It’s a Friday so that means PBP and we are on the letter L.
Litha is the Wiccan holiday celebrated at Midsummer. I’m taking a course on the core theology behind Wicca this year so this is something I’ve thought about more this year. Generally, Litha is celebrated on the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year, which usually falls right around June 21st. This year the solstice falls on the 21st. This is the day when the sun is at its peak: from this point onwards the days will get shorter and the sun’s strength will wane.
In the Wiccan mythos, this is the point when the God is at his full strength. The Goddess, having got pregnant at Beltane, rules with him at full fertility. From this point onwards however they both will begin to mature and age. Many Wiccan ceremonies focus on the God and honoring the sun. Additionally many couples, pagan and otherwise, take advantage of the feeling this time of year and weddings are popular. Also popular at this time of year are bonfires, jumping the fire, and decorating trees – especially oak trees. For those who follow Celtic traditions, honoring Bel the sun-god would be a proper celebration. In the more druidic path, this is the time when the Holly King conquers the Oak King. All of these stories talk about the sun being at this height and then in decline and work with both a celebration of the sun, as well as a realization that from this point onwards we have to make preparations for winter.
There is another traditional association with Midsummer made popular by Shakespeare: faeries. This year I will be attending a local faerie festival for Midsummer. It is believed that Midsummer’s night is a very important day for the fair folk. While I’m not sure exactly what to expect I can say that the reason Midsummer is so important in the faery faith is that the fey like liminal times and spaces. Midsummer, a point when we transition from a time of growth to a time of maturation and harvest, is a liminal space. This is an in-between time. Midsummer’s night is a popular time for traditional divinations methods especially scrying in fire or bonfire ashes. Midsummer is a particularly good day to do love magic or money magick as well. Also, Midsummer’s day is another good day for leaving out anything you need to charge with the sun’s energy. Of course, use common sense since some oils and other items may degenerate if exposed to sunlight. Finally, possibly because of this day’s association with fairies, many witches take this as a traditional time to harvest herbs. Unfortunately, my herb garden is not near ready for harvest yet so I doubt I’ll be harvesting much of anything this year.
In addition to getting ready for Lita celebrations, this year the Super Moon is June 23rd. This is the largest moonrise of the year, the point at which we are closest to the moon. In addition to leaving some offerings for the fey per the faerie ritual, I will also be planning a full moon rite and leaving my cards and some other items to be charged by the moon at her height of power. What are your plans for Midsummer? Are you celebrating the Super Moon?