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