Litha, the summer solstice Sabbat, honors the longest day of the year. It is celebrated on June 21st. Celebrating midsummer was a common practice for all agricultural societies. The celebration’s focus is the power of the sun – celebrating the time when gardens are growing and warmth has returned to the land. The longest day is the time when the sun seems to just hang there without moving. The word “solstice” comes from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still”.

Litha is also a time to find a balance between fire and water. The Romans celebrated this time as sacred to Juno, the wife of Jupiter. The ancient Celts celebrated midsummer with hilltop bonfires and honored the space between earth and the heavens. Christians have chronicled the rolling of flaming (solar) wheels into a body of water since the fourth Century of the Common Era. The custom was apparently common throughout Northern Europe.

This is a time of brightness and warmth. The power of the sun at midsummer is at its greatest, and earth is fertile. For contemporary Wiccans and Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. It is a time to meditate on darkness and light.

To celebrate there are feasts, decorations, crafts for children, activities, and the Midsummer mead made with fermented honey. It is a time when humans recognize and honor natural wonders and remember their connection to the natural world.

Let us too celebrate, thanking God for the sun, earth, water, all that is created. This is a moment of light and of interdependence with all creation.

Photo: Summer Solstice by cyclotourist / CC BY-NC 2.0