June 20-21 Summer Solstice
Also known as: Alban Heruin (Druidic)
Although the name Litha is not well attested, it may come from Saxon tradition -- the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks.
The Christian religion converted this day of Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. John the Baptist, often portraying him in rustic attire, sometimes with horns and cloven feet (like the Greek Demi-God Pan)
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 Beltane is the Gaelic word for May.
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:
Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation.
Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Wisteria.
An Ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the Lord and Lady or your dedication to following the old traditions.
In addition to your usual usual altar tools, you will need:
A Golden Yellow Alter Cloth
Small Cloth Pouch of Summertime Herbs
1cup Fresh Spring Water
Summer Blend Incense (Jasmine, Rose, Lotus, Wysteria, or combination).
Sweep area moving in deosil (clockwise) manor. Set up Quarter Candles and any accessories symbolizing the Elements of the Quarters. Decorate the alter with seasonal flowers, especially Sunflowers. Prepare your Pouch of Summertime Herbs, and as you make it, pour your troubles, pains, sorrows, illness, and regrets into it. Place the Cauldron in the center of your alter, the Red (god)candle to the right of it , the Green (goddess) candle to the left of it. Place the cup of Fresh Spring Water in front of the Goddess Candle. Take a shower or bath for purification. Sit quietly and meditate for a while, then ground and center. When ready, play some peaceful music for the ritual.
Cast the circle.......Pick up your Wand, and with arms upraised, face South and say:
"I celebrate the Mid-of-Summer, held in honor of the Blazing Sun God. All of Nature vibrates with the fertileness of the Goddess and of the God.
The Earth basks in the light and life of the Sun.
The ever turning Wheel of the Year has made the light ever stronger And the light has kept growing longer, until today...
The middle of the time of light, Litha, MidSummer's Day, Summer Solstice.
From here, the light begins to fade, again, until once more the Wheel turns to the time of darkness, Yule, Winter Solstice.
Yet, for today, the Sun is high, the light is bright, the Earth is warm. As the Sun God blazes above, may the fires of my rite flame below."
Face the alter, put down your wand, and light the Green Goddess Candle to the left of your cauldron, saying: "Oh, Mother of Nature, She that brings the meadow to bloom, Green Forest Mother, from lakes and streams your children spring forth.
Blessed Lady of the stars and the Moon, Fruitful Womb of which I honor, and ask of Thee, Thy Blessings."
Light the Red Sun God Candle to the right of your cauldron, saying: "Oh, Father of all things, He that plants the seed and nurtures Life.
God of Fertility and Fruitfulness, from hill and forest your children emerge.
Blessed Lord of the blazing Sun, potent Consort of which I honor, and of Thee, Thy Blessings."
Take the Herb Pouch and hold above your head, saying: "By thy power, oh sacred herbs, may the Lord of the Sun Burn away the hurtful, the troublesome, and the painful, Leaving me purified through His warmth and Light."
Hold the pouch over your main Alter Candle to take flame. While it is burning, drop it in the cauldron, saying: "Great Goddess and Great God, from Thee all powers flow forth.
The Two that are One, Great Spirit of All-That-Is,
By Thy powers, and the powers of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth,
By Thy powers, and the powers of the Sun, Moon, and Stars,
I banish these negatives from my life."
Visualize the negatives burning away to nothingness. When all that is left is ashes, douse the ashes with the cup of Fresh Spring Water, feel as if the water were being poured over you and your negatives washed away. Air dry by dancing and running your hands up and down your arms, body, and legs. Don't forget your head... lay it back and shake running your fingers through your hair. When done, face alter, wave hand over the cauldron and say: "As the Phoenix rises from the ashes, so let this water be pure and new.
Mother Goddess, bless this water so that it may bless and renew me.
Father God, may your rays of the MidSummer Sun bless and nourish me.
Two that are One, may your blessings sustain me as I journey, anew."
Pass your cupped hands over the cauldron, pausing briefly each time to ' pour ' in wishes for health, prosperity, and good fortune to be part of your life. Dip the forefinger of your right hand into the cauldron water, and trace a pentagram on your forehead, saying: Let my mind be open to the truth."
Anoint your lips saying: "Let my lips always speak the truth."
Anoint your heart area, saying: "Let my heart seek the ways of the Goddess, now and always."
Anoint the centers of your palms, saying: "Let my hands be gifted to work in magic ways."
Anoint the soles of your feet, saying: "Let my feet ever walk upon the sacred paths!"
Now is the time for meditation and any spellworkings. MidSummer spellworkings include: prosperity, fertility, and plentiful harvests. Finish by having the Cakes and Ale Ceremony and releasing the circle. Clean up. The Ritual is done.