The Magic of Litha
June 21, 2018
The Ancient Pagan Festival!
By: Donna Virgilio
What is Litha?
Litha is also called Midsummer’s Day! Litha, is the pagan holiday celebrating the Summer Solstice. It is a solar festival and fire festival. The component of water is added as well. This is the season of the sizzling summer days and warm nights. We naturally want to be near the water, to drink and to cool our bodies. The sun has now reached its zenith or most northerly peak. We are focused on the sun an active force providing abundance with the ability to make crops grow. Litha is the longest day of the year.
When is the Summer Solstice?
In the northern hemisphere, we celebrate Litha when the sun is 1 degree of cancer something between June 21 to 23. This year summer begins on June 21, at 3:07 am pacific time.
In the southern hemisphere, summer is celebrated when the sun is 1 degree of Capricorn sometime between December 21 to 23.
In Latin solstice actually means, “sun stands still”. In Sanskrit it means “half year”. Starting from the Winter Solstice we are halfway through the year.
The Saxon year began at the winter solstice and summer was just the midpoint in the year. They called the month of June, Aerra Litha, meaning before Litha; and July, Aeftera Litha, meaning after Litha. Leading us to consider, perhaps the Saxon name for the summer festival could have been Litha.
Modern pagans, wiccans and Goddess worshipers from around the world have taken on the name Litha as a title for this festival.
Throughout history every culture has celebrated the summer solstice. It was believed to be a night when the gates between our world and the otherworld were open. It was the night of the fae, a night where predictions were made about the future and a great day of power in the plant and plant spirit kingdom.
The summer solstice was/is believed to be a good day to charge your crystals and magic wands as the power and strength of the sun energizes stones and crystals. At noon the sun will reach its zenith; plants and stones will hold their greatest power and charms. On this day new spirits can enter the world.
For the Celts, June is the month of the oak tree and the pagan Oak King who rules from the winter solstice until the summer solstice. At the summer solstice the young Holly King wins back his supreme rule until Yule.
Colors of the Season
Blue, Green and Turquoise
The Goddesses of the Season are Roman Goddess Juno, Goddesses Domnu and Selene of the British Isles, and in the United States we celebrate the Goddesses Sedna and Hina!
Goddess Juno is the Goddess of women, marriage and childbirth. She is also called Juno Luna. The month of June was named for her, and because Juno was the patroness of marriage, her month remains the most popular time for weddings. Celebrated in Rome
Goddess Domnu is celebrated as the lady of the oceans and the womb of life. Her body flowing continuously over the surface of the earth. Feeding and providing for the world. Celebrated in the British Isles.
Goddess Selene is the Goddess of the moon and her three faces are the maiden (new moon), mother (full moon), and crone (dark moon). Queen of emotions, sleep and dream time. She is celebrated both in the British Isles and in Greece.
Goddess Sedna is the mermaid Goddess. Mistress of the sea. Goddess of abundance she provides sustenance for her people. She is divine feminine energy, giver of food and life. She is still honored by the Inuit people as their Goddess of the Sea. Celebrated in North America.
Goddess Hina is the Goddess of the moon, waterfalls, rivers and earth. She resides behind the misty cave behind Rainbow Falls in Hawaii. Goddess of the tapa (bark cloth) cloth for her Hawaiian people. She sings and chants to change her circumstances. Celebrated on the Hawaiian Islands.
To celebrate Litha draw down the sun by lighting a sacred fire with the sun’s rays. Use a magnifying glass to light some tinder or more easily a match for the tinder. Cut a new piece of wood to make your magic wand. Collect herbs for food and magic. Infuse and charge your crystal outside under the sun’s zenith. Build your first fire of the season and celebrate the warmth of the suns rays with music, BBQ’s, and fresh fruits of the season.
Other family activities: whale watching, fishing, sailing, boating, water-skiing, swimming, sun-bathing, moon-bathing, or swimming rituals.