While the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice may be more popular among witches, the Summer Solstice is my personal favorite. The days are long, the nights are warm, nature is fully alive and abundant, and the energy is high. In the Wheel of the Year, the Summer Solstice is comparable to the full moon in the lunar cycle and the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. We are vibrant and full of energy and life!
Because it is comparable to the full moon, this is also an extremely potent time for spellwork because of the high energy. The remnants of spells done during this time also hold powerful energy and can be collected and saved to use in things such as black salt, protection workings, or scattered in the garden for a plentiful harvest. The veil to the spirit world is still thin since Beltane, so making connections to ancestors and spirit guides will be easier. This also makes it more important to protect yourself and your home.
This year, depending on where you live in the northern hemisphere, the Summer Solstice falls on June 20-22. Also known as Litha or Midsummer, this day is ultimately a celebration of the sun. This is the longest day of the cycle, which means it marks the point where the nights will progressively get longer and days shorter. Another reason for protection is that we are now transitioning into the dark half of the year.
So how can you celebrate Litha, the Summer Solstice? Here are seven ideas to help you welcome the sun.
Host a Bonfire
While this is something you could do at nearly every sabbat, there are some special traditions associated with bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve. Traditionally, people would gather for a bonfire on Midsummer’s Eve and stay up all night to welcome the sun. Check when the exact longest day will be where you live! This is a great way to celebrate the sun on the longest day of the year, but if you’re not one to stay up all night (or you work on the day of the Summer Solstice!), you can watch the sunset on Midsummer’s Eve or the sunrise on the Summer Solstice.
Oak wood and herbs are what was traditionally used to make the fire, so if you can find oak firewood and are feeling especially festive, use it for your Litha bonfire! Herbs that correspond with Litha are mugwort, thyme, rose, honeysuckle, daisy, calendula, and chamomile. You can also sprinkle the ashes from the bonfire on your garden for abundance and good luck.
Nature walks are another activity you can do at nearly every sabbat, but the Summer Solstice is an especially great time to take off your shoes and connect with Mother Earth! I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, you could rarely find me wearing shoes in the summertime because I loved being outside barefoot when the weather was warm.
This also goes by another term, called grounding or earthing, which in recent years has been found to have many health benefits. While we as witches already knew connecting with the earth is good for us, some of the health benefits associated with grounding are stress relief, regulation of sleep cycles, boosting energy and immune function, increasing circulation, decreasing pain and inflammation, and more!
You can also do a grounding and centering meditation by standing with your feet firmly on the earth, closing your eyes, and taking deep breaths, feeling Mother Earth supporting you. I like to imagine myself like a tree, with roots beneath my feet reaching into the earth. I imagine the earth’s energy drawing up into my body as I breathe in. When I breathe out, I release stress or anything I don’t want in my body and surrender it to Mother Earth.
Decorate Your Altar
What represents summer to you? Whatever is your first thought, this is how you should decorate your altar! I think of sunflowers, bees, seashells, and fiery colors like red and orange to represent solar energy.
Other colors to represent Litha include blue, green, and gold, which represent fertility, abundance, and prosperity. Crystals to decorate with include Amber, Carnelian, Citrine, Emerald, Jade, Sunstone, Tigers Eye, and Yellow Calcite.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
I live in a climate where I fully experience the four seasons so when summer comes around I take full advantage of the fresh foods I can find at the Farmer’s Markets, especially since they are only open in the summertime! Enjoy exploring the wide selection of delicious summer fruits and vegetables.
Local farmers have worked hard to grow fresh seasonal produce for you so shopping at your local farmer’s market is a great way to support them, plus everything is fresher and healthier than you can find at the grocery store. Especially if you don’t have your own garden, this is the best way to get the freshest food as most of it was picked that morning!
If you are familiar with wild food, a fun activity would be to forage for wild berries. This is the perfect time of year to find juicy and ripe berries growing in the wild. Never pick or eat anything you are not familiar with! Stick to the farmers market if you are not sure. Bees are working hard at this time so honey is another symbol of Litha.
Make a Fairy Garden
Because Litha is so strongly associated with fae folk, it is also called the Feast of the Faeries. In Celtic tradition, it is believed that Litha is the day that the faeries migrate between spiritual realms and will stop at homes on their way. If you would like, you can set out offerings for them to take on their journey or build them a garden to rest when they stop by.
Faeries are spirits who work closely with nature and tend to the gardens of humans they favor. If you want to earn their favor to ensure a plentiful harvest, build a space for then inside your garden. This could be anything from having plants known to attract the fae to making a miniature garden inside of a flower pot for them. It can be a simple craft or extravagant. If you have children, this would be a fun thing for them to join in and let them be creative. The spirits of children are the closest to the spirits of faeries so you may be surprised how well they understand what to include!
Offerings for the fae include sweet food, like fruit, honey, and cake, drinks like wine and mead, and shiny things like coins and crystals. Set it outside away from too much noise, or if you have a faerie altar, you can place it there. Remember that iron repels them so if you are trying to attract them, make sure you don’t use anything with iron. If you are trying to protect your home from them, leave a piece of iron at your front door. Traditionally a horseshoe was used to protect from faeries.
Solar Charge Your Crystals
You have probably heard of charging your crystals in the light of the full moon, but did you know you can charge them in the sun? Litha is a great day to do this since it is the equivalent of the full moon to the Wheel of the Year. Think of it like the full moon of the sun cycle!
Find a sunny spot and let your crystals sunbathe! You can also sunbathe with them, using the proper precautions, of course. Soak in the sun and relax while the sun does his work! Remember some crystals fade or lose their color in direct sunlight, such as members of the quartz family, so you may not want to solar charge these specific crystals.
Make a God's Eye Craft
This super easy craft is great to do with kids! A God’s Eye is a symbol of protection that originally comes from the Huichol and Tepehuan people of Mexico. As the name suggests, it represents the eye of the god watching over you.
While on your nature walk or just around the yard, gather two sticks of roughly the same size and make them into a cross shape. Starting at the center, twist yarn around the sticks to create a diamond shape, making your way to the four edges of the sticks. If you are doing this yourself without kids, allow yourself to go into a meditative trance, blessing the God’s Eye for protection.
You easily can find tutorials for this craft online, but once you get the hang of it, this craft is very simple. Feel free to use different colors of yarn in any way that appeals to you!
These are just some of the many ways you can honor the sabbat of Litha! How do you plan to celebrate the Summer Solstice? Share in the comments below.Written By: Sarah Esmae Wolfe @sarahesmaewolfe
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