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Endless soul-warming sunshine. Vibrant nature colored in full bloom. Hours upon hours outside with your feet in the warm dirt.
The summer solstice is a magical day indeed.
Also known as Litha, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year.
It marks the peak of the sun’s power and the height of summer, a time when the natural world is in full bloom and the days are long and warm.
For centuries, people have honored this special day with rituals and celebrations, connecting with the energy of the sun and the power of the mother nature.
In this post, we will explore the history and significance of Litha, as well as share unique and powerful rituals you can do to honor this special day and connect with the energy of the season.
Grab your flowers, herbs, and candles, and let’s dive into the magic of Litha!
What is Litha?
Litha is one of the eight Sabbats celebrated by those who honor the wheel of the year, marking the longest day and shortest night of the year.
Also known as “midsummer,” Litha or the summer solstice is usually celebrated around June 21st in the northern hemisphere.
It is a time for celebrating fruitful abundance and connecting with the energy of the earth and the cycles of the seasons.
Many celebrate Litha with rituals, feasts, and celebrations… all of which I will give inspiration for below!
Enjoy the extra sunshine, capture the abundant light and get grounded with nature on this beautiful peak of celebration.
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Where does the word Litha come from?
The word Litha is an Old English word that means gentle or navigable. It was used to describe the summer months when the waters were calm and the weather was mild, making it easier for travelers to navigate.
Other linguistic connections:
- “Liða,” which means gentle or mild. An old english word used to describe the months of June and July. Modern spelling of “Litha” is said to be derived from this.
- “Linþi,” an old-Germanic word ” which means gentle, mild, or pleasant.
- “Lind,” an old-Norse word meaning gentle, mild, or soothing.
All in all, I think we can agree that Litha and the words listed above all encapsulate the feeling of the summer solstice perfectly. It is all things gentle and pleasant.
What deities are honored at Litha?
Depending on the tradition or religion followed, there are many gods and goddesses associated with Litha or the Summer Solstice.
Here are few who are commonly associated with this Sabbat:
- The Oak King: The Oak King is a god of the sun and the seasons who represents strength, power, and victory. He is often associated with the Summer Solstice, when his power is at its height. In some traditions, the Oak King is seen as a rival of the Holly King, who represents the darker half of the year.
- Sun Gods and Goddesses: Many cultures have gods and goddesses who are associated with the sun, such as Apollo, Ra, and Sol. These deities are often honored at the Summer Solstice, since the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
- The Green Man: The Green Man is a god of nature who represents growth, fertility, and the cycle of life. He is often depicted as a figure with leaves or branches growing out of his face or head. The Green Man is associated with the Summer Solstice because it is a time of abundance and growth in the natural world.
- The Goddess of Love: The Summer Solstice is often seen as a time of fertility and love, and many traditions honor a goddess of love or fertility at this time. Examples are Aphrodite, Venus, and Freyja.
- Litha herself: In some traditions, Litha is seen as a goddess who represents the energy of the Summer Solstice. She is associated with the sun, growth, and abundance.
Maybe just one of these resonate with you, maybe all of them do, maybe none of them do. I believe the best way to celebrate your spirituality, connection to nature and magick you practice is most meaningful when chosen by YOU.
You may also like: How to Strengthen Your Intuition
Where does the Litha/Summer Solstice celebration originate from?
Litha has roots in ancient Northern European and Celtic cultures, where it was celebrated as a midsummer festival.
It was a time to honor the power of the sun and the fertility of the earth, and was often marked by bonfires, feasting, and other rituals.
It is one of four major seasonal festivals along with Yule (Winter Solstice), Ostara (Spring Equinox), and Mabon (Autumn Equinox).
These festivals were closely tied to the cycles of the natural world and were an important part of the spiritual and cultural traditions of the region.
Today, Litha is celebrated by many as a time to connect with the natural world, as part of the wheel of the year, to honor the cycles of the seasons, and celebrate the power of the sun.
While the specific traditions and rituals associated with Litha may vary among different communities and traditions, the underlying themes of abundance, growth, and connection to the earth and the cosmos seem to run a common thread.
Can anyone celebrate Litha?
Yes! Celebrating Litha is not a closed practice. Anyone who wishes to live in tune with the cycles of nature can partake. Litha is celebrated by many different cultures and beliefs, so adding its celebration to your life is not taboo or inappropriate.
I do suggest further research into its roots and the religions that do honor this special day (this post is a great starting point!), so that you can be more embodied in your spiritual practice.
That being said, you don’t have to practice a certain religion or belong to any regulated set of beliefs in order to celebrate Litha or the Summer Solstice. If you like to celebrate and live in sync with the cycles of nature, happy Litha to you!
And remember, there isn’t any one correct way to celebrate. You can do a few rituals (plenty of ideas for those below!), gather around with friends and family, or just take a moment to reflect upon the peak of summer as you bask in the sunshine.
As long as it aligns with your heart, enjoy this day.
20 Litha Ritual Ideas: Celebrating the Summer Solstice
1. Litha Cacao Ritual
One of my favorite tried and true ritual friends is ceremonial cacao. It’s a wonderful plant medicine that helps to open your heart and bring you to the present moment- often accompanied by a burst of inspiration.
To have your own Litha cacao ritual, make yourself a cup of ceremonial cacao (instructions can be found here).
Be sure to charge your cacao with the magic of Litha by stirring your intentions into the cup as you prepare it. Focus on the energy of summer and the sun, contemplate its warming and life-giving properties.
This is a great ritual to do as a replacement for morning coffee or tea to celebrate the morning of Litha as you welcome in the abundant sunshine that occurs on this day.
Sip your cacao outside in the morning sunlight as you contemplate your intentions for the summer solstice and the future of your dreams.
I recommend this Heart of the Earth Ceremonial Cacao. It is my go-to for ritual use and you can get a discount using code BLOOM.
2. Litha Candle Ritual: Anoint, Dress, Light
- Using a candle of your choice (I like to use chime candles like these for my rituals), anoint the candle with your Litha inspired oils. I recommend bergamot, lemon, lavender, rose and/or sandalwood.
Bergamot promotes joy, lemon helps cleanse, uplift and purify, lavender brings relaxation and balance, while rose and sandalwood are both soothing to the heart and encourage love and peace.
- Sprinkle Litha inspired herbs around your candle, allowing them to stick to the oil you’ve dressed.
- Litha Herbs to choose from:
- St. John’s Wort: This herb is named after St. John the Baptist, who was born around the time of the summer solstice. It is often used in Litha rituals to promote protection, courage, and vitality.
- Chamomile: a calming herb that is often used to promote relaxation and balance emotions.
- Mugwort: associated with the element of fire and is often used in Litha rituals to promote psychic awareness and intuition.
- Lavender:calming herb that can be used to promote relaxation and balance emotions during Litha.
- Yarrow: associated with the element of air and is often used in Litha rituals to promote clarity and mental focus.
- Meadowsweet: associated with the element of water and is often used in Litha rituals to promote emotional balance and peace.
- Rose: Rose is a symbol of love and is often used in Litha rituals to promote connection and harmony.
- Elderflower: associated with the element of air and used to promote clarity and mental focus.
- Thyme: Thyme is a protective herb that can be used in Litha rituals to promote courage and strength.
- Sage: a purifying herb that can be used to cleanse and purify the energy of a space.
- Litha Herbs to choose from:
- Light your Litha ritual candle and focus on what you’re grateful for and what you’re calling into your life.
- Enjoy a moment of gratitude as you watch your candle burn or sit to meditate with it.
- You can also recite an incantation, affirmation or prayer and send that along with the flame of your candle.
3. Create a Litha Altar
Create an altar dedicated to Litha or the Summer Solstice. This can be a small corner of your home or even on a windowsill. Decorate your altar with things that symbolize summer, sunshine and abundance.
Here are some steps to follow when creating a Litha altar:
- Choose a sacred space: Find a location for your altar that feels meaningful and sacred to you. This could be a space inside your home, on a patio or balcony, or in a garden or outdoor space.
- Select a surface: Choose a surface for your altar, such as a table or shelf. Make sure the surface is sturdy and can hold the items you will be placing on it.
- Choose altar decorations: Choose items to decorate your altar that are associated with Litha and the Summer Solstice. Some common items include:
- Candles: Choose candles in colors associated with Litha, such as yellow, orange, and red. You can also choose candles in the shape of the sun or other symbols of the season.
- Flowers and herbs: Use fresh or dried flowers and herbs that are in season, such as lavender, rose, or chamomile.
- Crystals and stones: Choose crystals and stones that are associated with Litha, such as citrine, carnelian or sunstone.
- Symbols of the season: Use symbols of the sun, such as a sun wheel or a sunburst, or symbols of nature, such as a feather or a seashell.
- Other items: Use any other items that feel meaningful and sacred to you, such as photos, artwork, or statues of deities associated with the season.
- Set up your altar: Arrange your chosen items on your altar in a way that feels aesthetically pleasing and meaningful to you. You can arrange items in a symmetrical or asymmetrical way, and add or remove items as needed.
- Cleanse and bless your altar: Before using your altar, cleanse it with sage or other cleansing herbs to remove any negative energy. You can also bless your altar with a prayer or intention that aligns with the energy of Litha and the Summer Solstice.
Litha Altar Decor Items and symbols
- Symbols of light or the sun. I love beeswax candles for this.
- Symbols of the sun like a sun wheel or sunburst
- Greenery and florals are always a beautiful way to decorate your altar.
- Stones, crystals and minerals to represent the elements of nature: sunstone, citrine, selenite, clear quartz.
- An offering to honor mother nature or the gods and goddesses you resonate with.
- Road opener oil
4. Create Your Own Cleansing Herb Bundle
Use your own locally harvested rosemary, sage, bay or other greenery to bundle up into a smoke cleansing stick. Trim and arrange your herbs then bundle them together with string. Allow your bundle to dry out (may take upwards of a week) then use to spiritually cleanse yourself or your home. It will be charged with the abundant energy of the summer solstice.
5. Make Sun Tea
Fill a jar with water and tea bags or herbs and let it steep in the sun all day. Drink the tea as a way of absorbing the energy of the sun.
6. Burn a Bay Leaf
One of my favorite rituals is the burning of bay leaf. This can be used for release, for manifestation and even for cleansing. I have a whole post on this here, but as a summer solstice ritual you can simply write down your intention for the remainder of the year, then burn the bay leaf in a fire safe bowl or cauldron, like this cute one with moons on it.
7. Reflect on Your Manifestation Journey
Reflection is an easy ritual that you can take part of as part of your Litha celebration. Maybe get out your favorite journal and look back on the things you’ve been wanting to manifest. Ask yourself: do I still want to manifest this/these? Is there anything on my heart that I would rather put my energy towards?
8. Create a Sun Wheel
Use sticks and flowers to create a sun wheel, a symbol of the sun’s power and energy.
9. Make a Manifestation Box
I have a whole article on this here, but as part of your Litha ritual and celebration, making a manifestation box can be lots of fun. Fill your box with things that represent abundance and everything you’d like to see come to fruition in the second half of the year.
Suggested Reading: How to Create a Manifestation Box
10. Make Herbal Ice Cubes
Using an ice tray, add summer herbs like lavender, mint, rose or chamomile to your ice tray with water. Freeze and enjoy in your favorite beverage to celebrate Litha / the summer solstice!
11. Tarot Spread
Doing a tarot spread ritual for Litha is a great way to identify what you may want to release and what you may want to call in for the rest of the year.
This post has a ton of good tarot deck recommendations, check it out: 20 Best Tarot Card Decks
Litha Tarot Spread Questions
What do I need to focus on releasing?
What do I need to focus on calling in?
What areas of my life should I focus on for the remainder of the year?
What does this summer (or year) hold for me if I stay aligned with my goals?
12. Make a Summer Solstice Wreath
Use flowers and herbs associated with the season to create a wreath to hang on your door, symbolizing the abundance and beauty of the season.
13. Nature Walk
Take a walk in nature and connect with the energy of the sun, feeling the power and beauty of the season. You can use that time to contemplate gratitude, collect herbs, stones and flowers, or just simply be mindful and present in the sun.
14. Host (or Attend) a Bonfire
To take this ritual celebration a step further, write down any negative thoughts or emotions on a piece of paper and burn it in the bonfire, symbolizing the release of negativity.
15. Host (or Attend) a Summer Solstice Feast
Gather friends and family for a feast, celebrating the abundance and fertility of the season with fresh, seasonal foods.
Some ideas of foods to bring or prepare are:
- Fresh Fruits: Include a variety of fresh fruits that are in season, such as berries, cherries, peaches, and watermelon. These vibrant and juicy fruits symbolize the bountiful harvest and the sweetness of summer.
- Seasonal Vegetables: Incorporate a colorful array of seasonal vegetables into your feast. Some examples include tomatoes, zucchini, corn, bell peppers, and leafy greens. Consider grilling or roasting the vegetables to enhance their flavors.
- Herbs and Spices: Utilize herbs and spices that are associated with summer, such as basil, mint, thyme, and dill. These herbs can be used in salads, sauces, or as a garnish to add freshness and flavor to your dishes.
- Barbecue and Grilled Foods: Embrace the spirit of summer with a barbecue or grilling theme. Include items like grilled vegetables, burgers, steak, lamb or chicken. The smoky flavors and outdoor cooking add a festive touch!
- Sun-inspired Desserts: Create desserts inspired by the sun, such as lemon bars, citrus-infused cakes, or sun-shaped cookies. These treats can reflect the vibrant energy of Litha.
- Honey and Mead: Incorporate honey or mead into your feast, as they are often associated with the sweetness and abundance of the season. Use honey as a natural sweetener in dressings or desserts, or enjoy a glass of mead, a traditional honey-based alcoholic beverage.
- Floral Infusions: Create refreshing beverages by infusing water or sparkling water with edible flowers like lavender, rose, or chamomile. These floral infusions can provide a delicate and aromatic addition to your feast. You could even use the floral ice cubes listed above!
16. Take a Summer Solstice Bath:
Add herbs and flowers associated with the season to your bath for a relaxing and rejuvenating ritual.
17. Dance in the Sun
Play your favorite music and dance outside in the sun, celebrating the joy and energy of the season.
18. Perform a cleansing ritual with sage, rosemary, and bay.
A cleansing ritual is a great way to celebrate Litha. Spiritually cleansing yourself is a great way to make space for new beginnings and new blessings to arrive.
RELATED: Energy Cleansing for Empaths
19. Set Intentions for the Rest of the Year
What would you like to accomplish before the year comes to an end? This midsummer point is a great day to contemplate that.
For more guidance with intention setting, read this post: How to Set Daily Intentions (and Actually Stick to Them)
20. Write a Future Script for Spring Equinox
I like to use my luscious Magic of I Lined Journal for scripting. To do this as a Litha ritual, take a moment to think about where you would like to be at by the end of the year. Once you have your desired reality envisioned, write it down in your journal in the present tense (as if you’re already experiencing it). Example: “I am so grateful that I officially have (blank).” Get in to detail with it!
I hope these Litha ritual ideas help inspire you to celebrate the summer solstice in the most magical and personal way.
Remember to follow your heart and make each ritual special to you and what inspires joy within.
How are you celebrating Litha? I’d love to hear about your rituals! Comment below or let me know inside of the Bloom and Manifest Facebook Group.