June 21, 2010

Sweet Summer & Litha

Posted in Litha, Wiccan Things tagged , , , at 10:00 pm by Babs

In June– usually around June 21 or 22 – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.”  In addition to the polarity between land and sky, Litha is a time to find a balance between fire and water.  This may be due to water countering the effects of the sun’s heat either in cooling the skin or drenching the fields during drought.

In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of June, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King.

Some contention follows this holiday as it is not known if the ancients celebrated this sabbath.  For me, Litha is a great time to celebrate outdoors. Go for a swim or just turn on the sprinkler to run through, and then have a bonfire or barbeque at the end of the day. Stay up late to say goodnight to the sun, and celebrate nightfall with sparklers, storytelling, and music. This is an ideal Sabbat to do some love magic or celebrate a handfasting since June is the month of marriages and family.

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