June 24, 2008

Happy Litha!

Posted in Litha, Wiccan Things tagged , , , at 8:15 pm by Babs

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=85917366Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place on the 24th of June and the preceding evening.  European midsummer-related holidays, traditions and celebrations are pre-Christian in origin and have been superficially Christianized.  They converted this day of Jack-in-the Green to the Feast of Saint John festivals, often portraying him in rustic attire, sometimes with horns and cloven feet (like the Greek Demi-God Pan). 

Midsummer is also sometimes referred to by neo-pagans (like me) and others as Litha, stemming from Bede’s De temporum ratione in which he gave the Anglo-Saxon names for the months roughly corresponding to June and July as the early Litha month and the later Litha month respectively. 

Midsummer Night’s Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith.  the alternative fixed calendar date of June 25 (Old Litha) is sometimes employed by Covens.  The name Beltane is sometimes incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca, even though Beltain is the Gaelic word for May.

Traditional Foods: Garden fresh fruits and vegetables are made into a variety of dishes and eaten by pagan’s who choose to celebrate this day.

Herbs and Flowers: Mugwart, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation.

Incense: Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Wisteria.

Woods Burned: Oak

Sacred Gemstone: Emerald

Special Activities: An ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the Lord and Lady or your dedication to following the old traditions.

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