airwolf

~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

Administrator | Last logged in at

Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess.
I am a retired MSW, Psychotherapist/Hypnotherapist, and a Dr of Ministries. I provide individual and family counseling.

Blueberry Lavender Syrup

TOTAL TIME

30 min

SERVINGS

4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup honey
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps lavender buds (organic culinary)
30 blueberries

Blueberry Lavender Syrup
 

Instructions
Combine water and honey in a small saucepan and stir until evenly mixed.
Bring mixture to a boil then add lavender and blueberries. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan. Let the mixture steep for at least 20 minutes.
Strain the syrup using a fine mesh strainer or cloth coffee filter.
The syrup will thicken as it cools.

 

Dark Moon Esbat Ritual

I have been blessed for the past week to have two great horned brown owl's in the tall pines off my back deck doing mating calls to each other just reminding me that the summer solstice is upon us once again.

Conserve your energy until the time is right; be observant of your surroundings.
-Owl

If Owl has silently glided into your life;
You may need to remove yourself from the noise of life and become the still silent observer. After slowing down and becoming stable you will be amazed by the wealth of information and meaning that surrounds you. It may be bringing you the ability to see what others may miss. Open your eyes and truly examine how things are, you will be surprised that suddenly you can see things that are normally hidden from view – like the motives of those around you. External appearances will give way to the truth and meaning hidden beneath.

Alternatively Owl is often thought to come to those who need to let go of some part of their life that is no longer needed. Listen carefully to that inner voice and be guided to recapture the knowledge of your true path in life. Owl’s senses pierce through shadows, beyond fear and darkness, through to the other side that promises light, happiness and knowledge.

If Owl is your Animal Totem:
The Owl is the symbol of the feminine, the moon and the night. The Owl is also the bird of magic and darkness, of prophecy and wisdom. You work best during the night hours. This totem gives you the power to extract secrets. Listen to its voice inside of you. You will hear not what others are saying, but what is hidden. You can detect subtleties of voice that others cannot. People cannot deceive a person who has an this totem because you can see into the darkness of others souls. Most Owl people are clairvoyant because of this ability. It can be very scary at times. Learn to trust your instincts about people.

If Owl has come gliding through your Dreams;
It may be telling you to let go of the past or certain negative behaviors.

To hear the hoot of an Owl in your dream denotes disappointments and death. Your unconscious mind may be trying to get your attention.

To see a dead Owl in your dream signifies some illness or death. Death in this sense may be a symbolic death, as in an important transition in life or the end of a negative habit.

To dream that an Owl is trying to peck your eyes out, means lacking insight. There is an issue that you are trying desperately to avoid.

Additional Associations for Owl:
Mystery of silent wisdom
Vision
Hearing
Ability to pinpoint subtleties of motives, actions, and people
Stealth
Secrets
Silent and swift movement
Seeing behind masks
Keen Sight
Messenger of secrets and omens
Shape-shifting
Link between the dark, unseen world and the light
Comfort with shadow self
Moon Magic
Freedom
Protection
Transition
Wisdom

In honor of this "Dark Moon" night!

New Moon Rituals

The time of the new moon is a time of new beginnings. This period also represents the youthful aspect of the Goddess. In the form of the Maiden, she represents youth, change and a fresh start. Children can also be Named and Dedications can be made. New Moons are great times to move, start new projects or cast new spells. It is also a good time to shed your past ills and to refresh yourself for coming trials.

The New Moon can be thought of as a time of learning. Don't be hesitant to try new spells at this time. You might also like to set in motion house protections or wards. Some Wiccans celebrate the exact night of Dark Moon by honoring the Crone aspect of the Goddess (such as Hecate), focusing on lessons they have learned in the past cycle and banishing negativity from their lives.

SUPPLIES

Altar with Elemental representations of Earth (Salt), Air (Incense), Fire (Red Candle) and Water (Water). 
Ritual cakes (any natural bread or cake, no junk food)
Wine or Ale (anything from the fruit of the vine/grain, fermented or not)
Black Crone Goddess Candle
Quarter Candles - Green (North), Yellow (East), Red (South) and Blue (West)
Matches or lighter
Wand or Athamé for casting circle
Broom or Besom for cleansing the circle
Chalice or Cup for Libation for God and Goddess
Separate Wine Glass or Cup for yourself or coveners
Cauldron for burning negativity

PREPARATION

Light the altar candle and the altar incense.
Take up the besom and walk widdershins around the circle sweeping from the center outward to cleanse the circle of negative energy. Recite this chant as you sweep from the center of the circle outwards:

"Sweep out evil, sweep out ill, Where I do the Lady's will. Besom, besom, Lady's Broom, Sweep out darkness, sweep out doom. 
Witch's broom swift in flight, Cast out darkness, bring in light. Earth be hallow, air be pure, fire burn bright, as water cures.
A sacred bridge this site shall be, As I will, so mote it be."

BLESS THE ALTAR AND TOOLS

Pick up the athame and draw an invoking pentagram in the air above the altar. Replace the athame and say this invocation:

"Blessed Be, Instruments of Light, Tools now of magick with power and might."

BLESS THE ELEMENTS AND SPACE

Hold your hand over each of the four Altar Elements and say for each one:

"Element of (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), I cleanse and consecrate thee in the names of the Lord and Lady. I bring their blessings upon you now. So mote it be."

Pass your hand over the element 3 times to banish, and then hold your hand steady to bless. Visualize a sparkling light surrounding and infusing the element. Take up that element and go once deosil around the circle. While walking, disperse the element while reciting the corresponding blessing below:

"Powers of (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), this circle grace. Purify, cleanse, and bless this space."

CAST THE CIRCLE

Face north. Hold your athamé or wand out at waist level. Walk deosil thrice around the circle perimeter charging it with this chant. 
Recite one verse for each of the three circles:

Round and Round the Circle's Cast, Joining Present, Future and Past
A Sacred Place, A World Apart, Where Powers Merge and Magick Starts.

Round and Round the Circle's Cast, Joining Present, Future and Past
This Sacred Space shall now be Bound, As I cast this Circle Round.

Round and Round the Circle's Cast, Joining Present, Future and Past
Thrice is the Circle cast this Night/Day and now begins my Magick Rite/Way."

Once the circle has been cast, salute in the following way:

Take up athame and point it to the sky, while saying, "As above..."
Then lower athame to point it at the ground, while saying, "So below."

CALLING THE QUARTERS:

Starting in the North and moving deosil around to the West, light the corresponding elemental candle, and then invoke the quarter:

[North]
Hoofed One, Spirit of Earth, your child invites you here.
Come from the mountains of midnight, with new strength and vigor appear.
You are the field of my pleasure, you are the source of my might.
Hoofed One, Spirit of Earth, keep me strong through my rite.

[East]
Winged One, Spirit of Air, your child invites you here.
Come on the winds of the sunrise, give me your vision so clear.
You are the gentle spring breezes, you are the glory of flight.
Winged One, Spirit of Air, keep me wise through my rite.

[South]
Fierce One, Spirit of Fire, your child invites you here.
Come with your blazing noon passion, banish all sorrow and fear.
You are the flickering candle, you are the bonfire bright.
Fierce One, Spirit of Fire, keep me brave through my rite.

[West]
Swift One, Spirit of Water, your child invites you here.
Come on the waves of the sunset, bring to me joy and good cheer.
You are the well of deep comfort, you are the crashing waves height.
Swift One, Spirit of Water, keep me sure through my rite.

INVOKING THE CRONE GODDESS

Light the Black Crone candle:

"Oh Dark Mother hear my call. Hecate, Goddess of the Moon, 
your daughter (son) is in need your wisdom and strength on this night. 
Your child walks with shadows when they wish to walk with the light. 
Fears and negativity haunt me, sapping me of my energy and my strength. 
I call upon you this night of the dark moon to aid in the banishment of these shadows."

LIBATION AND OPENING TOAST

Pour some wine into the libation dish and say, "To the Lord and Lady!"

Fill the altar goblet with wine. Hold up the altar goblet and say, "I drink to the God and Goddess." 
Take a sip from the goblet, and say, "Blessed Be."

RITUAL OR SPELL WORK

Write down on a piece of paper those negative traits or problems you wish to be rid of. Then as you burn your paper concentrate on the things to be banished from your life. Feel the fear or negativity and then let it go as you cast it into the fire reciting:

"Hecate, Honored Crone of Night, I call upon you to put things right.
Transform these negative thoughts and pain and help my life be whole again."

Since you have created a void by banishing the negativity in your lives, you will need to fill that void.
Close your eyes and visualize a blue light washing over you, filling you.
You will now need to invoke laughter because that is the strongest banishment of all and the best protection. As you circle deosil, visualize the happiest moments in your life. Let the uninhibited child in you come out to play. Laugh. Even if it is forced in the beginning, it will come if you open the door. Let the laughter fill you.

CAKES AND ALE

Take up the plate with the cakes and say "May I never hunger." Take a bite, and then say, "Blessed Be."

Take up the wine and say "May I never thirst." Take a sip of the wine and and then say, "Blessed Be."

Give thanks for one thing that you are thankful for, and request assistance for one thing that you are in need of.

RELEASING THE QUARTERS

Starting in the North, and moving widdershins around the circle to the East, go to each element candle and say the following release:

[North]
Strong One, I bid you now hail and farewell.
Go by the powers that brought you, Go by the unweaving spell.
As thy bright pentagrams fade, Depart, 'ere the circle is gone.

(Blow out the Northern element candle before proceeding to the next quarter)

[West]
Sure One, I bid you now hail and farewell.
Go by the powers that brought you, Go by the unweaving spell.
As thy bright pentagrams fade, Depart, 'ere the circle is gone.

(Blow out the Western element candle before proceeding to the next quarter)

[South]
Brave One, I bid you now hail and farewell.
Go by the powers that brought you, Go by the unweaving spell.
As thy bright pentagrams fade, Depart, 'ere the circle is gone.

(Blow out the Southern element candle before proceeding to the next quarter)

[East]
Wise One, I bid you now hail and farewell. 
Go by the powers that brought you, Go by the unweaving spell.
As thy bright pentagrams fade, Depart, 'ere the circle is gone.

(Blow out the Eastern element candle before proceeding to the next quarter)

THANKING THE GODDESS

Say:

"I give thanks to the Goddess for guarding my circle and joining my rite. Hail and farewell."

Extinguish the black candle.

CLOSING THE CIRCLE/SALUTE:

Take the Athamé or Wand and retract the energy of the circle back into yourself moving widdershins beginning in the north around to the east using the following chant:

"Circle Round, now be Unbound as I make my way around.
I now Dissolve this Sacred Space and send all Powers back to place.

Circle Round, now be Unbound as I make my way around.
Stay if you can, Go if you must, with Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.

Circle Round, now be Unbound as I make my way around.
My Work is finished for the Night/Day and now I End my Magick Rite/Way."

Once the circle is closed, say the following salute:

"The circle is open, but unbroken."

Were-Owl by S.J. Tucker
All art belongs to their respective owners.
YOUTUBE.COM

Litha Summer Solstice June 21s 2015

Litha: Summer Solstice - 21st/22nd June

Litha (Midsummer, Gathering Day, Summer Solstice, Alban Heffyn, Feill-Sheathain)
Incense: Sage, mint, basil, Saint John's Wort, sunflower, Lavender
Decorations: Dried herbs, potpourri, seashells, summer flowers, and fruits.
Colours: blue, green, and yellow

The Fire Festival of Litha

Midsummer or the Summer Solstice is the most powerful day of the year for the Sun God. Because this Sabbat glorifies the Sun God and the Sun, fire plays a very prominent role in this festival. The element of Fire is the most easily seen and immediately felt element of transformation. It can burn, consume, cook, shed light or purify and balefires still figure prominently at modern Midsummer rites.

Most cultures of the Northern Hemisphere mark Midsummer in some ritualised manner and from time immemorial people have acknowledged the rising of the sun on this day. At Stonehenge, the heelstone marks the midsummer sunrise as seen from the centre of the stone circle.

In ancient times, the Summer Solstice was a fire-festival of great importance when the burning of balefires ritually strengthened the sun. It was often marked with torchlight processions, by flaming tar barrels or by wheels bound with straw, which were set alight and rolled down steep hillsides. The Norse especially loved lengthy processions and would gather together their animals, families and lighted torches and parade through the countryside to the celebration site.

The use of fires, as well as providing magical aid to the sun, were also used to drive out evil and to bring fertility and prosperity to men, crops and herds. Blazing gorse or furze was carried around cattle to prevent disease and misfortune; while people would dance around the balefires or leap through the flames as a purifying or strengthening rite. The Celts would light balefires all over their lands from sunset the night before Midsummer until sunset the next day. Around these flames the festivities would take place.

In Cornwall up to the mid 18th century the number and appearance of fires seen from any given point was used as a form of divination and used to read the future.

Astronomically, it is the longest day of the year, representing the God at full power. Although the hottest days of the summer still lie ahead, from this point onward we enter the waning year, and each day the Sun will recede from the skies a little earlier, until Yule, when the days begin to become longer again.

Agriculturally, the crops are in full growth. They are reaching the pinnacles of maturity and coming closer to the harvest time. Most wild herbs are fully mature by Midsummer and this is the traditional time for gathering magickal and medicinal plants to dry and store for winter use. In Wales, Midsummer is called Gathering Day in honour of this practice.

[Lithia - Summer Solstice] Magical Aspects

Since this sabbat revolves around the sun, a candle should be lit for the entire day, especially if it is cloudy or raining. The fire represents the sun and is a constant daily reminder of the power of the God. Rituals should be performed at noon, when the sun is highest in the sky. The best rituals to perform on Midsummer are those dealing with masculine issues, masculine energies, or issues dealing with solar influence.

Many pagans choose to make protective amulets, in the week before the Sabbat, which are later empowered over the Midsummer balefire. Some witches choose to bury their protective amulets each Midsummer’s eve and construct new ones. Rue, rowan and basil, tied together in a white or gold cloth, is a good protective trio that can be carried in your pocket year round.

Midsummer is the time to formalize any relationship and couples that have been together a year and a day since the previous Beltane can make their marriage final. This Sabbat is also an excellent time to re-new wedding vows.

Midsummer Incense

Sage, mint, basil, Saint John's Wort, sunflower, mistletoe (specifically the berries which represent semen), oak, rowan, and fir.

Suggested activities for Litha:

*Rededication to the Lord and Lady

*Divination related to romance and love

*Light a white candle in front of a mirror and say your own Lithia prayer over it, then allow the candle to burn out.

*Float paper boats with blessings on a river/stream to bring luck and love to whatever may find it, or to the land.

*Singing and dancing around a bonfire

*Outdoor picnic feasts

*Create crowns out of flowers 

Preparing for Litha

[Picture]
Midsummer is the Summer Solstice, also known as the Pagan holiday of Litha.  Vestalia is a Roman version.  The summer solstice occurs on June 20-21.  There are multiple themes connected with Midsummer that can inspire your ritual and other activities.  Good books include Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice and Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon. 

Honoring the Green Ones

The Green Man, Jack-in-the-Green, the Green Lady, and the Garden Goddess are some of the vegetative aspects of deity invoked for this holiday.  At this time of year, trees, vegetables, and other plants are at their peak, festooned with green leaves and often with fruit or flowers.  These deities represent the luxurious growth and abundance of plants.

If at all possible, celebrate outdoors when honoring the Green Ones.  Dress and decorate in shades of rich green.  Include leaves, flowers, and fruits whether real or pictured on fabric or altar tools.  Crown the High Priest(ess) with a grapevine and extra fruits or leaves.

The Oak King and the Holly King

Many rituals recreate this seasonal myth.  The Oak King rules the waxing half of the year from Yule to Midsummer; the Holly King rules the waning half of the year from Midsummer to Yule.  At this time, they duel and the Holly King will defeat the Oak King.  

This type of ritual theater is performed by two men who represent the Oak King and the Holly King.  Traditionally the Oak King is a younger man with lighter hair, dressed in green with accents of white or gold, decked with oak leaves and acorns.  The Holly King is an older man with dark hair, dressed in red with accents of black, decked with holly leaves and berries.  They hold a mock duel — our coven once did this incorporating a flashy bit of stage magic and it was very memorable.

The Summer Solstice

At the summer solstice, the sun has reached its farthest position from the equator, its peak of power.  This is the longest day, after which days will shorten as nights grow longer.  This marks the peak of the growing season and lets people know that harvest is around the corner.  Solar deities such as Amaterasu and Ra are often honored as part of this celebration, and many religions observe this holiday.

Celebrate solar energy by decorating with yellow, gold, orange, and red.  Use images of the sun and hold the ritual at or near noon, outside to take advantage of the sunlight.  An impressive trick is to start a small fire using a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays.

Fire Festival

Litha is one of the fire festivals, when people traditionally build big bonfires. Sometimes offerings are thrown into the flames or people jump over the coals.  In modern times, wiener roasts and s’mores are very popular. Given the bonfire and warm weather, Pagans often hold drum jams and dance (sometimes skyclad) around the firelit meadow.

Fire festivals usually begin at dusk so that the flames show up well.  Tiki torches make a nice gate or circle to define sacred space.  Make sure to provide water or sand for fire control and put the altar or food table(s) safely out of the way.  Appoint at least one Fire Keeper in addition to the High Priest(ess) leading the ritual.

The Faery Rade

Midsummer is one of the times when the Fey Folk emerge from their hills. Sometimes they play pranks on mortals, as made famous in Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Old tales also recount the “faery rade,” a procession of sidhe and other fey folk riding magical steeds across the countryside.

The Fey Folk love music, laughter, dancing, and good food and drink. Decorate with flowers and fairy motifs.  Hang bells, mobiles, wind-spinners, and sparkly things to create a magical atmosphere.  Take care with protections, however, because the fey can be full of mischief.

Festival of Mothers

Litha is sacred to the Mother Goddess and to pregnant women.  As the Earth grows plump with fruits and vegetables, so the Goddess swells with life.  She is often depicted as pregnant with the Earth, or holding a basket of summer fruits and vegetables.

Decorate with images of pregnant women and goddesses.  Venus figures are especially apt.  Use plenty of red, the color of womanhood and childbirth.  Tell stories about pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.  This is an ideal theme if someone in your coven is expecting a child.  It’s also appropriate for an indoor setting.

This article originally appeared in Gaiatribe on June 9, 2009. 
 

Litha Food and Decorations

[Picture]
Midsummer Foods

Customary foods for the summer solstice include seasonal produce, such as the flourishing summer vegetables.  Additional foods have specific correspondences to the Midsummer holiday.  Worth noting is that, although there are a few notations for traditional meats, this holiday lends itself especially well to vegetarian cuisine.  You can find Litha recipes online or in cookbooks such as Cooking To The Wheel of the Year or The Farmer’s Market Cookbook: Seasonal Dishes Made from Nature’s Freshest Ingredients.  Read about how to plan a potluck feast and browse some ofFieldhaven's Litha recipes.

Green vegetables such as snap peas, green beans, lettuce, broccoli, and zucchini represent vegetative deities such as the Green Man and Gaia. These foods deliver lots of vitamins and minerals for healthy bodies.  Serve these for an Earth-focused feast.

Yellow, orange, and red vegetables such as summer squash, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers embody the colors of the sun and the energy of the longest day.  They contain vitamins that promote good vision.

Fruit salads or fruit breads celebrate the bounty of the orchards beginning to bear.  They may also feature the colors of the sun.  ”Sun breads” usually have white or yellow dough studded with bright pieces of fruit.

Foods made using the sun include sun-dried tomatoes, fruit leather, sun tea, and sunflower seeds.  These are ideal for solar-focused celebrations because they capture the power of the sun as energy we can use.  Serve these at a feast for solar deities such as Sunna, Surya, or Lugh.

Smoked fish such as herring and salmon are traditional treats in Sweden and Finland for Midsommar.  Because fishing is a major source of food and income for these cultures, fish represent abundance and prosperity.  The smoke comes from fire, another aspect of the solar holiday.

Flame-cooked foods such as grilled steaks, barbecued ribs, shish kebabs, and vegetable skewers similarly evoke the sun’s energy with their passage through fire.  This is also a great way to involve the men in your coven, as many men enjoy cooking on a grill.

Milk and cheese are Midsummer treats in Sweden and Finland.  Historically, their cows only gave milk in spring and summer, so people made the most of the bounty for this holiday.  They also made fermented milk products, milk porridges, pancakes and pastries.

Ice cream is a modern dessert that can include fresh fruit as an ingredient or a topping.  Symbolically, it reminds us that the sun’s peak is passing and winter lies ahead.  A pairing of red (strawberry, raspberry, or cherry) and green (mint, lime, or honeydew) ice cream flavors would make an excellent ending to a feast in honor of the Oak King and the Holly King.

Midsummer Decoration Ideas

Base your decorations on your chosen theme for this holiday.  Choose things that will coordinate with each other rather than competing.  For more ideas, flip through books such as Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice and Sabbat Entertaining: Celebrating the Wiccan Holidays with Style.

Colors: Yellow, orange, red, and gold embody the blazing heat of the sun; use these for solar celebrations.  Green symbolizes the vegetative deities, a deep leafy green.  Green and yellow or gold represent the Oak King, while red and green or black represent the Holly King.

Flowers: Decorate with whichever flowers are currently in bloom where you live.  Possibilities include daylilies, daisies, gladioli, and yarrow.  For a solar ritual, of course, you’ll want to include sunflowers!  Edible summer flowers make an exciting addition to feasts; consider candied rose petals, fresh borage or nasturtium flowers in salads, or stuffed squash blossoms.   In addition to blossoms, branches with green leaves may be cut for decorations.

Incense: Scents for this sabbat are mostly fiery (cinnamon, dragon’s blood, clove) or floral (gardenia, rose, honeysuckle).  For the Oak King, oakmoss is a natural choice; for the Holly King, bayberry.  You can also find recipes to make your own Litha incense.

Music: Midsummer music runs to horns, drums, bells, and tangy strings such as banjo or mandolin.  Play something that people can dance to, or sit around the fire together and sing ballads.  You can find seasonal songs such as Litha or albums such as Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Midsummer, and Turning of the Wheel.

Altar Tools: The athame or sword represents fire, aspecting solar and masculine energies.  For Green God/Goddess rituals, use an athame and chalice.  A staff wound with suitable leaves is apt for the Oak King and the Holly King, or you can use leaf crowns instead.

Midsommarstang: Similar in concept to the Maypole, but different in shape, the Midsommarstang is a tall wooden symbol of masculine vigor, clad in green leaves.  Sometimes people dance around these, but there is no cone of ribbons as on a Maypole.

Bonfire: This is yet another holiday when people like to light huge fires and dance or sing around them.  Midsummer fires are especially nice for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows after the serious ceremonial part of the evening is done.  If it’s too hot to light a real fire, consider making a symbolic fire out of red and yellow tissue paper!

Setting Up Your Litha Altar


It's Litha, and that means the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It's a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can't, that's okay -- but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.

Colors of the Season

This sabbat is all about the sun celebration, so think of solar colors. Yellows, oranges, fiery reds and golds are all appropriate this time of year. Use candles in bright sunny colors, or cover your altar with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season.

Solar Symbols

Litha is when the sun is at its highest point above us. In some traditions, the sun rolls across the sky like a great wheel - consider using pinwheels or some other disc to represent the sun. Circles and discs are the most basic sun symbol of all, and are seen as far back as the tombs of ancient Egypt. Use equal-armed crosses, such as theBrighid's Cross, or even the swastika - remember, it was originally a good luck symbol to both the Hindus and Scandinavians before it became associated with the Nazis.

A Time of Light and Dark

The solstice is also a time seen as a battle between light and dark. Although the sun is strong now, in just six months the days will be short again. Much like the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, light and dark must battle for supremacy. At this sabbat, darkness wins, and the days will begin to grow shorter once more. Decorate your altar with symbols of the triumph of darkness over light - and that includes using other opposites, such as fire and water, night and day, etc.

Other Symbols of Litha

Midsummer flowers, fruits and vegetables from your garden
Gods Eyes in sunny colors
Sunflowers, roses
Oak trees and acorns
Sandalwood, saffron, frankincense, laurel

RITUAL:

The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun willmove further away in the sky.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, consecrate a space, or call the quarters, now is the time to do so.

This ritual is a great one to perform outside, so if you have the opportunity to do this without scaring the neighbors, take advantage of it.

Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you're limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.

Say either to yourself or out loud:

Today, to celebrate Midsummer, I honor the Earth itself. I am surrounded by tall trees. There is a clear sky above me and cool dirt beneath me, and I am connected to all three. I light this fire as the Ancients did so long ago.

At this point, start your fire. Say:

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more
The light has grown for six long months
Until today.

Today is Litha, called Alban Heruin by my ancestors.
A time for celebration.
Tomorrow the light will begin to fade
As the Wheel of the Year
Turns on and ever on.

Turn to the East, and say:

From the east comes the wind,
Cool and clear.
It brings new seeds to the garden
Bees to the pollen
And birds to the trees.

Turn to Face South, and say:

The sun rises high in the summer sky
And lights our way even into the night
Today the sun casts three rays
The light of fire upon the land, the sea, and the heavens

Turn to face West, saying:

From the west, the mist rolls in
Bringing rain and fog
The life-giving water without which
We would cease to be.

Finally, turn to the North, and say:

Beneath my feet is the Earth,
Soil dark and fertile
The womb in which life begins
And will later die, then return anew.

Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.

If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it. For this sample, we're including the use of a triple goddess in the invocation, but this is where you should substitute the names of the deities of your personal tradition.

Say:

Alban Heruin is a time of rededication
To the gods. The triple goddess watches over me.
She is known by many names.
She is the Morrighan, Brighid, and Cerridwen.
She is the washer at the ford,
She is the guardian of the hearth,
She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration.

I give honor to You, O mighty ones,
By all your names, known and unknown.
Bless me with Your wisdom
And give life and abundance to me
As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.

I make this offering to you
To show my allegiance
To show my honor
To show my dedication
To You.

Cast your offering into fire. Conclude the ritual by saying:

Today, at Litha, I celebrate the life
And love of the gods
And of the Earth and Sun.

Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Allow your fire to go out on its own.