Bright Blessings, Witches! Now that we’ve covered the History of the Litha Sabbat, let’s go over some ways that you can celebrate it in 2022. Let us welcome the summer solstice with vim and vigor through our practice and festivities we can share with friends and family. Without further ado, let’s begin!
12 WAYS TO CELEBRATE LITHA IN 2022
While the Litha Sabbat has oft been disputed amongst modern Wiccan and Pagan groups, it is still celebrated every year in June. The debate’s source is whether or not the summer solstice event was actually celebrated by ancient peoples. Suggestions have been made by Gerald Gardner, the ‘Father of Wicca’, that solstices and equinoxes came from the Middle East and added as festivals later on. Regardless of its origin, there are countless celebrants around the world. The following is a list of how you can incorporate Litha festivities into your practice.
- BUILD A LITHA ALTAR
If I could do only one thing to celebrate a Sabbat, it would be building an altar. It is a powerful ritual that keeps the mindset of the season front and center. The size of your altar doesn’t matter – it can be as big or as small as you’re called to construct it. And unless you subscribe to a particulat path that has rules to follow, there’s really no right or wrong way to do it.
First and foremost, you will need to physically clean and spiritually cleanse your altar space. Starting with a clean slate to welcome in the turn of the Wheel of the Year is a great habit to get into. I also recommend practicing some visualization to set a clear vision of what you want your altar to invite in for this cycle.
Here are some Litha correspondences you can include when building your own altar:
-Blue, gold, green, pink or yellow altar cloth
-Amber, calcite, citrine, emerald, jade, moonstone, sunstone, tiger’s eye
-Candles, Fae statues, flowers, garland, shells, symbols of the Sun
-Flowers: Carnations, chamomile, hydrangeas, lavender, lilies, peonies, roses, sunflowers, yarrow
-Herbs: Basil, mint, mugwort, paprika, sage
-Food: Apricots, bread, cake, honey, potato salad, punch, strawberries
-Animals: Bears, bees, birds, butterflies, chimpunks, eagles, seahorses, squirrels
-Deities: Aphrodite, Bast, Brigid, Flora, Freya, Gaia, Hathor, Venus, Apollo, Aten, Green Man, Horus, Lugh
Remember that as it’s your altar, arrange it how you are called to. Make it personal to your taste and your path. It doesn’t have to be large or elaborate. You can even construct a jar altar where you place small representatives of Litha in a container and place it central in your home. Follow your intuition and get creative!
- PERFORM A LITHA MEDITATION
A Litha meditation is another way you can celebrate the Sabbat. Meditations for every holiday is a great way to center and align intentions for the coming cycle. These meditations don’t have to be extraneous in length or complicated. In fact, the simpler the better.
A wonderful thing to focus on is what you want your efforts to yield at Lughnasadh, the next Sabbat that marks the beginning of the harvest season. Think about all of the lessons you learned during Beltane and how to apply it towards your harvest goals, intentions, and anything else you wish to experience.
- ADD A LITTLE COLOR
In my opinion, color magick is not talked about enough. If you’re not using it daily, now is the perfect time to start. Let’s use Litha as an example.
Q: What is the desire outcome here?
A: To celebrate and encompass the energy of the summer solstice
How can you use color magick to achieve this? Simply pick out a corresponding color and wear it.
When I use color magick in this way I really like to lean in and feel the color(s) projecting both in and out. I visualize and interpret how I believe red would feel so when I don the shirt or shoes or paint my nails in Scarlet Starlet, it’s also oozing from my aura.
What’s really neat about this is it can be applied to any occasion. Pretty cool, huh?
As discussed in the History of the Litha Sabbat, bonfires were at the center of festivities. And as Litha corresponds directly with the element of fire represented by the summer solstice and its association with the Sun, it makes sense that bonfires are the go-to activity to host or attend. Just be sure everyone follows basic fire safety rules so no one gets harmed and the party can go all night.
Another way to incorporate this element for younger folk is to get sparklers and light them after dark. Dance around the fire, let the sparklers elicit ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, and then perform a Midsummer Fire Ritual.
Rituals vary from practitioner to practitioner, but here are some ways you could perform your own, with or without others:
-Grab a bay leaf for each participant and instruct everyone to write down the things they wish to let go of, be it guilt, shame, a person, etc. Offer the bay leaves to the fire and watch in silence as they burn up. Take a moment to feel their release over you and then dance the night away!
-Another option to rid yourself of self-doubt and negativity is to make or use a pouch and fill it with these emotions written on paper and burned as a whole.
-Take any old wood charms or amulets you may have that are no longer of service to you. You may also wish to take ones that have been imbued with negativity or bad memories. Burn each, with reverance, and focus on positive energy you wish to instill in their place.
-It’s customary in certain circles to hang onto Yule wreaths from the past season. Now is the perfect time to burn these.
-In the same vein as burning bay leafs to rid one of their vices and such, conversely petitions may be charged and empowered through fire. Write the things you’re grateful for from past seasons and burn with gratitude. You may also write petitions or wishes for the coming season and burn for manifestation.
- BBQs AND COOKOUTS
Think of every cookout you’ve ever been to and there are traces of Litha all over it. In fact, you’ve probably been celebrating Midsummer for years and didn’t even know it!
Summer pallettes scream of Litha with bright yellows, sun golds, citrusy oranges, and true reds – almost always trending from June to August without fail. Snacking on fresh fruit of the same colors along with inspired salads make us feel alive inside, as summer tends to do. Outdoor pool and water games promote community and help us to balance fire and water elements.
Host your own or plan a communal BBQ and the only thing you’ll have left to do is celebrate!
One of my favorite aspects of the solstice is how Mother Nature swells and breathes with life. She invites us to feel her energy, her gift to us, by getting outside. A hike, a walk, scavenger hunt, a clean-up initiative, boat ride, a visit to the park – all of these are great ways to honor her and the Sabbat.
Be mindful of the things you see and the smells you inhale. Invite yourself and others to be in the moment – really give yourselves permission to marinate in nature. This is the time of year to welcome summer with open arms and an open heart.
- CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!
I personally subscribe to the habit of cleaning at every turn of The Wheel of the Year. I have my own rites and rituals and I relish in every chance I’m given to celebrate. I pair the physical cleaning of my home with cleansing rituals to keep both clutter and energy in check.
Purge your space of things you no longer use or need. Have a garage sale or donate items to folks who could really use them. Check women and children’s shelters to see if you may have anything of use you could offer. You could even start a swap meet tradition between friends and neighbors.
Having said all of this, clean your damn house. Cleanse your space. It’s time. You will feel all the better for it.
- MOVE IT, SHAKE IT
There’s just something so mystical about Midsummer, it’s hard not to want to move about. So why not plan or host a drum circle? It’s the perfect example of raising energy between people and quite magickal all in itself. The more it is built, the more others feed off of it while also contributing their own energy to it.
If a drum circle is a little too hippy dippy for your taste, a regular dance party works just as well. I’m looking forward to one this year, especially after social distancing and not being able to celebrate Litha in any traditional manner.
- GROW SPIRITUALLY
Take a page out of a flower’s book and grow! Read a book on your path or tradition, take a class, develop your skills as a practitioner, subscribe to your own magickal routine – whatever you find yourself drawn to. Celebrate the Sabbat through celebrating yourself.
- HERE COMES THE SUN
Who doesn’t love simple and easy? This activity is just that! All you have to do is get up and watch the sunrise. Get a special coffee, wear your favorite shirt or something that makes you feel powerful, and just take it in. Be still, be silent, be besties with the sun.
- LOVE IS IN THE AIR
There’s a reason they call June Wedding Season! First off, whomever was in charge of naming months chose the Roman Goddess Juno as June’s namesake. Okay, but why? Turns out Juno’s job was protecting women at every crossroad in life, but especially in marriage and childbirth. So anyone who got married in June was said to have a favorable and blessed marriage.
Juno was also considered the equivalent of Hera, the Greek goddess of love and marriage, further perpetuating the theme. But there’s more. For Wiccans (a subset of Paganism) the union between the Goddess and the God takes place during this time. Even flowers associated with l’amour grow their best.
Having said this, it’s no wonder that Litha is a very popular time to practice love spells, handfasting ceremonies, and augury methods to foretell future partners. For example, women used to drop silver down wells so that the resident faeries would help them see their future mate’s reflection. They would also put flowers under their pillow so that the faeries would aid in prophetic dreams about their destined husband.
- HUG A TREE OR THREE
According to British fairy folklore, there are three major magickal tree types: Oak, Ash, and Hawthorn. Also known as the Faerie Triad, it’s common practice to use these three tree genera to make solar crosses.
Another activity you could do in support of Litha is to just go visit these trees. If you don’t have access to Oak, Ash, or Hawthorn, you’ve also got the option of Laurel, Linden, Holly, and Elder trees, too.
Hopefully you’ve learned a new way or two to celebrate Litha this year. And as things are beginning to open back up again, now is the perfect time to throw that BBQ, dance party, nature walk, house cleaning extravaganza or anything else you come up with!
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