It’s officially summer! At least according to the wheel of the year. Litha or midsummer, which commemorates the Summer Solstice has come and gone. The solstice celebrates the height of the sun’s power. Throughout the year, the days have gradually been getting longer, the world has been getting warmer, and it’s all culminated up to this point.
The Summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and from here, the days will gradually grow shorter as we march towards the inevitable winter. But for now, this is a time to celebrate summer, the sun, and all of its majesty.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much for Litha this year because I’ve been dealing with a bad bout of bronchitis. It’s been hot here in Southern California, so I’ve had my window open at night to let the breeze come in, it’s the only way I’ve been able to get any sleep as my apartment tends to heat up since we are on the top floor. The breeze has probably contributed to my getting bronchitis, so that was unfortunate, but anyone who lives in the desert knows how sweet that breeze can be on a hot night.
In any case, my Litha post is a little delayed, but here it is. I decorated my altar and my kitchen table to celebrate, and I’ve also begun to invest in storage boxes for my ever-growing supply of decorations in an attempt to be a little more organized especially in preparation for our move to Washington next year. This small shoe box which I decorated will house my Litha and my Lamma supplies, and the container underneath will accommodate the flowers I use for both. That’s why I’ve decorated half the box for Litha and half the box for Lammas.
The color scheme is meant to depict the sun and all of its power. There’s a lot of oranges, bright reds, and yellows. The gems I have assembled on the altar for this season include amber, moonstone, tiger’s eye, and jasper.
I’ve meant to take my candle and some incense out on the patio and burn them, but I’ve been sick, so I haven’t been able to do that yet. I have some dragon’s blood for the season because to me, dragon’s blood depicts power.
The sun lights and warms the world, and all the planets in our solar system rely on it. Its gravity holds us all together, and it has been spinning and putting out its power for billions of years. This is the time to honor it for what it does for us and to be grateful for what it gives us because, without it, we wouldn’t be here.
For every pagan, certain correspondences will differ slightly because our personal paths are all our own and there are no wrong or right ways, but I’ll explain why I’ve chosen particular gems and flowers to represent this time.
First I’ll start with the flowers. And yes, they are all silk flowers from Michael’s. I’d love to have real flowers for my decorations every year, but that would be quite expensive, and the nice thing with these silk ones is that at the end of the sabbat, I can pack them up and use them again for next year. I’ve had many of these flowers for a year or so. I’ve always believed that any pagan should never have money be a barrier for your practice because this is an earth-based path and you should be able to find meaning in nature around you, and so, you should be able to put together an altar without spending a dime if you live somewhere close to nature.
These decorations did cost me money, but I’ve been accumulating them little by little for a few years now, and I’ve begun to make a lot of my own things as well.
The main flowers that are important to me on Litha are sunflowers and daffodils. Also, an assortment of daisies and gerbera daisies. To me, these flowers represent the sun. The sunflower, with its large center and the large petals surrounding it, reminds me of the sun. The gerbera daisies represent happiness, and daffodils represent luck, fortune, and rebirth.
Now, the daffodils may be more of a spring flower, especially with their meaning of rebirth, but to me, they feel more appropriate to a Litha altar because of their bright colors and bold contrasts. Like the sunflower, they represent the sun.
And for my gems, I chose to use amber, tiger’s eye, jaspers, the moonstone, and the sunstones. You’ll notice that many of my gems are raw and some are tumbled. Raw gemstones tend to be cheaper, and to me, they are closer to nature, and often, I find them by opportunity.
Amber represents the sun because it is crystallized tree resin, and it’s often portrayed to many cultures as captured sunlight. Of course, this is just a metaphor, but I appreciated the meaning. But it is said to be a natural purifier and has healing properties. Jasper has many different meanings and comes in so many different types. I have tons of various kinds. But the red jasper holds significance for Litha because it said to be the stone of wisdom and courage.
The tiger’s eye pyramid represents leadership and authority, something I’d associate with the sun, and it’s relationship as protector and leader of all the other objects in the solar system. Everything revolves around it.
Of course, I also have a small section set aside for the moon. If I had a larger place, ideally, the sun and the moon would each have their own altar, and my four elements and my ancestor altars would also have their own place. But for now, the sun and the moon share. These decorative wood plaques I have underneath aren’t finished, I plan to wood burn them and put some tarnish on them, but for now, they’re fine where they are.
I have scattered seashells around because I associate summer with water and the ocean. If I could, I would celebrate Litha by traveling because I believe Litha is all about exploration and having the courage to step outside your comfort zone and experience new cultures.
So that’s Litha for me, I’ll be leaving these decorations up until the eve of Lammas and of course I’ll go through and talk about Lammas, and it’s meaning.