Litha: The Festival of Fire

The exciting fire festival of Litha is a celebration of light and life. It’s a great time to practice love, get married and to face personal challenges; especially the ones we’ve been ignoring. Litha arrives at the point of midsummer, in the wheel of the year between the 20th and 24th of June (in the northern hemisphere). Friends gather to celebrate the longest day and the shortest night with bonfires and candle lit feasts.

Midsummer gatherings at Stonehenge still attract hundreds of people. They come to watch the sun set over the majestic and mysterious stones after the longest day is finally over. This year, with strict social distancing measures still in place, Stonehenge was closed to the public during midsummer. So, for the first time in history this world-famous sunset was broadcast to thousands of people, globally over the internet.

But even if we couldn’t celebrate Litha in person at Stonehenge this year, or we didn’t fancy staying awake until 4am to watch the sunset broadcast live online, it doesn’t mean we have to let Litha pass us by! The energy of the sun is at its strongest during June. It’s a great time to challenge ourselves by setting goals, work on protection rituals, bring in luck and positive energy. It’s also a time to give thanks to the world for the light and warmth of the summer.

There are lots of fun, and interesting ways for everyone to celebrate this beautiful festival. Whether you are well practised and comfortable with rituals and performing spell work or just looking for simple ways to honour the sabbat; here’s a few ideas to get you started:

“Certain monuments like Stonehenge are designed to orient to the rising sun.”

Litha Fires – Bonfires are a staple of Litha celebrations, but fires of any kind and size can be used to celebrate. If you have a fire pit or any safe way to set a flame, you can burn woods like oak, fir and rowan or herbs like sage, mint, basil, rosemary or any other summer flowers associated with this fiery festival. Perform candle magick like ceromancy, use rune candles or meditate with a candle to bring the Litha flames of celebration into your life. If meditation appeals to you, crystals like emeralds, sunstone, citrine, yellow topaz and calcite are also strongly associated with Litha. Meditating with stones or keeping them close to you around this period can really strengthen your connection to the strong Litha energies present at this time.

Simple ways to get started…

Getting out in nature – another simple way to honour the midsummer solstice is to get out, into nature. Appreciate what the warm air and sunlight has brought into our lives. Spend time in the garden or on a balcony, if you’re lucky enough to have one. Go for walks in a local beauty spot and appreciate the sun while its at its strongest. You could also pick up any flowers or leaves you see while you’re out, and use them to decorate your home.

Decorating – filling your personal space with all the colours, scents and blooms of the summer is another age-old way to celebrate the midsummer solstice. It’s a great way to bring the beauty of the natural world into your home. The colours of Litha are blues, reds, greens, yellows and pinks; so mix these colours into your makeup and clothes and bring the brightness of summer to you. For those of you with alters or spaces created specifically for your practice, decorate these spots with ribbons, candles and flowers. Use the colours of Litha and make wreathes of fresh summer flowers and plants to decorate your home.

Food– pretty much all sabbats and esbats (or festivals!) come with a host of special recipes that you can make for yourself or share with the people you’re quarantining with! Barbecuing is a fun way to incorporate both a Litha fire and wonderful food into your celebrations. Elderflower, lavender, honey and summer fruits or berries are all significant at this time. Since Litha is a great time to challenge yourself, try following a new recipe or be more experimental with your cooking. Make use of the energy of the solstice period. Some common and fairly easy things to make during Litha are elderflower drinks, lemon or honey based drinks and spiced bakes or fruit tarts.

Rituals and spell work!

For anyone involved with, or interested in magick, Litha is a wonderful time to practice working with ritual and intention during the solstice. There are so many ways to get involved. Traditionally, the period around Litha is seen as a good time to create protective charms and amulets, and a good time to replenish or remake alter tools; particularly a wand. Equally, due to the strength of energy around this time, Litha is seen as a good time to approach more complex spell work and rituals that require more energy than normal. Litha is a great time to perform something you’ve been planning for a while and the perfect time for manifesting luck, passion, energy and renewal.

So good luck, have fun and don’t forget to send us a photo of your Litha celebrations!