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Litha or Midsummer happens on the summer solstice and is celebrated by most between June 19th-25th in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks one of two days on the wheel where the Oak King and Holly King fight for power. The Oak King represents day light and rules from the winter solstice until the summer solstice. Then he surrenders control to the Holly King and the days begin to shorten. Nonetheless, it is a time of celebration. The Goddess is pregnant and the Earth is abundant with fertility and fulfillment. It is time to focus on your accomplishments and be joyful for all that you have gained.
Traditionally people would hold bonfires on hilltops on the eve of the solstice. They would celebrate through the night with bonfires to represent and honour the peak strength of the sun at dawn. The fires would burn oak wood and aromatic herbs, while people danced around and leapt through them for good luck.
Some European traditions were to honour the balance between fire and water. Large tires would be set on fire and rolled down a hill into a body of water. Another thought is that this is a ritual to help weaken the sun to prevent drought.
Most herbs are now in full bloom, so traditionally The day of the solstice for some has been to gather as many herbs as they can for medicinal and magickal purposes. The power of this particular day was believed to add to the benefits of the herbs.
Ways to celebrate Litha
Bake Honey Cakes For Offerings
Remember back in Beltane, when you built yourself a garden for the Fae? Litha is believed to be one of two times each year where the veil between worlds is its thinnest. Now would be a good time to leave an offering to the Fae that you have invited in your life!
Find a nice open spot to lie down and look for hidden messages in the sky!
Forage for Herbs
Since most herbs are fully grown, it is a great time to go see what you can find, since the benefits during the solstice are meant to be stronger.
Have a bonfire to honour the son. Even add some appropriate herbs and celebrate in a traditional way!
If you have a good size group of people, this is a great way to celebrate and get people dancing. You can even enjoy it around your bonfire. Or if you are by yourself, why not go into the woods and dance around with your own mini drum!
Do Something For Others
Since it is a time of abundance, it is a good time to share what extra you might have with those who are not so fortunate.
Spend the day with your family. Have a beach day. Go to the park. Any activities that allow you to enjoy natures abundance together.
Hope this helps get you started!
Until next time,
The Bat Witch