A Prayer to the Sun
The sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sol Invictus, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness.
Midsummer is a joyous, magickal celebration. The two major symbols of the Sabbat are the sword, symbol of the God, and the cauldron, symbol of the Goddess. It’s an excellent time for hand-fasting or weddings, communicating with Nature spirits and divination. It's believed that the boundaries between the worlds are thin; the portals between them are open, especially at twilight.
This is the Feast of Faeries; Pagans can welcome them for they bless humans with joy and insight. Pagans believed that the festival bonfires had great power and that prosperity and protection could be received by jumping over them. Cold embers from fires were charms against injury and bad weather during harvests. They were placed around fields and orchards of crops to protect them and ensure abundance.
Midsummer Celebration Altar
White, red, yellow, blue and green cloths and candles adorn the altar. Summer flowers: asters, baby’s breath, carnations, cockscombs, daisies, geraniums, gladiolus, heather, honeysuckle, hydrangeas, larkspurs, morning glories, poppies, roses and water lilies are in silver, gold, copper and crystal containers, reflecting the joy of the Sabbat.
The flowers can be silk, dried, potted or cut. If cut flowers are used, they can be dried or their petals can be made into pot-pourri.
Crystals of summer include agate, amber, aventurine, cat’s-eye, crystal quartz, jade, moonstone, pearl, peridot, ruby, sardonyx, and turquoise. which can be interspersed with seashells surround the flowers. Rose, lemon, frankincense, lavender and wisteria incense is burned.
Midsummer Activities in the Pagan Celebration
Fill a cloth bag with herbs and flower petals. Think about what is no longer wanted, such as problems, while tying a red string around the bag. Place it on the altar; it's believed that the candles’ flames will purify and release these. Be thankful for abundance. When this is done, perform acts of magick, if desired.
Make Midsummer wreaths to mark the change of seasons. Use a grape vine or willow wreaths as the foundation. Attach silk flowers to it with thin wire or florist’s putty. Dried flowers can be pasted on with tacky glue. Crystals are attached by wrapping them in wire, then wrapping the wire around the wreath. Children can use cardboard or poster-board wreaths and draw or paste pictures on them.
Traditional foods are summer fruits, fresh vegetables, honey and mead, an alcoholic beverage made of honey, yeast, water and spices. Cold fruit and vegetable dishes are better if made a day or two before the feast and refrigerated.
The feast has been savored. It’s twilight. Walk or lounge in nature and talk about abundance to celebrate on Lughnasadh, the first harvest festival in August. Reflect on the day’s festivities. Listen to the crickets chirp and, perhaps, hear a whippoorwill or a bobwhite. Enjoy the day, the longest time of light.
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic, Scott Cunningham, (Llewellyn Publications, 1992)
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Scott Cunningham, (Llewellyn Publications, 1992)
The Celtic Druids’ Year, John King, (Blandford, 1995)
Litha, or Midsummer, is one of the four solar festivals observed by many Practitioner and Practitioner traditions. Learn about ancient solar celebrations, and ways you can enjoy Midsummer with rituals, feasts, and crafts.
The Native American Sun Dance
In many Native American tribes, the Sun Dance was a holy and ceremonial way to honor the summer solstice and the Great Spirit.
Litha, the summer solstice, is a time of magic and mystery! Find out why this midsummer sabbat is so important in so many different cultures.
Vesta was a Roman goddess sacred to women, and each year in June, she was honored with a celebration called the Vestalia. Learn why Vesta was important, and how her festival was celebrated.
While today's Practitioners might see midsummer as a day to work on their tans and have a big bonfire, for our ancestors, it was a day of great spiritual significance. Many ancient cultures honored the sun as a deity.
Litha, or Midsummer, is a celebration of the summer solstice.
Summer solstice celebrations have been held throughout history. While some cultures dedicated this time of year to the Divine, others saw it as a chance to welcome the balance between the light of the sun and the darkness which would eventually arrive. Celebrate Litha, or Midsummer, with fire and water and find the balance in your own life.
Litha is the time of the summer solstice, and is a celebration of the sun. Use solar symbols and other seasonal goodies to decorate your altar for Midsummer!
Hold a Midsummer Night's Fire Ritual
Although this particular Midsummer ritual isn't ancient, it is inspired by the traditions and legends of the Celts of the British Isles. Take advantage of the long hours of daylight to celebrate Litha, or Alban Heruin, and honor the solstice outdoors under the skies.
With the summer solstice being a time to honor the fertility of the God, and coming on the heels of Father's Day honor the fathers, stepfathers, brothers, grandpas, sons, and all the other men in your life at Litha with this simple ceremony.
Juno and Vesta - Roman Goddesses for the Summer Solstice
The ancient Romans honored their goddesses Juno and Vesta. Juno was the goddess of marriage and handfastings, and had the month of June named in her honor. Vesta was the keeper of the hearth, and of sacred virginity. Both can be celebrated in June at the summer solstice.
Aerra Litha - The Saxon Pagans and Midsummer
The Germanic tribes celebrated Midsummer as well, and thanks to an eighth-century author, we know a bit about what they did and why.
Thanks to Travelling within the World for this beautiful summery!