Midsummer – Litha
Midsummer- A Time for Light and Life
Midsummer is the day that is the peak of summer. It is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the time when the power of the sun is the strongest. Also known as Litha, Midsummer is a time of inner power and light. It is a celebration of life, a thank you for the bounty given during the growing season, and a preparation for the decline to come.
There are a lot of differences in the way Litha is observed. Some scholars deny that the ancients celebrated Midsummer, and others say it was imported. Druids celebrate the day, but call it Alban Hefin. In their lore, it represents the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, and represents the Wheel of The Year in its completeness. Stonehenge has a gateway aligned with the rising midsummer sun, and is a popular place for modern druid enthusiasts to go.
For modern Wiccans, it is one of the lesser Sabbats, and is called Litha in tribute to the Lord of the Light. It is a day and night of celebrating, being thankful for the summer. Many Wiccans spend the day outdoors, swimming and enjoying the sun. Historically there would be nude dancing around bonfires from sunrise to after sunset, but that is not practical for many Wiccans in today’s society.
To honor the day today, just go outside. Take the children out, go to the beach, the park, the woods. Wear braided circlets of clover and flowers at the wrists and ankles for the ladies, and oaken crowns for the men. Do a barbeque or have an outdoor fire to end the day, and stay up into the night. Watch the sun set, and give thanks for the bounty of the season.
Many Wiccans will make protective charms prior to Litha so they can be charged during the day since Midsummer is the most powerful day for the sun. Acknowledge any relationships during this time as June is the month for marriage and commitment.
Also, the fairies are more prevalent during Midsummer, and it is traditional to leave out offerings of fresh herbs like lavender, chamomile and rose petals in the evening for them.