Litha signifies the beginning of summer and marks the longest day of the year. From here on out the days are long and hot, and vegetation is abundant.
Litha is celebrated on the summer solstice and the season lasts until we welcome Lughnasa in August. This holiday is sometimes referred to as midsummer, or the summer solstice, and signifies the beginning of the summer season. During Litha, we tend to our seeds and water our crops, honor the sun, and celebrate warmth and abundance. When a solstice occurs, it marks either the longest or the shortest day of the year. The summer solstice signifies the longest day of the year, whereas the winter solstice represents the shortest. During the summer solstice, the sun is filling us full of light and nourishment. It acts as a reminder that we have, and can continue, to overcome those shadowy moments of life.
During Beltane, we planned our gardens and sowed the seeds. The season of Litha is when we see those seeds begin to take on life. Our gardens begin to produce and feed our families, and we are setting ourselves up for when autumn returns. With the days being both warmer and longer we find ourselves outside more and connecting with the earth around us. We begin to see the spark of life return to us once again. Many cultures throughout history have held celebrations on the summer solstice, and it holds a huge significance within our lives. One tradition was that large wooden wheels were set on fire and rolled down a hill into a body of water. It is thought that this was done to embody the sun and represent the element of fire. The significance of the water is not only to keep things from burning but also to act as a reminder that this is a time for nourishment. When you have been in the sun all day it is important to stay hydrated. During this season of warmth, endless activities, and social outings, it is important to take time for yourself and nourish your soul. That way you can continue to grow, like all the plants that surround you.
A common story told during Litha is that of the Oak and Holly Kings. The two kings are brothers and enemies. They rule over different seasons, and both are equally powerful. Just like yin and yang, or night and day, you can’t have one without the other. Twice a year, on the solstices, the two kings battle. From Yule to Litha the Oak King reigns, whereas the Holly King rules from Litha to Yule. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and when the Oak King takes his throne, the days become longer. When Litha occurs, the Oak King is defeated by his brother and the days become shorter as the Holly King takes over.
Herbs for Litha:
Plants for Litha:
Ways to Celebrate Litha:
- Lighting candles
- Having a bonfire
- Making flower bouquets
- Gathering and drying herbs
- Leaving offerings for fairies
Ceremonial Myst for Lithia by Amanda Furbee
Here’s what you will need:
- Carnelian chips (boost courage, creativity and amplifies passion)
- Citrine chips (support action, vibrancy, and creativity)
- Moss agate chips (help with grounding and stability)
- 55ml of rose water (hydrosol)
- 6 drops of lavender essential oil
- 10 drops of chamomile essential oil
- 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 5ml of St. John's wort oil
- Sprinkle of gold mica (optional)
- 2oz spray bottle
To make your ceremonial myst:
- Take your St. John's wort oil and blend it with the essential oils. Mix them well.
- Add the rosewater to the oil mixture.
- Add your few pieces of the crystals into the bottle. If they are too big, wrap them up in a towel or bag and then smash them with a rubber mallet to break down their size.
- Add your mica to the liquid base, and then pour into your spray bottle. Shake it up! (Just add a tiny dash of mica. Mica can clog your spray bottle and a little goes a long way).
- Label and spray wherever you choose.