Litha :: Summer Solstice

In Sanskrit the word is Poorna – it means “fullness”

In the Northern Hemisphere we observe Litha on June 20 or 21st every year -there are numerous ways you can honor this Sabbat, Pagan or not, but the focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the Sun.  Think of the Summer Solstice sort of like a Full Moon – except for the Sun which, of course, reaches it’s fullness everyday at noon, however, it’s absolute Zenith occurs only once a year.  The word “solstice” comes from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.”  Its the brightestest and most powerful-est that the Sun can possibly be right now.   So for you – Try to be like the Sun!

• show the world who you are • shine a light • vitality • good health • success • world stands still • this is the moment • achievement • power • acclaim • joy • birth •
(and I don’t  mean be like a naked baby waving a flag and riding a white horse through a field of sunflowers in the middle of the day but I WON’T STOP YOU! – get that life, honey, instagram that solstice YASSS!)

Cultures all across the globe celebrate midsummer in a multitude of ways. There’s a ton of solar magic, myths and legend out there – the Native American Sun Dance, festivals such as the ancient Roman Vestalia and stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice (some argue the equinoxes – but it’s hard to see how they weren’t erected as sundials)

Although few sources are available some information can be found thru early Christian monks (those guys did a lot for pagans!)  Some of their writings, combined with surviving folklore, indicate that Midsummer was celebrated with hilltop bonfires and that it was a time to honor the space between earth and the heavens.  (Side Note: The etymology for the word “bonfire” originally was designated for an open air fire in which bones were incinerated.).  In Wicca, and other NeoPagan practices – the Oak God is revered at this time whether as an incarnation of the the great horned god or the green man – he has triumphed with light over the Holly God (who transforms and renews the year at Winter Time through darkness) in their eternal battle for power – because, like, boy gods – amiright??!?

Astrologically, the sun is leaving the mutable (Cadent) Air Sign of Gemini and entering Cancer, the Cardinal Water Sign -For my WOTY crew – check your notes ;-).  Midsummer is not only a time of fire magic, but of water as well.

Now is a good time to work magic involving sacred streams, rivers or holy wells/springs.  If you visit one, try to go just before dawn on Litha, and approach the water from the east, with the rising sun or go for a midday picnic with your krewe.   You can make offerings of flowers, fruits and/or herbs, light a candle or just meditate on the fullness of your life.  Litha is a celebratory moment full of reflection and gratitude.  When the live-giving Star reaches this pinnacle and appears to pause – so should we all, shouldn’t we? In the inner landscape, this is a perfect time to take stock of where we are at and – if we are practicing our yoga we’ll examine the principle of “santosa” or contentment in your life.   Take a deep breath and a look around…

You have arrived.  Here you are.

You are here.  Good Job.

Blessed Be.

 

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