Spring is coming to a close, and it is time for the hot summer weather to appear officially. That means you can start enjoying summer barbeques, outdoor swimming, and fun carnival days, and kids are out of school as they go to summer camp.
In addition, many families are taking the time to go on summer vacations. And you will want to cool down with cold drinks, ice cream, and dishes.
The start of the summer season marks a celebration, and that is known as Litha. Litha is a pagan holiday celebrating the summer solstice, typically on June 20th or 21st in the Northern Hemisphere, but it falls on June 21st this year. Many not following pagan traditions may have their own way of celebrating Litha. There are many Litha customs, and whoever honors the Sabbat will celebrate it in their own way. However, there are many standard customs; let’s go over those right now.
Dancing Around Bonfires
Lighting a bonfire is a common tradition during Litha. The fire is believed to represent the sun and its power. The sun is the closest to the Earth during the summer, and it is always right over the Tropic of Cancer, which is June 21st when Cancer season starts. The sun over the Tropic of Cancer makes the summer solstice official, and it is the time when the nights are short and the days are longer.
Those who observe Litha will dance around the bonfire. Dancing around the bonfire is a traditional way to celebrate Litha. It is believed to bring good luck and fertility. So even if pregnancy is not something you are looking for, you can dance around the bonfire because the belief is that it can bring wealth too. So if you want to bring prosperity to you, you will want to dance around the bonfire lit during Litha.
In addition to dancing around the bonfire, those honoring the Sabbat will be feasting. Sharing a meal with family and friends is a tradition in Litha. Foods in season, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are often served. Other foods will include honey, and the meals will contain plenty of herbs. And, of course, you have to take advantage of the barbecue. If you are not a vegan, you can throw your favorite meat on there, or if you are, enjoy it with some jackfruit. Many desserts made with herbs, such as cookies and cakes, are often served.
Decorating The Altar With Flowers
Flowers symbolize the season and are often used to decorate outdoor altars and other sacred spaces. Therefore, when setting up your altar for Litha, you will want to set it outside. Still, if it is raining or you don’t have enough space outdoors, you can set it up by the window so there is some sunlight (even if it is raining, keep it by the window as it will eventually stop raining) hitting it.
You will decorate your altar with plenty of flowers, as there is no right or wrong way to do that. You can add as many flowers to your altar as you like or as few as you would like. And you will want to add some orange candles, as they symbolize the sun. Orange is the color of the sacral chakra, which represents fertility, creativity, and empowerment, which is relevant to Litha.
You will want to also add some crystals to the altar, such as ruby, citrine, garnet, carnelian, Tiger’s Eye, and Sunstone, representing the summer solstice.
Wearing Flower Crowns
It is traditional to make flower crowns during Litha, which symbolizes the season’s abundance and fertility. Therefore, you can wear them as you dance around the bonfire to help bring prosperity and good luck. And while you are having the summer feast, you can wear them too. Anyone can wear them; these flower crowns can also lighten your mood as they contain light and prosperous energy. This is a time of creativity, so you can be as creative as you like when you make them.
Sun rituals are a standard part of the Litha celebrations in many pagan traditions, like the bonfire. Other rituals include sun salutations. Sun salutations are a yoga practice involving a series of sequences of poses. During Litha, some pagans perform sun salutations to honor the sun’s power and energy. There are also meditations.
Meditation is a common practice in many pagan traditions, and some practitioners may perform special meditations during Litha to connect with the energy of the sun and the season. Finally, there are offering rituals. Some pagans perform offering ceremonies during Litha to thank the sun for its energy and blessings. Offerings may include flowers, herbs, or other items associated with the season.
Litha is a potent time for divination, and some practitioners may use sun rituals to perform divination to gain insight into the future. Reading tarot is a common practice for sabbats, and that includes Litha.
Here is a five-card Litha tarot spread from Ethony, which focuses on where you are currently, your power, strength, and abundance. The spread is a cross, with three cards across, one card above the middle, and one below it. Cards one, two, and three are in a vertical position. Card one is in the middle, card two is above it, and card three is below it. Then card four is on the right of card one, and five is on the left.
Card one focuses on the self, as it points to the energies surrounding you and where you currently are. The second card indicates your power, as it shows what is powerful at the moment and how you can make the most of it. Then, card three represents your strength, showing your inner strength and how to utilize it so you can focus on your energies.
Card four indicates abundance, showing what is abundant for you right now. Finally, card five is your blessing. What is blessing you right now, and how can you acknowledge your gifts in life currently?
Let’s do a collective Litha reading now. So this is what I have.
Card one: Strength
Card two: Four of Swords
Card three: Ten of Cups
Card four: Chariot
Card five: High Priestess
Card One: Strength
Right now, Strength indicates that you are in a position where you have to rely on your inner strength. Perhaps you had had a challenging spring or time before that, which you had to dig into your inner reserves to handle. You may be tired, but the message from this card is that you are stronger than you think.
This card can also indicate physical strength. You may be deliberately strengthening your muscles and focusing on fitness for the summer. However, you may also have to be strong for those around you.
Card Two: Four of Swords
Right now, the most powerful thing for you is what the Four of Swords represents. It is funny how Strength means yourself, but the power within that is represented by the Four of Swords, which is the card representing rest and recovery. Therefore, the only way to continue to be strong is to ensure you get plenty of rest to recharge yourself and continue to function at your best.
You must never underestimate the power of rest and recovery; if you do not take advantage of it, you will burn out, which is the last thing you want to happen.
Card Three: Ten of Cups
This card shows what is deep in your inner strength, and the Ten of Cups shows up, which is a strong indicator that you need the support of your friends and family, whether they are blood-related, to be at your very best. Without the support of your friends and family, you will struggle to find the strength within.
The Ten of Cups is the happiness card, which means you have to do what makes you the happiest to be strong. If you are unhappy, you will lose your strength.
Card Four: Chariot
This card indicates what is abundant for you, and the Chariot comes up. That shows you have drive. No matter how down you get, you will find it within to keep going because you have drive. When there is a will, there is a way. That is always the message from the Chariot.
When you look at card three, the Ten of Cups, you also have that to rely on as that fuels your drive. You would never want to let your family and friends down anyway.
Card Five: High Priestess
Finally, the last card is the High Priestess, which indicates your blessing and is the best gift you want to utilize. You have the advantage of intuition and want to use that best, let alone never dismiss it. Intuition is a gift and use it well. Go with what you feel. The High Priestess is also psychic; everyone has some ability, and others have more, but everyone is somewhat blessed with it. Ensure that you pay attention to it and allow it to help you with your decisions, as long as you can find a way to keep emotions apart.
The message is you are stronger than you think, but take advantage of those times to rest. Also, rely on your friends and family to help you get through challenging times, and you will do it because you have drive and they motivate you. Finally, always rely on the gift of intuition when making decisions and making the best of your life.
Litha marks the start of the summer solstice, and this is a time to celebrate the sunshine and the hot weather and a time of abundance. Dance around the bonfires, create an outdoor altar with plenty of flowers, and enjoy the Litha feast of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, and barbecue meals. Take advantage of the outdoors, as the weather will often be in your favor. Have a wonderful summer!