A ritual for Summer Solstice, Litha: Southern Hemisphere

The Season
Summer is such a buzz, of activity, of energy, so many places to go, people to visit, things to do, to prepare for… such a reflection of the summer life seasons of mother and father, and the energy of full moon, and ovulation and midday – these all being the correspondences (matching energies) of the peak points of their cycle.

Using the wheel of the year, Summer starts at Beltane, October 31st, November 1, and goes until Lammas on February 2nd.

So at the start of Summer we can tap into the ‘building to climax’ energy of the Earth, of which we are all a part, and flow with it, be with it and apply it. And then after the Summer Solstice we can connect with the different energy that follows the peak and begins the descent.

The ‘building to climax’ energy that is the Spring side of the Summer Solstice is the energy of the sun waxing to full. ‘Full sun’ occurs on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. The year being the thirteen moon experience, the cycle of the seasons, that is the dance between our Sun and the Earth.

“Litha also is the feast of the fairy, and at this time, doors between the worlds open, and we can peek through and dwell for just a little time in the Otherworld of the fairies – a place where youth is everlasting, and enchantment plenty, beauty, love and joy are ours for all time. For just a moment, Litha gives us a glimpse of life in all its perfection. It encourages us to seize the day, and to dwell completely in the magic of the present moment.”
Lucy Cavendish “White Magic”

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A Midsummer’s Celebration

by Mike Nichols

The young maid stole through the cottage door,
And blushed as she sought the Plant of pow’r; —
“Thou silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light,
I must gather the mystic St. John’s wort tonight,
The wonderful herb, whose leaf will decide
If the coming year shall make me a bride.”

In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four “quarter days” of the year, and modern Witches call them the four “Lesser Sabbats”, or the four “Low Holidays”. The summer solstice is one of them.

Technically, a solstice is an astronomical point and, due to the calendar creep of the leap-year cycle, the date may vary by a few days depending on the year. The summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, and we experience the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Astrologers know this as the date on which the sun enters the sign of Cancer.

However, since most European peasants were not accomplished at reading an ephemeris or did not live close enough to Salisbury Plain to trot over to Stonehenge and sight down its main avenue, they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, June 24. The slight forward displacement of the traditional date is the result of multitudinous calendrical changes down through the ages. It is analogous to the winter solstice celebration, which is astronomically on or about December 21, but is celebrated on the traditional date of December 25, Yule, later adopted by the Christians.

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Litha in Australia

Midsummer or Litha (21st & 22nd December)

Midsummer, also known as Litha, is the time of the year when the days are longest and the nights shortest. The colors of the season are red and gold, representing heat and ripe fruit, and fruit is eaten in thanks.

In Australia the Sturt Desert Pea is a sacred flower of this time. Litha falls in the dry stifling heat of summer in the southern part of our land, but in the north, Litha falls in the hot, wet season, and represents fruitfulness.

Due to fire restrictions in Australia throughout summer, celebrations for this Sabbat tend to be quite different from those those throughout the rest of the year. No candles can be lit, no cauldrons burned, and no open flames are allowed throughout much of the country.

This means that we seek other ways of marking the quarters. One method is to make staffs for the Quarter Priest/esses to hold and brandish as the Elements are called in. Light sources include battery-operated torches that can be covered in colored cellophane to produce different colored light applicable to the various Elements. The cauldron can be replaced with a glass bowl of water, filled with rosewater and seashells, symbolising the importance of water to Australian Witches at this time. Garlands for our hair, wreaths to carry and use in ritual, and light, casual clothing are all a part of Midsummer celebrations.


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Happy Holiday Thoughts

Witches Of The Craft®

Happy Holiday Thoughts

Hi Dear Friends!

Choose the memories and traditions that give you joy now… The angels talk about shifting to thoughts that “serve your joy” and I share a story of a very non-traditional Christmas!

Love you all!

♥ Ann

Message from the Angels

My dear friends, we love you so very much,

It is a human tendency to be nostalgic during your holiday season – to reminisce, and dream of times gone by. Remembering times with loved ones, simpler times, times with joyful memories is a wonderful pastime… if it makes you happy in the here and now.

If recalling the past makes you upset or dissatisfied with the present moment, it is far better to ask, “How can I make this day more special? How can I immerse myself in the here and now with my Presence and my Love?…

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22 Ways to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Witches Of The Craft®

22 Ways to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Welcome to the holiday season! The most joyous and peaceful time of year… Right?  I heard this recently and just had to share this with you:   “Geez – here it is December already. What happened to September, October, and November? How can I stay sane and hold my usual tone of happiness and calm when I now have ten times the number of things to get done? I mean, life is busy enough already. Now, on top of everything else, I have to shop for food, cook it, entertain lots of people and clean up after them. Not to mention I gotta decorate the house, buy and wrap the perfect gifts, send cards and do my volunteer work at the homeless shelter. Heck, the only place that isn’t packed this time of year is the gym!…

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