Glory of the Day-Star, hail!
Lifter of the Light, Burnisher of the Sky.
Gifts of love to earth are bringing,
Summer’s shimmer, dew’s delight.
Dancing be the heart within us,
Open be our souls to bliss,
Courage vanquish every shadow,
Greet Midsummer with a kiss.
by Caitlín Matthews, from Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings
Happy Solstice to all!
Happy Litha (Summer Solstice) to those of us in the northern hemisphere, and Happy Yule (Winter Solstice) to our friends below the equator!
On this day (above the equator) at 6:07am Eastern time, the Sun, giver of life, reached its zenith in the sky. Today, the Shadow is smallest, the bright Sun illuminates all. From this day forward, She diminishes, the days grow shorter, and the harvest season beckons.
The word solstice is Latin, meaning ‘sun standing still.’
This is because twice a year, for a day or two, the Sun appears to rise and set in exactly the same place. Throughout the world, the ancients were tuned to this event: it is an unmistakable point from which the rest of the yearly calendar may be accurately reckoned.
This date has had spiritual significance for thousands of years as humans have celebrated the life-giving powers of the Sun.
The Celts celebrated with bonfires, and then the Christians attempted to replace Litha with the feast of John the Baptist. It is also the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light. It is still a huge holiday in Scandinavia, Latvia, and Estonia (where it is second only to Christmas).
Solstice rites are associated with diverse cultures and sites the world over, including Stonehenge in England, Casa Rinconada at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, Carrowkeel cairn in Ireland, the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, the Caracol Tower in Mexico, and the Pyramid of Khufu at Giza in Egypt.
The Summer Solstice is a quarter sabbat and is called Midsummer or Litha in some medieval and Craft traditions; and Alban Hefin or Alban Heruin in other Celtic and Druid traditions.
And because it is such a beautiful day of power for all the planet…
Join Our Global Spell TODAY!
My friend Nancy Antenucci and I have cooked up a rite for today, and we invite EVERYONE to join us.
There are seemingly endless horrors now facing us – little children ripped from their families and put in detention camps; pathological lies and hate pouring from the halls of power; global climate change bringing unspeakable disaster to millions; the brutality of the growing police state given carte blanche to pursue racist, cruel agendas with no compunction.. well, you know.. on and on and on..
They threaten to swamp us, to drive us to numbness, retreat, collapse.
But we MUST NOT! This is a call to all magical people – and if you have read this far, I know YOU are one:
The Tell a Tree Solstice Ritual
There is an old saying…if you want the world to know about something, tell a tree. Well…let’s do it.
We need the best network available to connect to each other, to transform fear and hate into love, to support those that are in the actual trenches, to support those in danger.
Through all of this, we each need to build vital boundaries so that grief or anger don’t subsume us!
The ritual itself is fairly simple. During the height of the Solstice, put your hand on the nearest tree or one near your home. Envision the power of the Sun (or if in the Southern Hemisphere – the birth of the new Light) surging new paths through the roots to all others doing this ritual.
You could also see the prime of the Sun surge through the branches reaching out to the sky so birds could transmit the energy.
During the Summer, if you notice a lot of energy with this tree – it is trying to get your attention. Be able to listen.
AWAKEN! AWAKEN, my loves!
Join us! Join us! Tell the trees! Tell your friends and beloveds! Let’s get this going! Let’s use our powers for tree-mendous good!
If you are hesitant, here is a reminder: #WTFU.
If at all possible…witch the fuck up.
None of us are muggles..just sleeping.
For those even slightly awake…send waves of love and courage in the form of electric light/color to help those that are in the front lines, to change the hearts of those that have gone stone, flows of monies and support to those that can implement effective change, asking for divine allies and beloved ancestors to bring protection and justice to those in danger.
Do it every day. Let your breath be bigger than any thought.
Help in any way possible but keep the love flowing….keep it going and growing.
The danger of not doing this is that you will go under the heaviness of this current reality.
Nancy Antenucci, author of Psychic Tarot, and a generally amazeballs woman of talent and brilliance
Birthing the Darkness
Today is the ending of the waxing year and the beginning of the waning year, in preparation for the harvest to come. In the mythical cycle, this is the beginning of the end of the reign of the Oak King, and the turning towards the Holly King’s rule.
From this day forward, the days grow shorter, and the Sun’s light declines, until Winter Solstice, when its growth, and the dominance of the Oak King, are rekindled once more.
But for now, we celebrate the peak of the daylight. Midsummer is when all that lives radiates with the Sun’s warming rays. This is a fiery celebration of fertility, not only for humans, but also for crops, animals and all beings.
Some Witches consider the Goddess to be heavy now with pregnancy from Her mating at Beltane; others see that She is now in Her great nurturing and Mothering splendor, which makes sense now that we are in the Sun sign of the Great Mother, Cancer (in tropical astrology).
In all cases, we honor Her.
The God is also celebrated, as the Sun is at its peak in the sky and we celebrate Him as the good Father, a giver of light and life – Honor to Him, as well!
Litha: A Time of Great Magical Power
Besides Beltane, this is one of the most active times for our Faery cousins. Those who are wise in the ways may wish to leave them special offerings of cream, honey, or hand-made treats. Not in exchange for favors, mind you, but as gifts to honor and thank them — pure, simple, and no strings attached.
It is also an old tradition that couples who became enchanted with one another at Beltane are now given the opportunity to make a more permanent commitment at Litha. They may do so by jumping the bonfire (or a burning cauldron fire) into which the nine blessed herbs have been cast.
And all forms of Sun magic are going to be amplified. Herbs and other natural items used in magic are especially charged with powerful life-enhancing properties at this time.
This is a particularly effective time for for love, healing, and prosperity spells. It is also ideal for working your most profound and global spells, with the full force of Sol carrying you.
Harness this magical energy to perform blessings and protection spells for your pets and home. Hanging boughs of fennel and honeysuckle bring sweetness and protection.
More Green Magick
Midsummer’s Day is a traditional time to gather herbs from the magical garden or from the wild (in a mindful, responsible manner only – never wild harvest a plant that is threatened or stressed) to use in potions, dream pillows, poppets, and other forms of spellcraft.
As you gather your Green Allies on Midsummer’s Day, you might leave an offering, and chant this, thrice before and thrice after:
Herbs of magick, herbs of power,
Root and bark, leaf and flower,
Work for me when charms are spoken,
Potions brewed and curses broken!
May The Sacred Source of Life Bless Us, Every One
May our Great Awakenings now gather irresistible momentum! May the old shadow spells of fear and powerlessness now melt away like mist that dissolves under the bright beams of the Solstice Sun.
May all the children of Earth now rise up, and re-dedicate to the urgent healing and empowerment we need, for one another, and especially for our holy Mother Earth.
Blessings this day, to you and to all Beings!
In the ways of our ancestors, we honor the Turning.