Posted on by Candice Ruck

For centuries and across cultures, the "longest day of the year" has been celebrated. It is the day in which the sun shines brightly, seemingly fixed in the sky. The summer solstice, derived from the word solstitium, marks the sun's return, the light that nourishes us, and burns brightly within us. Also known as Midsummer, this time of year holds a special reverence for fire and nature. During the summer solstice, the Sun enters Cancer, a profoundly emotional, communal, and spiritual water sign. Meaning Litha, as it is known in Pagan communities, is a time to honor fire, water, nature, and community.

For eons, bonfires have been lit as an honor to the sun during Litha. They are a symbol of the sun's presence and power. Oak is typically burned as it aligns well with the abundant, prosperous, vibrant, spiritually enlightened energy of Midsummer. Herbs such as lavender, elderflower, motherwort, and St John's wort are often cast into the fire or dried over the fire for future spell-work, for purification, protection, prosperity, good fortune and more!

Fire has always held a special place in Litha celebrations. Of these traditions is "setting the watch." A fire would be lit to keep dark spirits away as people went from farm to farm, making mirth. If one jumped over the bonfire and did not catch their pants on fire but were blackened with the smoke, an auspicious year was ahead! Another practice was to whisper your hopes and wishes into a stone, walking around the bonfire three times and upon your third, turn tossing the pebble or stone into the fire. This ritual is known as "giving it to the pebble."

Another fiery Midsummer observance features a sun-wheel. A large bale or wheel of straw is set on fire and rolled down a hill towards the water. People would watch and cheer as it gained speed down the mountain. Some believed it would be a plentiful crop and good harvest ahead if it went out before it hit the water.

The ashes of the fires have equal significance. After Litha fires burn out, it is an established practice to place the ashes in a mojo bag, form them into protective amulets or sprinkle them around your home or in your garden for protection, prosperity, and abundance.

Sacred amulets, talismans, and gemstones are a big part of the celebration and spell casting. Emerald is a popular stone to welcome the water element and activate the heart chakra. Sunstone is considered a magickal talisman, symbolizing the sun and the prosperity and good health it brings. Topaz, derived from the Sanskrit word for fire, is known to help connect to other dimensions of consciousness when worn during the solstice. It is believed that the gift of topaz to a loved one will protect them and keep them safe. Traditionally altars are adorned with green, yellow, and blue gemstones. It is customary to include candles of the same colors and red and gold in your ritual space.

The summer solstice is a commemoration of nature in all its grandeur, and all it gives us. Many ancient rituals are done outdoors and involve natural elements. During Litha, it is customary to honor and rejoice in the bounty by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, mainly green, yellow, red, and orange. Foods rich with the sun's energy, such as dried fruits and seeds, are a favorite delicacy. Offerings are often made to Mother goddesses and Father gods, faeries, and the creatures of the forest, of honey cake, herbs.

The gathering and drying of plants and herbs for protection, healing, prosperity, and other magick workings are an essential facet of Midsummer celebrations. Plants and herbs gathered on Litha are said to be particularly powerful. Among the plants are oak, sandalwood, saffron, ylang-ylang, lemon, and immortelle. The herbs include St John's wort, elder, verbena, lavender, motherwort, chamomile.

The Summer solstice has always been a sacred time between people and animals. During more agriculturally driven times, livestock and farm animals were blessed and protected during Litha. In modern times, many cast protection-spells and blessings for companion animals. Some may include their pets in cast circles during the celebration.

All Father gods and Mother goddesses are revered and invoked to help imbue rituals, ceremonies, and spell work with their power. However, there are two that are genuinely representative of festivities, the Oak King, who rules from midwinter to midsummer and the Holly King, who rules from midsummer to midwinter—reigning over periods of growth, rebirth and new beginning and harvest. The other, wisdom, rest, and reflection, respectively. The folklore tells that they meet in combat, two halves of a whole, the Holly king vanquishes the Oak king, until the battle takes a turn at Yule.

With the sun in Cancer, Litha is not only a time of fire but water as well. Magick, including sacred bodies of water and wells, is often done. It is believed that you can get rid of problems by jotting them down on a piece of paper and allowing it to be washed away by the water on Litha. You may want to make an offering by walking around a well or small fount three times, clockwise, and tossing in silver coins or pins.

Aligning with Cancer season summer solstice is a profoundly emotional time to reconnect with yourself, your journey, and your passion. According to Wiccan tradition, it is a significant time to perform a dedication or rededication ceremony or affirmation.

It is a common practice to stay up all night on Midsummer night's eve, as the veil between humans and the otherworld becomes nearly undetectable, which makes this an ideal time to commune with elves, sprites, and faeries. As well as perform magick for any purpose, particularly love, healing, and good fortune, it is a time of potent magickal power. If you want to achieve transcendence, through trance, astral projection, or past life regression, the eve of Litha is the best time to do so!

Midsummer is also the season of community. with the sun in Cancer. It is a time for family, friends, community, and romance. Customarily, whole communities gather around bonfires and drum circles at Litha, tell stories, set intentions, and share history and wisdom. The summer solstice is a time of gratitude and love; it is conventional to honor and pay homage to your relationship to nature and the Father gods and Mother goddesses. A hallowed time of togetherness, an optimal time to engage in spell-work to cleanse, protect and bless the people, pets, and plants that you care for, who care for you and who add to the beautiful tapestry of your life all year round.

For centuries and across cultures, the "longest day of the year" has been celebrated. It is the day in which the sun shines brightly, seemingly fixed in the sky. The summer solstice, derived from the word solstitium, marks the sun's return, the light that nourishes us, and burns brightly within us. Also known as Midsummer, this time of year holds a special reverence for fire and nature. During the summer solstice, the Sun enters Cancer, a profoundly emotional, communal, and spiritual water sign. Meaning Litha, as it is known in Pagan communities, is a time to honor fire, water, nature, and community.

For eons, bonfires have been lit as an honor to the sun during Litha. They are a symbol of the sun's presence and power. Oak is typically burned as it aligns well with the abundant, prosperous, vibrant, spiritually enlightened energy of Midsummer. Herbs such as lavender, elderflower, motherwort, and St John's wort are often cast into the fire or dried over the fire for future spell-work, for purification, protection, prosperity, good fortune and more!

Fire has always held a special place in Litha celebrations. Of these traditions is "setting the watch." A fire would be lit to keep dark spirits away as people went from farm to farm, making mirth. If one jumped over the bonfire and did not catch their pants on fire but were blackened with the smoke, an auspicious year was ahead! Another practice was to whisper your hopes and wishes into a stone, walking around the bonfire three times and upon your third, turn tossing the pebble or stone into the fire. This ritual is known as "giving it to the pebble."

Another fiery Midsummer observance features a sun-wheel. A large bale or wheel of straw is set on fire and rolled down a hill towards the water. People would watch and cheer as it gained speed down the mountain. Some believed it would be a plentiful crop and good harvest ahead if it went out before it hit the water.

The ashes of the fires have equal significance. After Litha fires burn out, it is an established practice to place the ashes in a mojo bag, form them into protective amulets or sprinkle them around your home or in your garden for protection, prosperity, and abundance.

Sacred amulets, talismans, and gemstones are a big part of the celebration and spell casting. Emerald is a popular stone to welcome the water element and activate the heart chakra. Sunstone is considered a magickal talisman, symbolizing the sun and the prosperity and good health it brings. Topaz, derived from the Sanskrit word for fire, is known to help connect to other dimensions of consciousness when worn during the solstice. It is believed that the gift of topaz to a loved one will protect them and keep them safe. Traditionally altars are adorned with green, yellow, and blue gemstones. It is customary to include candles of the same colors and red and gold in your ritual space.

The summer solstice is a commemoration of nature in all its grandeur, and all it gives us. Many ancient rituals are done outdoors and involve natural elements. During Litha, it is customary to honor and rejoice in the bounty by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, mainly green, yellow, red, and orange. Foods rich with the sun's energy, such as dried fruits and seeds, are a favorite delicacy. Offerings are often made to Mother goddesses and Father gods, faeries, and the creatures of the forest, of honey cake, herbs.

The gathering and drying of plants and herbs for protection, healing, prosperity, and other magick workings are an essential facet of Midsummer celebrations. Plants and herbs gathered on Litha are said to be particularly powerful. Among the plants are oak, sandalwood, saffron, ylang-ylang, lemon, and immortelle. The herbs include St John's wort, elder, verbena, lavender, motherwort, chamomile.

The Summer solstice has always been a sacred time between people and animals. During more agriculturally driven times, livestock and farm animals were blessed and protected during Litha. In modern times, many cast protection-spells and blessings for companion animals. Some may include their pets in cast circles during the celebration.

All Father gods and Mother goddesses are revered and invoked to help imbue rituals, ceremonies, and spell work with their power. However, there are two that are genuinely representative of festivities, the Oak King, who rules from midwinter to midsummer and the Holly King, who rules from midsummer to midwinter—reigning over periods of growth, rebirth and new beginning and harvest. The other, wisdom, rest, and reflection, respectively. The folklore tells that they meet in combat, two halves of a whole, the Holly king vanquishes the Oak king, until the battle takes a turn at Yule.

With the sun in Cancer, Litha is not only a time of fire but water as well. Magick, including sacred bodies of water and wells, is often done. It is believed that you can get rid of problems by jotting them down on a piece of paper and allowing it to be washed away by the water on Litha. You may want to make an offering by walking around a well or small fount three times, clockwise, and tossing in silver coins or pins.

Aligning with Cancer season summer solstice is a profoundly emotional time to reconnect with yourself, your journey, and your passion. According to Wiccan tradition, it is a significant time to perform a dedication or rededication ceremony or affirmation.

It is a common practice to stay up all night on Midsummer night's eve, as the veil between humans and the otherworld becomes nearly undetectable, which makes this an ideal time to commune with elves, sprites, and faeries. As well as perform magick for any purpose, particularly love, healing, and good fortune, it is a time of potent magickal power. If you want to achieve transcendence, through trance, astral projection, or past life regression, the eve of Litha is the best time to do so!

Midsummer is also the season of community. with the sun in Cancer. It is a time for family, friends, community, and romance. Customarily, whole communities gather around bonfires and drum circles at Litha, tell stories, set intentions, and share history and wisdom. The summer solstice is a time of gratitude and love; it is conventional to honor and pay homage to your relationship to nature and the Father gods and Mother goddesses. A hallowed time of togetherness, an optimal time to engage in spell-work to cleanse, protect and bless the people, pets, and plants that you care for, who care for you and who add to the beautiful tapestry of your life all year round.