(Quote in title attributed to Charles Bowden)
“The festival of fire is upon us…”
With these words, we welcome Litha, or Mid-Summer, or the Summer solstice. Whatever way you call the day, traditionally beginning the night of June 21st, and lasting through June 22nd, the celebration of the Sun God, horned one, Oak King, Lightbringer, Helios, Sol, Ra, Apollo, Magec, Nanauatzin, Belenos, Yuyi, Aryaman, Hors – whichever name you chose, is at the forefront of the day.
It is a day that we celebrate the Sun God in the fury of his strength; he has reached full maturity in the day and has gained dominion over the night. But, like all things on this year wheel, the strongest sheaf of wheat must also pass, and as we celebrate the glory of the Oak King, we recognize that we now turn toward the darker part of the year and the reign of the Holly King, his brother and darker half.
If possible, like Beltaine, there should be a fire lit – at the very least, a candle, for the day recognizing the strength of the sun. Litha is a fire festival celebrating both heat and light.
Adorn yourself in Golds, yellows, oranges, reds – anything evoking the emotion of heat, fire, passion and the God. These colors venerate the Sun God and recognize his time.
If you have a home altar, in addition to the candle burning, place summer flowers and decorations upon it; sunflowers, symbols of gold like coins and the like. If available in your area, boughs of oak or oak leaves are highly appropriate.
Most herbs are reaching full maturity and peak by this time; if they have not been harvested, now is a proper time to do so. Give gifts of herbs to friends and family from your garden during Litha.
Drink mead or honey wine as honey has long been a symbol of the sun and the Sun God and mead is known as a divine solar drink. Honor the bees at mid-summer with sweet nectar in your garden.
Now is the best time for magic that invokes the power of the God; spells around passion, prosperity, earthly things are all very applicable.
Whichever way you chose to celebrate Litha, try to do it with friends. Laugh, dance, sing in the mountains. Giver reverence to the Old Ones, but remember them with a smile on your face as you work your tradition this season.