Litha (pronounced lah-i (as in “it”) -th- ah), also known as the Summer Solstice, marks the Earth’s biggest inhalation of the year.
Litha is one of the quarter festivals – along with Mabon (Fall Equinox), Yule (Winter Solstice), and Ostara (Spring Equinox) – of the Celtic calendar with the cross-quarter festivals of Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain celebrated in between.
Summer Solstice occurs when the northern hemisphere of the Earth is most inclined toward the sun, which is why we get the most daylight of the year on this day.
The word solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from Earth) momentarily comes to a stop before reversing direction.
In the northern hemisphere, the Summer Solstice takes place between June 20th and 22nd. Which is why it is often celebrated anytime over this three-day span.
This seasonal shift (aka. the Turning of the Wheel of the Year) has a time-honoured history.
In ancient times, the date of the June Solstice was used to organize calendars and as a marker to figure out when to plant and harvest crops.
Summer Solstice, the longest and brightest day, calls for playing, rejoicing, and enjoying all of life’s pleasures by drinking them into every cell of our bodies. Traditionally, this time of year was also popular for weddings with June being named after Juno, the Roman Goddess of Love and Marriage (Hera is her Greek counterpart).
Litha is steeped in mystical tradition with several ancient cultures celebrating it as a time of honouring the fertility of the earth and the sun’s blessing of warmth and light.
The Celts believed that on Midsummer’s Eve (the night before Summer Solstice) the veils between the worlds were blurred and that the fey/faerie/sidhe came out to play with humans (in jest, fun, or mischievously). This night has inspired poets from Yeats: “Faeries, come take me out of this dull world”; to Shakespeare’s Titania and Oberon in Midsummer Night’s Dream.
As we emerge from Spring and the birthing of new dreams and ideas, we slowly grow into Summer, a time of manifestation and the ripening of fruit.
This festival is often portrayed as simply a celebration of Summer – which it certainly is – but as the midway point to the year, Solstice encourages us to look back on what we have been tending in our inner garden, what needs to be watered, what needs to be weeded, and to notice if there’s anything that’s been left out of sight that needs to bloom.
It is also the perfect time to look back on the last six months and celebrate all that you have brought forth in your life AND to set intentions and make goals for the rest of the year.
During the remainder of this week, take a cue from this pause, of the “sun standing still” to purposefully design your summer in the way you want it to feel by acknowledging how far you’ve come this year and creating intentionality around what you want to create this summer.
How can we acknowledge the sacredness of this time?
Before you continue to the suggestions on how to celebrate, first connect to the essence of this being a time to appreciate all that is lush and full in life.
Take out your journal and ask yourself:
- What do I need to celebrate? Is there anything in my life that I’ve looked over? Have I prevented myself from celebrating something because I either feel I don’t deserve it or because I’m waiting until “everything else” is done?
- Imagining my inner garden, is there anything that needs my renewed energy?
- What will it take for me to give this the attention it requires?
- Where can I get the support I need to do this?
- Is there anything in my inner garden that needs to be weeded or removed? Is there anything that’s been left out of sight that has yet to bloom?
Ways to Celebrate Litha
- Watch the Sun Rise Choose a day this week to get up before the sun and watch it rise. As you do, give thanks for the abundance you have in your life and reflect upon this past year from Yule (Winter Solstice) to now.
- Nature Walk Go for a walk and notice which plants or flowers have had their full bloom time already, what is at its zenith, and what is still growing.
- Celebrate with Others Have a bonfire to celebrate the change of the seasons and all that has manifested so far this year for everyone. Decorate with oranges, yellows, and reds.
- Attune to the Little Girl in You This is a time to tap into the magic of each day, to rejoice in freedom, and to play to your heart’s content.
Litha Sun Bathing Meditation Practice
We’re going to do a guided sun bathing meditation practice. As you do this, consider some of the insights from your soulcentred journaling.
Click here to listen to the guided meditation practice (duration_6:35).
How did you celebrate Litha? Did you do the journaling, meditation practice, or some of the celebration suggestions?
How were they for you? What insights took shape?
I’d love to know!
Leave your comment in the box below and share your experience with me.
Want to dive into some online Soulcentred Summer Programs including a Summer Soulcamp and 21 days of Sacred Summer Practices? Check out my online Summer Programs and enjoy a Summer of joy, play, and ease.
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Your Soul Sista,
Women’s Hormone Love, Body Wisdom, + Soul Connection Guide