An Introduction to Litha

Also known as Midsummer, Litha is the Summer Solstice and falls on or around June 21.

Litha is the name of a Saxon grain Goddess, comparable to the Greek Goddess Demeter, or Roman Goddess Ceres.

Litha is a celebration of Joy, Abundance, and Play. This Sabbat is about Families, Marriages, Marriage Partners, and Children.
Picnicking, Swimming or water play are customary, as are Bonfires or Fireworks.

Litha is the best time for Marriages,, Future Visions and asking the Faeries for Favors!

This is the longest day of the year, and it’s “Christianized” version is St. John’s Day.

Similar to hopping the Baelfire in Beltaine, people leap a fire on Litha as well. However, instead of signifying Luck and Protection it is a special event for Lovers and close Friends.

Lovers would toss flowers to each other through the flames, or clasp hands and leap through them together before running off into the fields or woods to sleep together.

This event is in honor of the Great Earth Mother, who nourishes us with her ever-flowing womb; but it is also in honor of the Sun Father!

The symbolism being the obvious act of reproduction showing Nature we honor her for what she does and gives us. It was thought that the more the more human-seed spilled on the land would translate to a more fertile ground and crop!


Litha is a classic time for all Magick. It celebrates Nature’s sacrifice and renewal, which also makes it the perfect time for us to make true and last changes in our own lives!

During Litha we also honor and bless our pets, especially those animals who help with harvests and field work.

At Litha, the Longest Day & Shortest Night of the Year, the Goddess is full and pregnant with child, the God is at the height of his power and virility.

Carrying over what was started at Beltaine, the Earth is full of Life and Fertility, it is a time of Joy, Expansiveness and Celebrating Achievements!

Remember, this day also heralds the return of the Dark Time. Light has reached its peak and now the power of the Sun begins to Wane again. From here on out the Days grown Shorter and the Nights become Longer again.


The God

The Oak King, rich in abundance and power, surrenders his Reign to his twin brother, the Holly King. This signifies the beginning of the Dark Time again, but before we acknowledge that we celebrate the Great Turning Point on the Wheel of the Year!

Any of the Sun Gods can be celebrated at this time, as well as any of the Agricultural Patrons.

The Goddess

Beltaine is about the celebrating the youthful nature of the Goddess, Litha is about the Mother.

Many Goddesses represent this aspect of the Goddess, such as Hera and Hathor. We also worship Earth Goddesses such as Demeter or Ceres.


Other Bits & Pieces

The Fire

Bonfires symbolize the fullness of the Sun, a complete and true reflection of the Power and Strength of it’s Light and Power. The Chosen wood for this fire would be Oak, and aromatic herbs would be scattered into the flames as well.

These herbs would also be used to bless the animals in attendance, and then torches from the Fire would be carried Clockwise around the Home, Field and Property – this would ensure a good blessing and harvest for the land!

The Oak

Oak symbolizes Strength, Courage and Endurance.

This wood has always been significant to the Oak King and Litha, giving us Strength to carry us through the end of the Light Time and have what we need to get through the Dark Time.

Oak is the noblest of trees, and it grows between the Worlds of Heaven and Earth.

The Celtic name for Oak is “Duir” which means “doorway”, symbolizing the crossing of this threshold and entering the door to the second part of the year.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe is highly regarded by the Druids, and it is especially potent when growing on the Oak.

Although it is a more common symbol of Winter Solstice, or Yule, it is gathered for that holiday during Litha, when it is at the height of it’s power.

Many other herbs are gathered for Ritual use during this Sabbat as well, ensuring they are harvested at the height of their potency. For this reason, giving a gift of herb bundles at Litha is a Sacred Gift.

The Honey Moon

The Midsummer Moon is called the Honey Moon, when the Mead (made from Honey) becomes available.

Drinking this Mead as part of a Handfasting or Wedding is used to bless the Union with Strength and Fruitfulness, as Mead is a drink regarded as having “Divine-Solar Powers” to Heal and Restore Life to the drinker.

Our Bees are at their busiest making Honey during this time as well, as everything is in bloom and Honey-Flow is at its peak!


~John William

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