of Stinging Nettle around the perimeter or "entrance", and provide a bit of water as well. Other ideas include:

Bluebells:  Considered one of the most potent plants for Fairy Magic

Cowslip:  Fairies are said to love Cowslip blossoms and use them as umbrellas

Daffodil:  Used for evoking Fairies and Elves

Elder:  Elder bushes and trees are said to protect Fairies

Foxglove:  Although it is poisonous, Foxglove is strongly associated with Fairies, who would wear the dainty flowers as hats and gloves

Hollyhock:  It is said Fairies love Hollyhock

Violets:  Said to be sacred to the Fairy Queen

While there are dozens of beautiful photos and instructions for creating Fairy Gardens on the Internet, here are just a few of my favorites to help you get the wheels of creativity turning...

Please tell us about your own Fairy Garden photos, ideas, rituals, and recipes for Litha so they can be shared and admired right here!
Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove


All Around the World News said...


I found your entry interesting do I've added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)...

uk bookmakers said...

Good article, keep us updating, you are good writer!

Polly Taskey said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments! I am working on an e-book now and hope to deliver quality and usefulness "above" the rest of the crowd! We'll see soon enough. Bright Blessings.

LS said...

Very interesting info, i am waiting for more !!! Keep updating your blog and you will have a lot o readers

Hailey Marie said...

Great information, Polly! Will be bookmarking this one for sure.

Green Witch said...

Thank you Hailey Marie! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

William Braylen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Polly Taskey said...

William, I'm so sorry, I accidentally deleted your comment but was able to retrieve it from another window I had open in browser so here is your comment re-posted by me: William Braylen said...

Do You Believe in Fairies? Red, spotted mushrooms, trees with alcoves, fireflies, a dim green woodland, these are only a couple of things that strike a chord when considering pixies. We frequently picture them to be greatly little, winged, and delightful. Frequently, Shakespeare's pixies ring a bell with names such as mustard seed and Oberon.

In answer to your question, yes, I believe in Fairies :)

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