– June 20th – 23rd –
The Summer Solstice marks Litha, Midsummer, and many other holidays celebrating the longest day of the year. This is when the sun reaches its zenith in the sky, and the sun seems to stand still. The word solstice comes from the Latin word ‘solstitium’ literally translating to ‘sun stands still’. In the Northern Hemisphere, this day comes in June, whereas in the Southern Hemisphere the Summer Solstice is celebrated in December.
The terms Litha, Midsummer in English, is derived from the Anglo-Saxon calendar with the summer months being se Ærra Liþa and se Æfterra Liþa (the “early Litha month” and the “later Litha month”) making the Summer Solstice mid-summer for northern European cultures. This is a brief break in the farming year when the planting is complete and there is a brief period of downtime. The perfect time to spend with friends, family, and loved ones giving thanks for all we have with a grand celebration.
On the Summer Solstice, the Sun God is at his highest strength and sits proudly in the sky. As the God of the forest, he sits on his Throne, basking in its beauty. The energy of the Goddess is also strong as she is ripe with her fertile pregnancy. The Goddess and God confirm their love and it is on this day they wed. You can see the sign of their blending love as the Earth is in full bloom, lush with growth.
This day is not only celebrated as the height of the Gods virility but also when the Gods energy shifts from growing to waning. It is a reminder that everything that grows also grows old and eventually all will pass as the wheel of the year turns.
Tonight is the night to stay awake, traditionally around the world, people celebrate the shortest night of the year by staying awake all night. Bonfires are lit in honor of the sun’s great strength and the turning of the year from light to dark. Herb smudge sticks are lit from the bonfire and used to bless animals, crops, homes, and fields. The ashes from the bonfire are used to make protective talismans and charms. The coals were scattered throughout the fields to ensure a great harvest.
This is not just a time of fire but also a time to honor the energies of water. Without water, not much would survive the heat of summer, and on the longest day of the year, the storm and water gods are honored to make sure that the rain will come.
During the Summer Solstice, we are surrounded by full active energy. The crops are ripening and so is the energy. This is a time of action, hard work and celebrating achievements. There is unity, strength, and purpose in the air. This is also a time of changes, endings, and manifestation.
On the Summer Solstice, the Magickal Energy is strong. The Sun’s energy is at its height and lends itself to any magick.
This is a night to celebrate love and fertility. There is a practice of young women wearing special charms and peering over a well to see the one they will marry. The energy of commitment is strong and this is a traditional time of weddings as well as commitment ceremonies to the Gods.
In Finnish folk magick, Midsummer is a very powerful night, and many spells and rituals are carried out. It is a time for fertility, much of the magick surrounded finding love and fertility. A common spell was for young maidens to pick seven different flowers and place them under their pillow to bring dreams of their future husband. On Midsummer, it is also traditional for people to place two birch trees next to the door to welcome and bless visitors.
Give your wish to a pebble and throw it into the bonfire for it to come true. To rid yourself of your problems write them on a piece of paper and drop them into running water to wash them away; preferably a river or stream but if that’s not an option a flushing toilet works too.
Oak leaves, fresh berries, mistletoe and freshly collected herbs and flowers. Use candles the color of the sun.
Goddess: Amaterasu, Hestia, Juno, Phoebe, Sunna or Sol, Vesta, Juno, and Epona.
Gods: Ukko, Pan, Jack-in-the-Green, Aten, Apollo, Balder, The Dagda, Helios, Horus, Huitzilopochtli, Loki, Lugh, Sulis Minerva, Mithras, Ra, the Green Man, Surya, Thor, Zeus, the Oak King.
Calendula, St. John’s Wort, Mugwort, Vervain, Elderflower, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Heather, Heliotrope, Lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Laurel, Linden, Galangal, Saffron, Mistletoe, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation, Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Holly, Lemon, Beech, and Wisteria.
Diamond, Emerald, Jade, Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, and Tiger’s eye.
Colors of the sun, yellow, red, orange, gold, bright blue, lush green.
Cattle, Horse, Crab, Octopus, Goldfinch, Kingfisher, Meadowlark, Owl, Robin, and Wren.
Stay tuned to find out more on the Summer Solstice…
Also, see our Solstice Rituals to honor the Sun
& one for the whole Family!