As the passing days grow noticeably longer, we eagerly anticipate Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and the longest night of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. In Pagan tradition, this day is known as Litha. This year, Litha falls on June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere – a time when those of us who practice magic speak of drawing down the sun. It’s a time of power, fuel, passion, enthusiasm, and rejuvenation. It’s a time to step out in faith and imagine what is fully possible for yourself. Dream an expansive vision for your life which, as the darkness slowly returns, can be harvested come autumn to sustain you through the ever-shortening days.
Litha represents the balance between fire and water, both outside of and within you. Balance is what we all seek, and at the two Solstice points of the year (summer and winter) we are offered access to a doorway in time, one which our ancestors have historically viewed as sacred and holy. It’s not just that the season is changing; in the Northern Hemisphere, it is all of nature that is surrendering to the fire of light, while in the Southern Hemisphere, nature yields to the shadows and remembers the promise of the sun’s return. Litha symbolizes a grand portal of energy, space, and opportunity – a chance to let go of fears, doubts, and insecurities.
Litha is known as the Festival of Growth, for this is the season of expansion and ripeness. Mother Earth is generous, giving more than we need, and we experience deep feelings of abundance. Summer is a time to celebrate all that will come to fruition during the season of warmth, as our energy is boosted by the warmth of the sun. The Earth embraces the caress of Grandfather Sun, and all of nature comes alive. The plants, herbs, and flowers are in full bloom, and we see the newborns of spring mature with each passing day. This is a great moment to meditate on what lies ahead in the year for you. Read your Tarot, scry in your spheres and mirrors, ask of your pendulum, and see what insight comes to you. Set your intentions on your summer altar, and in time, you will see your dreams come to life as the sun begins his journey south.
Here are my 3 favorite ways to celebrate Summer Solstice:
- Create a fire element altar with an orange, red, or yellow candle, a fire element oil (think cinnamon, clove, cardamom), and some fire gems (red calcite, carnelian, pyrite). Meditate on the areas in your life where you want some sacred fuel and light your candle. Visualize the fire of the flame infusing your entire life with solar energy.
- Gather fire element flowers (calendula and sunflower are my favorites) and collect their petals for use in seasonal incense, offering blends, and altar decor. Litha is the perfect day to remove the petals and let them dry under the solstice sun for later magical or ritual use.
- Charge your gemstones by solstice sunlight! We talk so much about charging gems by moonlight, but sunlight brings its own magic to gems (be careful though – some gems like amethyst and larimar can actually fade with too much sun exposure!)
Enjoy the solstice and may the magic of summer season be with you. And so it is.
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