..Summer Solstice 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere will be Saturday June 20th, at 5:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), or 11:44 PM Central European Time. The word “Solstice” is derived from the Latin words Sol+systere, meaning “Sun”+ “standing still.” The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Following this Solstice, the days get shorter, the nights longer.
But more importantly, the solstice was a time of celebration and a break from the norm. Many cultures believed that magic took place on the night of the summer solstice, with fairies showing themselves to humans, while evil spirits were dispelled from their lives. The Summer Solstice is a time to reflect on your personal growth and the meaning of the season of light and growth. This is the moment of our year when there is the most light available to us. In terms of consciousness, it is when we are the most present to ourselves and who we know ourselves to be — the Sun represents the light of all life and consciousness. Seeds are planted in the Earth as well as the seeds of our souls. It’s a time of renewal and abundance, a time of love and expansion, as the summer sun unfolds the leaves on the trees, so do our souls open to receive the light of source to illuminate that which is within each of us.
Creating a ceremony or celebration is a way for humans to acknowledge the life force energy within us and give back to Creation some of the energy and blessings that we are always receiving. The Earth constantly provides for all of us with her incredible bounty, and the Sun’s warmth provides the light necessary for all living beings to thrive and prosper.
The Solstice signifies the time when the Earth is at the fullness of her strength, fertility, and abundance, so we too can celebrate our strength in joining together, pollinating our spiritual consciousness through sharing, and offering gratitude for the abundance that which we experience daily.
And the spiral is also a symbol associated with the Solstices. Ancient dances would follow the Sun’s movement like a spiral, people joined hands weaving through the streets, winding into a decreasing spiral into the middle then unwinding back out again. The Sun moving from contraction at the center of the spiral at winter solstice to expansion at Summer Solstice and back again. Festivals in North still continue to dance and play, holding hands in formation of a spiral.
Many traditions throughout time have celebrated the Solstices — Ancient Egypt, and Aztecs of Mexico, Chinese, Chumash Indians of California, Indigenous Europeans. And western civilizations have for centuries celebrated this first day of summer often called Midsummer (see Shakespeare), or St. John’s Day. The Chinese mark the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. Throughout history, with so much light being showered upon the Earth on this day, it’s been known as one of the most powerful days of the year for spiritual growth and healing.
To this day, revelers still gather at Stonehenge to see the sun rise. The Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone, set outside the main circle, align with the rising sun. And many of the ancient traditions continue — bonfires are still lit to celebrate the Sun at its height of power and to ask the Sun not to withdraw into winter darkness.
In North America, many Native American tribes held ritual dances to honor the sun. The Sioux were known to hold one of the most spectacular rituals— The Sun Dance. Usually performed during the June solstice, preparations for the Sun Dance included cutting and raising a tree that would be considered a visible connection between the heavens and Earth, and setting up teepees in a circle to represent the cosmos. Participants abstained from food and drink during the dance itself. Their bodies were decorated in the symbolic colors of red (sunset), blue (sky), yellow (lightning), white (light), and black (night).
The Sun Dance is a ceremony practiced differently by several North American Indian Nations, but many of the ceremonies have features in common, including dancing, singing and drumming, the experience of visions, fasting, and, in some cases, self-torture.
The Sun Dance was the most spectacular and important religious ceremony of the Plains Indians of 19th-century North America, ordinarily held by each tribe once a year usually at the time of the Summer Solstice.
The Sun Dance last from four to eight days starting at the sunset of the final day of preparation and ending at sunset. It showed a continuity between life and death – a regeneration. It shows that there is no true end to life, but a cycle of symbolic and true deaths and rebirths. All of nature is intertwined and dependent on one another. This gives an equal ground to everything on the Earth.
The Native American tribes who practiced sun dance were:
The Arapaho, Arikara, Asbinboine, Cheyenne, Crow, Gros, Ventre, Hidutsa, Sioux, Plains Cree, Plains Ojibway, Sarasi, Omaha, Ponca, Ute, Shoshone, Kiowa, and Blackfoot tribes. Their rituals varied from tribe to tribe.
For many tribes of Plains Indians whose bison-hunting culture flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun dance was the major communal religious ceremony – the rite celebrates renewal – the spiritual rebirth of participants and their relatives as well as the regeneration of the living Earth with all its components – the ritual, involving sacrifice and supplication to insure harmony between all living beings, continues to be practiced by many contemporary native Americans.
The most renowned priest was also the best Lodge maker. He ran the entire ceremony and would instruct the participant in building a preparatory tepee and give direction to the other tribesmen who would gather the items needed for the construction. Men known for their eminence in their tribe were chosen to look for a tree with a fork in the top. This was to be for the first and center pole of the lodge. When a suitable tree was located a special qualified person was called in to cut the tree down. The fallen tree was then treated just like a fallen enemy. Then, depending on the tribe a bundle was placed on the fork. In the Sioux tribe the bundle contained brush, buffalo hide, long straws with tobacco in them and other religious offerings.
Summer is a time to engage our Earth connection; and cultivate and deepen our connection to the divine energies all around us. In living with gratitude and understanding that reciprocity and respect for all that is given to us is, is the way to live as if all life is ceremony. In taking only what we need, and doing what we can to live in balance and harmony with the cycles of the planet, we strengthen and nourish the bond we were given a birth with the great parent who sustains us all.
As we observe the blossoming of life all around us, we can receive the energy of vitality and experience awe for the generosity of the Earth, who provides for us everything that we need.
Some rituals to celebrate Summer Solstice:
1) As our ancestors did, celebrate by gathering of plants and healing herbs, its long been believed that they are at their most potent on the Summer Solstice. Five common Celtic sacred plants associated with Midsummer are St. John’s Wort, Vervain, Yarrow, Fern, and Mugwort.
2) Gather with others to create a circle or spiral. Exchange songs, stories, and poems with others. Dance, drum, sing and celebrate.
3) Create a Sun Wheel or mandala (a symbol of the circle of life and connectedness) made from flowers or things found in nature.
4) Keep a sacred fire burning. You can create a big fire like a bonfire to celebrate with friends, but even a small fire, in the form of a candle or Altar of Light can be just as potent.
5) Make a Prayer Stick or Prayer Tree and place specific prayers for those who need healing on it. Make a prayer for the return to peace where there is no peace, for vibrancy and good health in areas of the world where there is now poverty and scarcity.
Do all or any of the above with an intention for something that you will do to improve life – bring light and love into this world in your own creative way and begin to carry it out.
Wishing you peace and light this Summer Solstice!
As the Sun spirals its longest Dance Cleanse Us As nature shows bounty and fertility Bless Us Let all things live with loving intent And to fulfill their truest destiny
“It’s great to see English Heritage putting Stonehenge back on a celestial scale,” space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock added. “Stonehenge Skyscape offers a mesmerising insight into our ancestors’ lives and hopefully — beyond visiting the website — it will inspire people all over the world to go outside, and look up.”
Ancient Festivities on Summer Solstice
In ancient Greece, the summer solstice marked the start of a new year and the month-long countdown to the Olympics.
The Greeks also observed the festival of Kronia, during which they worshipped Cronus, the god of agriculture. At this time slaves were given equal rights to their owners, who allowed them to participate in games and festivities, sometimes even reversing roles and serving them – it was undoubtedly a welcomed holiday.
In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice represented the coming of the brightest star, Sirius. Not long after, the Nile would begin to flood its banks, marking a season of abundance from the land. The Egyptians believed Sirius was responsible for the floods and considered it the start of a new year.
The ancient Romans celebrated the festival of Vestalia, in honor of the goddess of the hearth. Married women brought offerings to the temple of Vesta, hoping the goddess would bestow blessings upon their families. Vesta was the protector of married women and virginity, and was exclusively a goddess for women.
In addition to the offerings made in Vesta’s temple, women would bake a sacred cake, which followed a strict recipe. Water from a sacred spring would be used, and prevented from coming into contact with the Earth, as it was carried in blessed jugs. Hyperdimensional Geometry of Stonehenge
Pagans also believed medicinal plants were most effective during the summer solstice, including St. John’s wort, verbena, and rue – a necessary ingredient to ward off fairies that lead you astray.
Pagan solstice ceremonies in Slavic nations such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, encouraged couples to jump over bonfires while holding hands.
If the couple maintained their grip, their relationship was considered strong, portending success and happiness. But if they lost their grasp, their relationship was doomed.
Single women would also create rings of flowers to be released into a river, where bachelors waited on the other side to catch them, hoping to find a partner.
But while many seemed to be partying and engaging in decadent celebration, up north Vikings would discuss legal matters and resolve disputes. True to their character, this was prime time to conduct trade, shipping, fishing, and of course, raids.
The Vikings likely used this time for productivity because of the extremely long days during the summer, when the sun only sets for a few hours, especially above the Arctic Circle.
They have to make up for lost time somehow, when the opposite is true during the winter.
The Longest Day of the Year
It’s possible one of the reasons the summer solstice has historically been a time of celebration and joyis because of the sheer amount of sunlight received. The solstice marks the longest day of the year and is the culmination of six months of gradually increased daylight as winter recedes.
The vitamin D we receive from sunlight is like our body’s own photosynthesis, benefitting our mood, immune system, bones, and heart. It’s no wonder people use artificial modalities to receive light in places where it’s scarce throughout the year; it’s necessary to our physical and mental wellbeing.
So, no matter what you do to celebrate the summer solstice this year, remember it should be a time of renewal, peak happiness, reverence for humanity, and exposure to the sun
Litha, Summer Solstice Rituals, Activities and Lore
As the wheel turns again we find ourselves at Summer Solstice. Litha – Midsummer is one of the Lesser Wiccan Sabbats. The sun is at the height of it power before beginning its slide into darkness and we experience the longest day and shortest night of the year. It is important to note that the separation of the light and dark halves of the year have nothing to do with good and evil. Light signifies growth and expansion; dark means withdrawal and rest. Both are necessary. While steamy Midsummer marks the beginning of the Sun’s dying strength the season itself is very lush, erotic and sexy. The Sun, flowers and Earth are in full bloom. Hot Midsummer creates a fiery, mature, breathless passion. The God is at the very height of his power as we hit midsummer, at this point of the year the crops are coming along nicely. We have done all of the planting associated with spring and life gets a little easier as we sit back and tend what we have created. Its a time of great celebration before we meet the work ahead as the harvest comes in.
We honor the God and Goddess whose union has blessed us with the fertility to create the projects we began way back at Imbolc. On Midsummer the veil between the worlds is said to be very thin making this a great time for divination, historically many maidens would divine a husband at this time. Mid Summers Eve is said to be a time when fairies abound in great numbers this is a great time to commune with them and leave gifts of sweets outdoors. Litha celebrates abundance, fertility, virility, the beauty and bounty of Nature. Harnessing the Suns great power makes all types of magick appropriate now. We can also harvest the first of our magickal herbs at this time since they are drenched with the great power of the sun on this longest day of the year. It is a good time for empowerment, for strong magick, male ritual, handfastings, communing with Nature Spirits and for workings of culmination.The journey into the harvest season has begun.
Midsummer Manifestation Ritual
Make a list of everything you wish to manifest during the next six months.
Be complete — include things related to career, personal issues, and other factors like clarity, confidence, and fun. After sunset, light a candle of your choice. Place a vase of flowers you like next to the candle.
“I gather in the power of this day of greatest light and call in the guardians of fire, earth, air, and water to bring the last grace of power in light to manifest my desires in the coming harvest. I ask that this be
Read aloud your list
“I affirm that I am able and willing to allow these wishes to manifest and I participate in the miracle of creation and with faith. So mote it be.”
Allow the candle to burn until you go to sleep. Celebrate the energy of the evening in some way –play music, raise a glass, allow yourself some indulgence. From Hearth and Home Witchery
Midsummer Ritual author unknown
Begin by casting a circle. Now stand before your altar and say the following or similar: “Great God of the sun, I have come here this day to honor you in your strength, for I know that now is the time of your greatest power.”
Raise your Wand or Athame towards the sun and say the following or similar: “Great father God, Great mother Goddess, come into my heart, and purify me. Smite the evil in my soul, just as your magickal love purges the evil from all things.”
Visualize the energy of the sun flowing into your athame, and into you. See it clean any impurities that exist in you. Feel it as it cleans you. Once you have finished reflecting on the God and Goddess’ purification of you, move to the south side of you circle (the direction of fire) and light a (small) ritual fire. Now say the following or similar: “Great horned father, may this fire burn in representation of your greatness.”
Meditate for a while (while staring into the flames) on the sun, and all it does for us. Once you have meditated, you should allow yourself some time to commune with the gods. Just open your mind to them and let them speak to you. If you like you can thank them and tell them what midsummer means to you. Or you can just lay there in silence and know that they are watching. Once you are done, thank the gods for watching over you.The ritual part of this rite is over, however, midsummer & midsummer’s night are probably the best times to perform magick. Any spells cast during this time are likely to be vastly more powerful than when cast at other times. If you do not have any particular thing to cast a spell for, then perhaps now would be the best time to cast a spell that ensures happiness for you over the coming winter months. Think hard about it, because this opportunity comes but once a year.
Tools: A Golden Yellow Altar Cloth, Small Cloth Pouch of Summertime Herbs, Cauldron, 1c Fresh Spring Water, Red Sun God Candle, Green Earth Goddess Candle, Summer Blend Incense (Jasmine, Rose, Lotus, Wysteria, or combination).
Preparation: Sweep area moving in desoil manor. Set up Quarter Candles and any accessories symbolizing the Elements of the Quarters. Decorate the alter with seasonal flowers, especially Sunflowers. Prepare your Pouch of Summertime Herbs, and as you make it, pour your troubles, pains, sorrows, illness, and regrets into it. Place the Cauldron in the center of your alter, the Red Sun candle to the right of it , the Green Goddess Candle to the left of it. Place the cup of Fresh Spring Water in front of the Goddess Candle. Take a shower or bath for purification. Sit quietly and meditate for a while, then ground and center. When ready, play some peaceful music for the ritual.
Cast the circle….Pick up your Wand, and with arms upraised, face South and say: I celebrate the Mid-of-Summer, held in honor of the Blazing Sun God. All of Nature vibrates with the fertileness of the Goddess and of the God. The Earth basks in the light and life of the Sun. The ever turning Wheel of the Year has made the light ever stronger And the light has kept growing longer, until today The middle of the time of light, Litha, Mid Summer’s Day, Summer Solstice. From here, the light begins to fade, again, Until once more the Wheel turns to the time of darkness, Yule, Winter Solstice. Yet, for today, the Sun is high, the light is bright, the Earth is warm. As the Sun God blazes above, may the fires of my rite flame below.
Face the alter, put down your wand, and light the Green Goddess Candle to the left of your cauldron, saying: Oh, Mother of Nature, She that brings the meadow to bloom, Green Forest Mother, from lakes and streams your children spring forth. Blessed Lady of the stars and the Moon, Fruitful Womb of which I honor, and ask of Thee, Thy Blessings.
Light the Red Sun God Candle to the right of your cauldron, saying: Oh, Father of all things, He that plants the seed and nurtures Life. God of Fertility and Fruitfulness, from hill and forest your children emerge. Blessed Lord of the blazing Sun, Potent Consort of which I honor, and of Thee, Thy Blessings.
Take the Herb Pouch and hold above your head, saying: By thy power, oh sacred herbs, may the Lord of the Sun Burn away the hurtful, the troublesome, and the painful, Leaving me purified through His warmth and Light.
Hold the pouch over your main Alter Candle to take flame. While it is burning, drop it in the cauldron, saying: Great Goddess and Great God, from Thee all powers flow forth. The Two that are One, Great Spirit of All-That-Is, By Thy powers, and the powers of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, By Thy powers, and the powers of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, I banish these negatives from my life.
Visualize the negatives burning away to nothingness. When all that is left is ashes, douse the ashes with the cup of Fresh Spring Water, feel as if the water were being poured over you and your negatives washed away. Air dry by dancing and running your hands up and down your arms, body, and legs. Don’t forget your head, lay it back and shake running your fingers through your hair. When done, face alter, wave hand over the cauldron and say:
As the Phoenix rises from the ashes, so let this water be pure and new. Mother Goddess, bless this water so that it may bless and renew me. Father God, may your rays of the Mid Summer Sun bless and nourish me. Two that are One, may your blessings sustain me as I journey, anew.
Pass your cupped hands over the cauldron, pausing briefly each time to pour in wishes for health, prosperity, and good fortune to be part of your life. Dip the forefinger of your right hand into the cauldron water, and trace a pentagram on your forehead, saying:
Now is the time for meditation and any spell workings. Mid Summer spell workings include: prosperity, fertility, and plentiful harvests. Finish by having the Cakes and Ale Ceremony and releasing the circle. Clean up. You are done.
Let my mind be open to the truth. Anoint your lips saying: Let my lips always speak the truth.
Anoint your heart area, saying: Let my heart seek the ways of the Goddess, now and always.
Anoint the centers of your palms, saying: Let my hands be gifted to work in magickal ways.
Anoint the soles of your feet, saying: Let my feet ever walk upon the sacred paths!
For this ritual you will need to have holly and mistletoe, and salted water. The mistletoe should be placed on the altar, and the holly near it but just out of sight. you can use artificial if necessary. If you have a pet or familiar, you can give them a special blessing in this ritual.
Cast your circle as usual.
Face your altar and say: Blessed be this season of Midsummer. The sun rides at s peak in the skies above. The Goddess is heavy with pregnancy. Today I celebrate the light, for tomorrow that light will wane. Today I acknowledge the end of the waxing year, and the beginning of the waning time.
Take your athame and raise it in front of you pointing up. Say: Farewell to the waning year Season of fertility and growth and the time of planting
Make the sign of the banishing pentagram. Say: Welcome the waning year Season of harvest and wisdom Welcome to the bounty of autumn.
Make the sign of the invoking pentagram. Set the athame back in its place on the altar, then switch the mistletoe with the holly. The holly is the symbol of the Holly King who now reigns over the rest of the ear. Mid smmer is a good time to renew your self-dedication. Take your salted water from the altar and hold it upward with both hands. Say: O blessed Lady, whose belly quikens with the harvest bounty, fill this vessel of your womb with your holy presence that I might rededicate myself to your service. great mother of heaven and Earth from whom I and life was born. Womb to whom we all return to be born again, as did my ancestors so long ago, I stand before you today to acknowledge you as the Great Mother, giver of all life.
Hold the container in your left hand and with your right hand, reach into the container and wet your fingertips. Bend down and anoint your feet. Say: Bless my feet as I seek to walk your ancient pathway. Steer them in the direction of right and light.
Anoint your heart area. Say: Bless my heart which humbly turns to you in love and is given to you freely. Help me love unconditionally all my fellow living things.
Anoint your eyelids. Be careful not to get any in your eyes. Say: Bless my eyes that they may be open to the wonders of your world; that I may see you in all your guises; that I may see the unseen and know all truths through them.
Anoint the crown of your head. Say: Great Mother, bless my mind that it will always be open to you, and guard it that it not conceive to do harm to any fellow living creatures. May I always remember and follow the Wiccan Rede. I know that if along your path I bring harm to any living creature that I will experience the same three times over. As all living things are one, as I harm others, I also harm myself. May I always seek a spiritual path in this earthly incarnation, and home joyfully when my earthly time is done.
Hold the container upward again. Say: Blessed Lady of many faces, you who are warrioress, protectress, instructress, inspirer, innocent Virgin, wise old Crone, and Great Mother. I present myself to you as your child, (state craft name if you have one), and ask that you accept my dedication to you. So mote it be, Blessed Be!
Spend a few moments in quiet meditation on the meaning of the ritual you just performed. Close the circle whenever ready.
Litha Ritual 2
Before the rite, make up a small cloth pouch filled with herbs such as lavender, chamomile, St. John’s Wort, vervain, or any of the Midsummer herbs listed in “An Herbal Grimoire.” Mentally pour all your troubles, problems, pains, sorrows and illnesses, if any, into this petition as you construct it. Tie it shut with a red string. Place this on the altar for use during the rite. The cauldron should also be there or nearby. Even if you use candles to mark the quarters, the red candle in a holder should also be on the altar. For outdoor rituals, light a fire – however small – and drop the pouch into this.
Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle. Recite the Blessing Chant. Invoke the Goddess and God. Stand before the altar and say, with wand upraised:
I celebrate the noon of summer with mystic rites. O great Goddess and God, all nature vibrates with Your energies and Terra is bathed with warmth and life. Now is the time of forgetting past cares and banes; O firey Sun, burn away the un useful, the hurtful, the bane, in Your omnipotent power. Purify me! Purify me! Purify me!
Lay the wand on the altar. Take up the herbal petition and light it in the red candle on the altar (or, if outdoors, the ritual fire). When it is burning drop it into the cauldron (or some other heat-proof container) and say:
I banish you by the powers of the Goddess and God! I banish you by the powers of the Sun, Moon and Stars! I banish you by the powers of Earth, Air, Fire and Water!
O Gracious Goddess, O Gracious God, on this night of Midsummer magick I pray that You charge my life with wonder and joy. Help me in attuning with the energies adrift on the enchanted night air. I give thanks.
Reflect upon the purification you have undergone. Feel the powers of nature flowing through you, washing you clean with divine energy. Works of magick, if necessary, may follow. Part take in the Cakes and Wine ceremony. The circle is released.
Ring of Fire Spell
This spell is based on a little-known solar ritual from the Aegean islands. Long ago on the night before the Summer Solstice, hoops were set ablaze, and the villagers would guide the Sun’s return by jumping though rings of fire. You can create your own ring of fire with this spell. At dusk, outdoors if possible, light four candles of appropriate color, one for each season, in a circle. In the center place a gold or yellow candle for the Sun. Light the seasonal candles and say:
“Seasons must turn, Let the Sun return.”
Light the Sun candle and say:
“Shining One, Charge me with passion, Turn my words into action. It must be!”
Jump over your lit candles if you dare. Meditate on each Season and Thank the Sun for it’s return as you put out the candles.
Fire Purification Spell
1 Red or White Candle 1 Black Ink Pen 1 Small Square of White, Unlined Paper 1 Pair of tweezers or tongs
Timing: Noon on a day when the moon is in the waxing phase. Preferably as close to the Summer Solstice as possible. Procedure: Think of one bad habit you have that you would truly like to rid yourself of. Write it down in the center of the of paper. Now fold the paper top to bottom, then left to right, so that it is folded into fourths with the writing inside. As you fold the paper, visualize that habit being trapped inside the paper. Now light the candle and meditate on it’s flame for a moment. When you are prepared to continue, hold the paper in a diamond shape, with the writing down at the bottom. Now take the tweezers and hold the bottom tip of the diamond into the flame. Visualize the habit burning away with the flames. As the paper burns, chant the following or similar: “Great spirits of fire, grow and consume this habit of evil so goodness may bloom.” This spell should be cast outside, so that the ashes of the paper can fall to the earth. As they do so, visualize the earth as taking your habit and absorbing it. Be sure to leave a gift for the earth in exchange for taking your habit. Note: This spell also works extremely well with bale fires or the fire at your Litha ritual. Simply toss the paper into the flames and chant. Do not attempt to hold it over the flames as you would with a candle.
Litha Curse Breaking Spell
This spell will break a curse leveled at you. Place some salt or ashes in a Small glass jar until it is about half-full. In another bowl mix the Following two parts myrrh gum, one part orris root powder, three parts Cloves, and one piece of broken glass or mirror. Set the mixture out in the Midday Sun to absorb the cleansing power of its peak rays. Place the Sun-soaked mixture in the glass of ashes or salt, and dose with lime juice. Fill the rest of the jar with salt and dispose of it away from your home. Edain McCoy
Endurance ritual (From Hearth & Home Witchery)
1. Write your birth-sign on a small stone in permanent pen
2. In a large flower pot, place the stone at the bottom.
3. Plant a marigold on top, placing seven stones around the plant.
As you work, chant:
“Sing me the song of seasons Show me the sun’s delight Open my heart for you radiance Lead me towards the light”
The marigold is the flower of endurance that always turns its face toward the sun, following its path through the sky. This ritual will give you endurance.
Summer Solstice Rite
By Gerina Dunwich
The following ritual should be performed in a forest clearing, a large secluded garden, on a hilltop or any other nature place. Arrange stones on the ground to form a large circle about nine feet in diameter. With a consecrated ceremonial sword or long wooden stick, draw the powerful symbol of a pentacle (five-pointed star) inside the stone circle. Light five green candles to symbolize nature and fertility and place one at each point of the pentagram, starting at the east point and continuing in a clockwise manner. Lay a large, flat stone in the center of the pentagram facing north as an altar and place on it a statue representing the Goddess. At each side of the statue, light a white altar candle. To the right (east), place a brass bell and a censor of frankincense and myrrh incense. To the left (west), place a chalice of wine, a consecrated brass bell, a small dish of salt, and a small bowl of water. Bless the wine by holding your palms down over the chalice as you say:
I CONSECRATE AND BLESS THIS WINE IN THE DIVINE NAME OF THE GODDESS
Sprinkle a bit of salt and a few drops of water over the brass bell to consecrate it and say:
WITH SALT AND WATER I CONSECRATE AND BLESS THIS BELL IN THE DIVINE NAME OF THE GODDESS. BLESSED BE.
Light the frankincense and myrrh. Raise your arms to the sky, close your eyes and fill your mind with pleasant thoughts and visions of the Mother Goddess as you say:
O BLESSED EARTH MOTHER WOMB-GODDESS, CREATRESS OF ALL THIS SACRED CIRCLE IS CONSECRATED TO THEE
Ring the bell thrice and invoke:
SACRED LADY SPIRIT OF THE AIR FIRE MAIDEN, BEAUTIFUL AND FAIR EARTH MOTHER, GIVER OF LIVES CRONE OF WATER, AGELESS AND WISE I NOW CALL FORTH THY DIVINE IMAGE!
Return the bell to the stone altar and then with both hands, raise the chalice to your lips. Drink some of the wine and then pour the rest over the center of the pentagram as a libation to the Goddess and say:
THIS BLESSED WINE I DO POUR AS AN OFFERING TO THEE O GRACIOUS GODDESS.
Return the chalice to the altar. Again ring the bell thrice and say:
THIS SOLSTICE RITUAL I DO PERFORM IN HONOR OF THEE, O GREAT GODDESS AND IN THY SACRED NAME DO I NOW GIVE PRAISE.
Kneel before the altar. Offer up more incense, ring the bell in praise of the Goddess and then say in a loud and joyous tone of voice
BLESSED BE THE GODDESS! BLESSED BE THE GODDESS! The GODDESS IS LIFE THE GODDESS IS LOVE SHE TURNS THE WHEEL THAT CHANGES THE SEASONS AND BRINGS NEW LIFE INTO THE WORLD. BLESSED BE THE GODDESS! BLESSED BE THE GODDESS! THE GODDESS IS THE MOON AND STARS THE GODDESS IS THE SEA AND EARTH THE GODDESS IS THE CYCLE OF SEASONS SHE IS BIRTH, SHE IS DEATH SHE IS RE-BIRTH SHE IS DAY, SHE IS NIGHT SHE IS DARKNESS, SHE IS LIGHT SHE IS AL THINGS WILD AND FREE SO MOTE IT BE.
The Rite of Summer Solstice should be followed by feasting, merriment and the joyous singing of magickal Pagan folk songs.
A Litha Prayer for the Earth author unknown
“Great God, Father of the Earth, Shine down on this, your strongest day. Blessed Goddess who gave us Birth, Bless us who honor your ancient way. As Summer’s light falls to the ground, lending crops and trees it’s power, the Summer winds blow warm and round, touching the corn silk and the flowers. We give you thanks, our Mother Earth, We praise you, fire of the Sun. We dance this Solstice day with Mirth, from dawns’ first light ’till the day is done.”
Midsummer Potpourri From Hearth and Home Witchery 1 cup oakmoss 2 cups dried lavender 2 cups wisteria 2 cups verbena 25 drops lavender oil or lemon oil
Litha Activities From Hearth and Home Witchery
Put a ring of flowers around your cauldron or around a bowl of mugwort
Hang a bundle of fresh herbs out to dry. Use them to cook summer veggies.
Go bird watching. Take a guide book, so you will know what you are looking at. The birds may bless you with a feather.
This is a good time for clearing away non useful energies, and establishing a stable base. Cleansing may include leaping a fire, or putting herbs symbolizing or charged with the non-useful energies into a fire. You may leap a fire not only for purification, but to re-energize yourself.
Litha is a time for healing of all kinds, and protection rituals. Some work can and should be done alone, but there is room for more social gatherings.
Get all your friends together with some drums and rattles, and dance the whole night through. A Spiral Dance would be nice, too.
Have children make their own Green Man mask. Cut eye holes in a paper plate. Let them glue on real or construction paper leaves.
Go berry picking. Have the children chose their best berry and throw it back into the berry bushes as they thank the Goddess and the bushes for the fruit.
Make a Wicker Man and burn him in your Litha bon fire.
Burn a Wreath in the bon fire or try using Wreaths of Vervain and Mugwort which were burned in ancient times at the end of the festivals to burn away bad luck.
Many families placed roses on the altar, as this is the Goddess flower for this time of the year. Try this yourself for a beautiful and fragrant decoration.
Leave out milk and honey as an offering to the Fae folk
Have a mock battle between the Oak and Holly King. Remember that this is part of the cycle and as the wheel turns the Holly King will rise again at Winter Solstice.
Light a white candle and place it in front of a mirror. Say your own Litha prayer over it, and then let it burn out
Make a charm to hang around your neck with a seashell
Have an outdoor breakfast picnic to welcome the Solstice
Stay up and watch the sun come up on the longest day of the year!
Draw a picture of the sun at sunrise and sunset
Try a fire divination, stare into the coals of your bonfire as it settles or look for forms in the leaping flames.
Create a ritual to bring healing and love to Mother Earth
Make protection amulets for friends and family dispose of last years in the Litha bonfire
Couples who handfasted the year before at Beltane, tend to marry in a more formal handfasting at Midsummer or Lughnasadh.
Things to make with found bird feathers From Hearth and Home Witchery
Witchs Ladders 1. Use feathers in colors that correspond with your need
2. Braid a yard each of white, black, and red cord for Goddess
3. Chant while braiding: “Maiden, Mother, Ancient Crone Your powers to these cords please loan”
4. Add feathers to chain as it grows
Make a quill pen to use in your Book of Shadows
1. Remove the barbs from the quill until it is comfortable to hold
2. Scoop out the back of the quill and remove the core
3. Cut a tiny notch on the front of the quill
4. Cut a slit on the front of the quill from the notch down
5. Cut the tip of the quill to form a point
Midsummer Symbolism From Hearth and Home Witchery
Symbolism : Nurturing and love are key actions related to Midsummer. If you haven’t yet done so, Litha is a good time to perform your Self-Dedication Ceremony… or – if you have been practicing Wicca for a while – you may choose to perform a simple Re – dedication, affirmation as a part of your Sabbat celebration.The powers of nature are at their highest point. Great time for herb gathering. Longest day of the year, marks the time when days begin to get shorter again.
Symbols: fire to celebrate the power of the sun, sun wheels, god eyes, mother goddess, ripening fruits, sun dials, feathers, and swords, blades.
Deities: Father Gods and Mother Goddesses, Pregnant Goddesses and Sun Deities. Particular emphasis might be placed on the Goddesses Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, Venus and other Goddesses who preside over love, passion and beauty. Other Litha deities include Athena, Artemis, Dana, Kali, Isis, Juno, Apollo, Dagda, Gwydion, Helios, Llew, Oak Holly King, Lugh, Ra, Sol, Zeus, Prometheus, Ares, Mother Earth, Father Sun, the fey, fairy folkand Thor.
Magick: Healings, growth spells, empowerment spells, and love magick are all incredibly potent at this time
Tools: drums, rattles, bonfire, mirrors for reflecting the sun or bonfire, Earth circles of stone energy
Colors: white, red, maize yellow or golden yellow, green, blue and tan.
Stones: all green gemstones, especially emerald and jade. Other appropriate gemstones are tigers eye, lapis lazuli, ruby, diamonds, amethyst, malachite, golden topaz, opal, quartz crystal, azurite-malachite, lapis lazuli.
Animals: include robins, wrens, all Summer birds, horses and cattle. Mythical creatures include satyrs, faeries, firebirds, dragons, thunderbirds and manticores.
Herbs: chamomile, cinquefoil, elder, fennel, hemp, larkspur, lavender, male fern, mugwort, pine, roses, Saint Johns wort, honesty, wild thyme, wisteria, oak, mistletoe, frankincense, lemon, sandalwood, heliotrope, copal, saffron, galangal, laurel, ylang-ylang, Basil, Betony, Dogwood, Oak, Rue, vervain, trefoil and verbena. Traditionally, herbs gathered on this day are extremely powerful.
Incense: a combination of any of the following or simply one of them by itself… frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, lemon , pine, jasmine, rose, lotus, or wysteria.
Foods: for Litha include fresh vegetables of all kinds and fresh fruits such as lemons and oranges, pumpernickel bread as well as Summer squash and any yellow or orange colored foods. Flaming foods are also propriate, barbecued anything, (barbecues represent the bonfires….) but especially chicken or pork. Midsummer is also the time for making mead, since honey is now plentiful. Traditional drinks are ale, mead, sweet wines, fresh fruit juice of any kind and herb teas.
This article was published on Monday 02 June, 2008.