summersolstice2015

At 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”

Summer Solstice or Litha is a sacred time, and has been for millennia… but these days its most commonly referred to as the longest day of the year, celebrated by most on 21st June…

A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun’s apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still i.e. the apparent movement of the Sun’s path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In some cultures they are considered to start or separate the seasons, while in others they fall nearer the middle.

Litha in the pagan calendar is a major event. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest’s fruits.

This is a time to celebrate growth and life and time to acknowledge that the sun will now begin to decline once more towards winter. When celebrating midsummer Pagans draw on many diverse traditions. In England thousands of people like to go to places of ancient religious sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury to see the sun rising and celebrate through to sunrise next day. I tend to mark it in my own way, as we all can. I light a fire and give thanks in meditation for all the bounty Mother Nature gives. I think about everything I am grateful to have in my life. Depending on whether the moon is waxing (growing toward fullness) or waning (growing smaller) I write a list of all I wish to manifest in the coming months or a list of what I wish to release or banish from my life and give it to the fire.

Traditional flowers and herbs to bring into the home are Lavender, Camomile, Roses, Daisy, Lily

Incense to burn:

Frankincense, Lemon, Rose, Wisteria, Lavender

Traditional colours for Litha:

Blue, Green, Yellow

If you have an altar (or a mantelpiece or small table or shelf will do!) you can bring in dried herbs, Potpourri, Seashells, Summer Flowers, Fruits to decorate.

Foods and drink is seasonal, you may like to feast on summer fruits, ale, mead, and seasonal fresh veggies.

However you choose to spend Litha…

– Bright Blessings and enjoy the sunshine!