Today is Litha – also known as Midsummer and Summer Solstice – when the seasons turn and bring in summer, and the longest day of sunlight of the year. It is a time of joy, abundance and play, and a great day to be out in nature, soaking up the light and the strength of the sun, and giving thanks for all that has been over the last six months since winter solstice.
Herbs harvested at this time are more potent, as their oils are concentrated by the sun at its height. Sun wheels representing the four seasons and the four solar celebrations are made and hung for protection, and those from the previous year are buried. It is said to be a time for future visions and faery favours.
Midsummer eve is when faerie magick is thought to be strong. The fae like to play tricks on warm summer nights, so beware … It is said that if you must travel on this night, it is best done along the path of a ley line, as its energies will protect against their mischievousness. Firelight, even that of a candle, is often used as another method of protection. The flame is also a potent symbol of reverence at this time, when the strength of the sun is at its peak and about to begin its decline.
Picnicking, swimming and water play are common ways to mark and celebrate Litha, and of course, here in the Southern Hemisphere it coincides with the Christmas period. This also encourages us to focus on goodwill, community, family and those we love, all of which are also themes of Litha.
Ultimately, I see Litha as a time to celebrate the cycles of life and death of nature, of the sun and the earth. When we look around us we see seed and fruit in abundance, many of which are just starting to ripen, while others are falling to the ground, with a promise of fertility in the coming months and seasons. For something new to begin something else must end … Litha encourages us to dream forward, to celebrate and enjoy the light and sun now, knowing that as the days begin to shorten from hereon, the wheel will turn again, bringing in the time for the internal and cool. A comforting thought at this chaotic time of year …
Happy solstice … and get dowsing for that protective ley line! ?