There are eight Sabbats through the year, celebrating the turning of the wheel of the year and the change of the seasons. The eight Sabbats consists of four solar holidays and four cross-quarter days, marking the shift from one season to the next. The four solar holidays of the year are Ostara – Spring Equinox, Mabon – Autumnal Equinox, Yule – Winter Solstice, and Litha – Summer Solstice. The four pagan cross-quarter holidays are Samhain, which is also considered the witches new year, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.
Litha – Midsummer or Summer Solstice, June 21st/22nd
Season + Element: Summer, and the element of fire.
Incense: Lavender, citrus, mug-worth, frankincense, sandalwood, rose, sage.
Food: Mead,honey, strawberries, cheese, cold cut meat, potato salad, fruit and veggies, fresh herbs.
Stones: Emerald, jade, diamond, tiger’s eye.
Decorations: Sun flowers, lavender, roses, fruit, fairies, sea shells.
Colors: Orange, gold, yellow, green and blue.
Deities: the elves and fea, Isis, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ra, Sol, Aine, Juno.
Tarot: The suit of wands
Chakra: Solar Plexus – Manipura
Corresponding Moon: Full Moon – symbolizing embodiment, blossoming and illumination.
Litha, or the summer solstice, is the longest day of the year. Opposing the winter solstice, Yule, this midsummer Sabbat of light represents the Sun-God at full power.
Thus, at the time of the summer solstice, the Sun-God has reached his peak. It is the moment of his greatest strength, and light and life are abundant. Because Litha revolves around the strength of the fiery Sun-God at this time, fire plays an especially important role in this festival. Midsummer is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith.
However, although being a day of celebration, filled with light, laughter and fire, it is also a day to pause, and acknowledge and honor the cycles of the wheel of the year.
From this point onward we are moving towards the darker, more i introspective, part of the year once more, every night growing longer, until we once again reach the peak of the darkness at the winter solstice.
There are an abundance of rituals connected to the Sabbats, and what’s listed below are simply suggestions. Always follow your heart and do what feels right for you ♡
As always, a Sabbat is an ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the God and Goddess or to the deities of your traditions. But celebrating the Sun God, Litha is the perfect time to really honor the masculine traits and aspects, and the best rituals to perform at this time are those dealing with masculine issues, opportunities and energies, or with fire and solar influence.
There are as many different ways to celebrate as there are ours in the day, but be sure to enjoy the longer, more sun filled days, which makes it perfect to spend time outdoors, connecting with nature, and to truly celebrate the earth, the seasons, and honor this time of the year.
To tap into the peak of the magical powers of the solstice, a ritual should be performed at 12.00 pm, when the sun is in zenith, high in the sky.
Get together with your favorite tribe and build a fire. Bring the foods of the season, and have an outdoor picnic feast. Create flower crowns, then wear them as you dance and sing around the fire at sundown.
Light a candle
To celebrate the element of fire and honor the Sun God, light a candle and let it burn for an entire day, especially if it is cloudy or raining outside.
Do Yoga and Breathing
Do traditional sun salutations – as many as you can, or have time for – and a couple of rounds of breath of fire, to honor the Sun God as well as the fire within, before you start your beautiful solstice day.
Make a protective amulet
Pick your favorite among the chrystals and gemstones of the season – yellow citrin, tiger eye, moonstone, agate, jade, perl, amber… – and create a personal protective amulet. Starting the week before the Sabbat, pick your stone and carry it with you for the week. On the day of the solstice, make the stone a part of your ritual and be sure to charge it under the powerful solstice sun as well as with a sacred fire ceremony. Place the stone on the ground, covered by a bit of earth, and build your sacred fire on top. The stone will be charged and purified by the fire and the ceremony. Let it cook over night and come to pick it up the morning after.
Creating bundles of rue, rowan and basil, tied together with a ribbon, or carried in a white or gold cloth, is also a good protective trio that can be with you all year round.
The summer solstice is the time of fresh honey, and thus the Full Moon at midsummer is for many known as the Honey Moon. How sweet is that! Enjoy this divine solar nectar in a cup of tea or lemonade, or bake a honey bread for your picnic. Drink, eat and toast this magical and life-restoring nectar in celebration of the life-giving abundance of the Sun.
Formalize or renew your love relationship
Couples who have been together a year and a day since the previous Beltane can make their marriage final at the summer solstice. If you have already tied the knot, Litha is also an excellent time to re-new your wedding vows ♡.
Renew your altar
The sun is now high in the sky, but the solstice is also a reminder that the wheel is turning and we are again journeying towards the longer, darker nights. As the season change, it is time to renew and redo our seasonal altar. Burn seasonal incense, and add candles, stones and seasonal flowers to your sacred space to honor the Sabbat. Use your imagination and follow your gut. What feels right for you and your altar around this time?
Taking time to journal and contemplate
As always, the Sabbats are times of reflection. Life is busy, and these days are all opportunities for us to stop, breathe and check in with ourselves. Just like the earth goes through seasons, and the moon through her cycles, we do too. So on these special days of the year; take time to honor where the earth – our beloved pachamama – is in her cycle, and take time to honor where you are too.
- What areas of your life and/or of parts of yourself that has been in the shadow is being illuminated at this point?
- What part of your self and/or your life do you need to shine light on?
- What new parts of yourself has been birthed this spring? It is time to give yourself the permission to blossom!