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A besom blessing for the Summer Solstice

 

20181222_154714This year I have decided to finally bless my besom, and what better timing than Litha.

The link below gives you Ideas of how you to can celebrate this beautiful festival including blessing your very own besom.

To continue reading for more craft Idead on Litha……

 

The Winter Solstice in Ancient Greece

Solstice (from the Latin sol ‘sun’) celebrations honor the sun. At the summer solstice in late June, there is no dearth of the sun, so celebrants just enjoy the extra hours of daylight, but by the winter solstice in late December, the days are much shorter as the sun sets earlier.

To continue reading…..

Setting Up Your Litha Altar

It’s Litha, and that means the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It’s a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can’t, that’s okay — but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.

To continue reading…..

A Midsummer’s Celebration

by Mike Nichols

The young maid stole through the cottage door,
And blushed as she sought the Plant of pow’r; —
“Thou silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light,
I must gather the mystic St. John’s wort tonight,
The wonderful herb, whose leaf will decide
If the coming year shall make me a bride.”

In addition to the four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year, there are four lesser holidays as well: the two solstices, and the two equinoxes. In folklore, these are referred to as the four “quarter days” of the year, and modern Witches call them the four “Lesser Sabbats”, or the four “Low Holidays”. The summer solstice is one of them.

Technically, a solstice is an astronomical point and, due to the calendar creep of the leap-year cycle, the date may vary by a few days depending on the year. The summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, and we experience the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Astrologers know this as the date on which the sun enters the sign of Cancer.

However, since most European peasants were not accomplished at reading an ephemeris or did not live close enough to Salisbury Plain to trot over to Stonehenge and sight down its main avenue, they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, June 24. The slight forward displacement of the traditional date is the result of multitudinous calendrical changes down through the ages. It is analogous to the winter solstice celebration, which is astronomically on or about December 21, but is celebrated on the traditional date of December 25, Yule, later adopted by the Christians.

To continue reading please click on the link below…..

http://spheresoflight.com.au/index.php?page=witches_sabbats#midsummer

 

Litha in Australia

Midsummer or Litha (21st & 22nd December)

Midsummer, also known as Litha, is the time of the year when the days are longest and the nights shortest. The colors of the season are red and gold, representing heat and ripe fruit, and fruit is eaten in thanks.

In Australia the Sturt Desert Pea is a sacred flower of this time. Litha falls in the dry stifling heat of summer in the southern part of our land, but in the north, Litha falls in the hot, wet season, and represents fruitfulness.

Due to fire restrictions in Australia throughout summer, celebrations for this Sabbat tend to be quite different from those those throughout the rest of the year. No candles can be lit, no cauldrons burned, and no open flames are allowed throughout much of the country.

This means that we seek other ways of marking the quarters. One method is to make staffs for the Quarter Priest/esses to hold and brandish as the Elements are called in. Light sources include battery-operated torches that can be covered in colored cellophane to produce different colored light applicable to the various Elements. The cauldron can be replaced with a glass bowl of water, filled with rosewater and seashells, symbolising the importance of water to Australian Witches at this time. Garlands for our hair, wreaths to carry and use in ritual, and light, casual clothing are all a part of Midsummer celebrations.

 

To continue reading please click on to the link below…….

https://aussiewytch.wordpress.com/sabbats/litha-summer-solstice/litha-in-australia/

 

 

Winter Solstice also called Yule

This is the time of the shortest day and longest night in the year. I use the early darkness to go out in my backyard usually to listen to the squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits getting the dems ready for the cold months of they are not already bedded down but this year it is like late fall or early spring temperatures so they are all still fairly active. I also use it as a time to think back over the last year both the good and bad parts of it. There were many changes in my families life some brought tears of happiness and others years of sadness and/or frustration. But everything happens for a reason only known at times to the gods and goddesses.

What was year like good or bad or some of both?

 

13 Ways to Celebrate Yuletide

by Selena Fox

  1. 100 6806Create a Pagan Winter Solstice framework for the entire holidays season – understand that Christmas Eve and Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have their origins in Winter Solstice celebrations of a variety of Pagan cultures through the ages.
  2. Decorate your home with sacred plants connected with Winter Solstice: evergreen wreaths & boughs, mistletoe, holly, and ivy. Learn about the Pagan symbolism of each.

To continue reading copy and paste this link into your browser:

https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/celebrating-the-seasons/13-ways-to-celebrate-yuletide

The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore

The date of this sabbat varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar.  The winter solstice is celebrated at this time in the northern hemisphere but it is now time to celebrate the summer solstice (Litha) in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun’s “rebirth” was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth. From this day forward, the days would become longer.

Bonfires were lit in the fields…

To continue reading copy and paste this link into your browser:

https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yule.htm