Litha is the sacred holiday celebrated on the Summer Solstice [in the northern hemisphere]. It is one of the 8 sacred demarcated celebrations of the Wheel of the Year. On this day, the Sun’s power is at its apex. This is the longest day of the year, and marks the tipping point that gently shifts us into the time of the Sun's waning phase.
This is the pinnacle of the Sun's energy, which is masculine energy. This is a time of externally-focused awareness and interaction, of light and buoyancy and kinetic expression. We are at our most Yang on Litha.
In our modern calendar, this is the beginning of the Summer season. However, in the old agrarian calendars, Litha was called Midsummer and marked the midpoint of the season. However you choose to view it, it’s definitely Summer Magick, and that’s a fine thing to celebrate, IMO.
There have been many articles and blog posts written about the specifics of this sacred day. (I’ve written more than I can count over the last few decades.) So, I’m not going to go too much into those details here. Please feel encouraged to take your own trip down the search engine rabbit hole if you are so inspired. It’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours (or days!) discovering more about this powerful time in Nature's cyclical expression of light/dark, yin/yang, external/internal.
What I am going to share are some simple, but powerful rituals for celebrating this sacred moment in all its glory. I invite you to take from these rituals what resonates for you. You can follow them all to the letter, you can pick and choose your favorites, delete what doesn’t work, add something else that does, or simply use these as inspiration to find what feels true to who you are how you like to celebrate. However you choose to use them, I hope they serve you well.
Begin the day with a few rounds of yogic Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara). Keep it simple with 1-5 rounds of Surya Namaskar A, go medium with 5-10 rounds of Surya A followed by Surya B, or really ramp it up with 108 rounds of Surya A for a yoga mala.
Get up to watch the sunrise and/or stay up to watch the sunset. This can be especially powerful in a natural setting like in a boat in the middle of a lake or on a mountain overlook or even in a city park.
Create a flower mandala with sunflowers, dandelions, daisies and other flowers reminiscent of the Sun. The act of making a mandala is meditative in itself. You can also then choose to meditate on the finished piece of art while inviting the Sun to share His power with you. Collect that energy to store deep inside your body, and call upon that power as you need it during the darker half of the year.
Smudge yourself and your favorite spaces with citrine. Citrine is a crystal associated with the Sun. It also has the added power of being a self-cleansing stone, meaning it can draw out any negative energies from the spaces around it, but it releases them immediately. No lingering icky juju to worry about with citrine. It stays clean, bright and beautiful.
Brew an herbal Sun tea. (See my latest Blissmaker magazine for a delicious and magickally appropriate recipe.)
Perform a ritual purification by water and fire. On Litha, the Sun enters the astrological sign of Cancer, which is very watery. Immersing yourself in a swimming hole, pool, ocean or even a bath while simultaneously drinking in the heat of the Sun (or a candle, if you don’t have access to outdoor water sources) can create a beautiful opportunity to harness the magick of the Sun and Cancer to purify and empower the body/mind/spirit.
Eat citrus fruit while sitting in the sunshine.