Hi my lovelies! Today is Litha, or the summer solstice, and I wanted to jump on here with my first official witchy post! Let's chat about what Litha is, and some ways you can celebrate! I've begun being more public about my personal witch practice, and what better way to be open than to go through with you how I personally celebrate the Sabbats!
My practice is not Wiccan, but it is pagan and I do work with deities. I might reveal more on that later, but for now, let's just dive into how we can celebrate this wonderful time of the year!
Like I mentioned before, Litha is the celebration of the summer solstice! In the Northern Hemisphere, this celebration occurs between June 20-23, and in the Southern Hemisphere, December 20-23. This year, in the Northern Hemisphere, it falls on June 20th, which is today!
Litha is the celebration of warmth, the sun, and abundance. Litha is a traditionally pagan holiday, and originates from many ancient cultures who celebrated the summer solstice in some way.
In ancient times, Celts celebrated Litha with bonfires and dancing. Other European traditions included setting large wheels on fire and rolling them down hills into bodies of water. Ancient Romans celebrated this time as being sacred to Juno, and may marriages were held during this time of year. It was also a time to honor Vesta, goddess of the hearth. Overall, ancient traditions focused on the warmth and power of the sun, honoring it through fire and energetic celebrations.
In pagan lore, this is seen as a continuation of the constant battle between dark and light, between the Oak King and the Holly King. Litha marks the defeat of the Oak King by the Holly King, and the beginning of the Holly King's reign from summer through winter.
Associations and Correspondences
Now that you know the history of Litha, let's go through some of the typical associations and correspondences!
Crystals: amber, carnelian, citrine, diamond, jade, lapis lazuli, tiger's eye, emerald, ruby
Herbs and Flowers: chamomile, rose, honeysuckle, lily, lavender, daisy, ferns, yarrow, sage, carnations, basil, calendula, wild thyme, peony, cedar, mint, lavender
Animals: bees, butterflies, cattle, horses, robins, sea creatures, snakes, birds
Colors: blue, gold, red, white, yellow, green, pink, lilac, orange
Foods: strawberries, lemons, honey, summer vegetables, mead, wine, cakes and sweets
Symbols: flowers, sun, fire, flower crowns
Deities: Aphrodite, Astarte, Freyja, Hathor, Ishtar, Venus, Vesta, Athena, Artemis, Dana Kali, Isis, Juno, Apollo, Helios, Ra, Sol, Zeus, Prometheus, Ares
Typical Altar Decor: flowers, herbs, fruit, vegetables, mirrors, sun and earth symbols, seashells
For me personally, Litha is about connecting with the sun, honoring the longest day of the year and celebrating the warmth of the day. I plan on celebrating with friends, baking, doing some tarot readings, watching the sunrise with some intent, and focusing on new beginnings and self-love. Ideally, I'd love to have a fire, but I live in an apartment with a nosey cat, so that's just not a practical option for me right now.
Here's how I have chosen to decorate my altar for today. It features yellow and orange candles, seashells, a mirror tray to catch the light of the sun, and some crystals. It also has a fake flower that will be removed when I’m not immediately present because my cat will try to eat it guaranteed.
I also am trying my hand at making a flower crown! I am making the flower crown from various fake, seasonal flowers I found on sale at Michael's. I’m planning to follow this tutorial, which has a benefit of being about a young girl doing a project as Demeter! I did the same thing when I was younger with Persephone, so I'm here for it!
As far as baking, I don't claim to be an expert, nor do I even claim to ever make anything that's actually edible. I'm more of a cooking person than baking, but I'll be trying my hand at this bread recipe today! I'll keep you updated on my Instagram as to how this turns out. Wish me luck!
Once I get through the baking adventures, I plan to just sit and just be for a while. I'm breaking out my Marigold tarot cards from 13th Press (not sponsored, I just really love these cards), and I'm going to do a few readings and some shadow work.
As the day winds down, I'll wrap it all up with a nice ritual shower (I don't have a bathtub, or I'd do that in a heartbeat). My ritual baths are very, very simple. I can't use any dried herbs or anything like that, which could go down the drain and make my landlord hate me. I typically light candles around the floor, place water safe crystals down as well, and use visualization and music to get my mind right.
How will you be celebrating Litha this year? Let's chat about it!
Thanks for reading!