For information regarding Holidays, Book of Shadows, Moon Phases, and other interests.
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Here is some information on Litha that I've copied and pasted from my blog, found HERE.
Litha (June 21st - Summer Solstice)
Also known as: Alban Heruin (Druidic)
Litha is the Wiccan Sabbat that marks the Summer Solstice and usually occurs around June 21. It marks the first day of summer on traditional calendars, but it is actually the Midsummer mark for Pagans.
Litha marks the longest day of the year, the day when the sun reaches its apex and is aspected to zero degrees Cancer. This is a day that celebrates the God in all his glory. It is also the time of year when the Goddess is glowing with motherhood in her pregnancy.
In Wiccan lore, once again the Holly King and the Oak King battle. This time, it is the Holly King who is victorious, and from this point on, the days grow shorter.
For those of you familiar with Shakespeare, you might remember the play centered around the Solistice: "A Midsummer's Night's Dream". It is believed that Midsummer Night's Eve is a special time for those who believe in the Faerie traditions. Like Samhain, this is a day where the veils are thin between the realms of the Sidhe (the Faerie realm) and the world of mortals. It is a time for merriment and the making of wishes.
Litha marks the first of three harvest celebrations. This is the time to gather the herbs from your garden. Tradition suggests using your boline or a scythe to cut the plant by the moonlight. Some suggest chanting the use of the planet while doing so.
Honey is a popular symbol for this time (one of the names of the June Full Moon is the Honey Moon). Serving Meade as well as dipping your cake in honey during the feast part of your ritual, symbolizes the sweetness of life and the season.
As we've seen happen in the past, Christianity has tried to hone in on our holiday. They have declared it John the Baptist's birthday. I've read that other Saints in the Church are remembered on the day they've died. But not so with John the Baptist. He is the only Saint recognized on his birthday. They celebrate the Solstice with the Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. John the Baptist, often portraying him in rustic attire, sometimes with horns and cloven feet (like Pan).
Although the name Litha is not well attested, it may come from Saxon tradition -- the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks.
The Christian religion converted this day of Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. John the Baptist, often portraying him in rustic attire, sometimes with horns and cloven feet (like the Greek Demi-God Pan)
Midsummer Night's Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith. The alternative fixed calendar date of June 25 (Old Litha) is sometimes employed by Covens. The name Beltane is sometimes incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca, even though Beltane is the Gaelic word for May.
Names: Litha, Midsummer, Solstice, Alban Heriun
Date: The summer solstice or when the sun is one-degree Cancer.
Deities: all Father Gods and Mother Goddesses, Pregnant Goddesses and Sun Deities; Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, Venus and other Goddesses who preside over love, passion and beauty; Athena, Artemis, Dana, Kali, Isis, Juno, Apollo, Dagda, Gwydion, Helios, Llew, Oak/Holly King, Lugh, Ra, Sol, Zeus, Prometheus, Ares, and Thor.
Ritual workings: Self-dedication, rededication, pet blessings, focus on love, marriage and divination.
Colors: white, red, maize yellow or golden yellow, green, blue and tan.
Gemstones: all green gemstones, especially emerald and jade, tiger's eye, lapus lazuli and diamonds.
Plants/herbs: oak, mistletoe, frankincense, lemon, sandalwood, heliotrope, ivy, copal, saffron, galangal, laurel and ylang-ylang; carnation, chamomile, cinquefoil, daisy, elder, fennel, hemp, honeysuckle, larkspur, lavender, lily, male fern, mugwort, pine, roses, Saint John's wort, wild thyme, wisteria and verbena, vervain.
Incense: Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Wisteria.
Foods: honey, fresh vegetables of all kinds and fresh fruits such as lemons and oranges, pumpernickel bread as well as Summer squash and any yellow or orange colored foods. Flaming foods are also appropriate. Traditional drinks are ale, mead, and fresh fruit juice of any kind.
Animals: robins, wrens, all Summer birds, horses and cattle. Mythical creatures include satyrs, faeries, firebirds, dragons, thunderbirds and manticores.
An Ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the Lord and Lady or your dedication to following the old traditions.
Missing my angel babies 5/23/02, 5/1/05, 9/6/06, 10/11/06, 3/10/10
Last edited by Mommy2Addy; May 27th, 2009 at 09:33 AM.