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.

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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.

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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/

 

 

Yule- Northern Hemisphere- Winter Solstice. Litha- Southern Hemisphere- Summer Solstice, Final Esbat for 2018

WHEN:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Socialization starts at 6:00 PM CT

Circle cast at 7:00 PM CT

Please DO NOT enter chat room once circle is cast.

WHERE:

Coven Life’s Chat Room

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

 

Yule- Northern Hemisphere- Winter Solstice

  • 2 White candles- any length- place at either end of your alter
  • Red candle to represent the God- any length
  • Green candle to represent the Goddess- any length
  • Your wish ready to write on a piece of paper- small note size
  • Paper and pen to write the wish on
  • Incense of your choice
  • A cauldron, plate or safe container for burning the small paper

Please feel free to bring a yule log if you are able to get one, the choice is yours.

 

Litha- Southern Hemisphere- Summer Solstice

  • 2 white candles- any length- place at either end of your alter
  • Red candle to represent the Sun God-any length
  • Green candle to represent the Goddess- any length
  • Your wish ready to write on a piece of paper- small note size
  • Paper and pen to write the wish on
  • Incense of your choice
  • A cauldron, plate or safe container for burning the small paper

 

RITUAL:

This will be  a time to set our wishes for the coming of this new year!

Honoring the Esbat

Our Winter and Summer Solstices have very auspiciously aligned with the coming of the full moon, the last and final for this year of 2018. Please take the time to set your intentions, your wish, your desires, call it what you may, release what is no longer need in order to make room for the new.

All Hail to the Great Selene!

Yule- Northern Hemisphere- Winter Solstice

This is a celebration of rebirth and renewing of the old. The start of a longer, lighter days as the Lord of the Sun rises from sojourn with the Goddess. This is a time to welcome back the Sun. A time to celebrate knowing that the warmer days of spring are ahead, and the dormant hearth will come back to life.

Below is a picture of the Solar Cross that will be drawn on your paper with your wish.

SolarCross-595bb4d33df78c4eb66502cd.jpg

 

Litha- Southern Hemisphere- Summer Solstice

Midsummer night eve of importance to many people. This is the longest day of the year, a day on which both light and life are plentiful. This is the time that the Sun God is at his strongest and his day is celebrated by burning his sun wheel. This was to ensure fertility and prosperity for the coming year.

This is also celebrated for the Goddess, as she is now with Child and reflecting the abundance of nature’s growth. This is a time of purification.

Below is a picture of a Sun Wheel that will be drawn on your paper with your wish.

SunWheel-595bb4ae3df78c4eb664a133

 

So let’s begin our Yule/ Litha ritual begin

Hypatia Casting the circle-

To the Guardians of the East:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the South:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the West:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

To the Guardians of the North:

I call you into our Watchtowers to protect us.

 

I cast this circle three times three with the assistance of the Great Mother and the Great God.

I call Upon the Guardians of spirit to protect us from above and below. As is above so is below, as is below so is above. May the power of The Great God and The great Goddess join us within this circle now, to protect us and to work with us and allow us to see beyond the veil.

 

Protect us Great Mother and Great God for all gathered here and those afar who are unable to be with us. Allow no negative energy to touch us, to harm us and that nothing we call upon will harm us and others. We come together in perfect love and perfect trust.

 

Greeting:

Hypatia – Merry meet brothers and sisters and honoured guests.

 

Everyone – Respond Merry Greet. Please tell us your first name and state or country you are from.

 

Please ALL light your white candles

It is the time of the Great Goddess in her full glory beaming her essence down on this Great Earth Mother. May we Honor Her for her gifts of love and kindness. May she bless us with her wisdom and may we have the courage and wisdom to walk our path on this Great Earth.

All Hail to the Great Selene!

INVOCATIONS

Yule- Northern Hemisphere

Please light the Goddess candle (Green) using the 2 white candles

All please say-

I light this fire in your honour Great Mother Goddess, you who have created life from death and warmth form cold. Once the time of the Sun lives. We invite you great mother to our circle, bring us brand new light, that of your glorious Son.

Now we look to the Great Earth Mother, Goddess Selene, as guardian of the sky, the sea and of all Gods and powers. Victory is in your name. You are the source of peoples and all Gods. Without you nothing can neither be born or made perfect.

I pray to you great mother, be present here with your virtues, grant me my wish, give me what I need and only that.

All hail to the Great Selene!

Please light the God candle (Red) using the 2 white candles

All please say-

Ancient God of forest and sky. I welcome you as you return form the shadows. Ow Great Lord the wheel has turned, I welcome you back to warm us. Great Lord I welcome your return and may you shine brightly upon this Great Mother Earth.

Now we look to the Great Earth Mother, Goddess Selene, as guardian of the sky, the sea and of all Gods and powers. Victory is in your name. You are the source of peoples and all Gods. Without you nothing can neither be born or made perfect.

I pray to you great mother, be present here with your virtues, grant me my wish, give me what I need and only that.

All Hail to the Great Selene!

Litha- Southern Hemisphere

Please light the Goddess candle (Green) using the 2 white candles

All please say-

Mother Nature, Lady of the firmament, bless thy fruitful womb which I honour.

 

Please light the Goddess candle (Green) using the 2 white candles

All please say-

God of fertility and fruitfulness. Blessed Lord of the blazing Sun, seed and nurturer of life. May you be blessed.

 

MAIN WORKING

Yule- Northern Hemisphere

Using your pen and paper please draw your symbol allocated to your Hemisphere.

On top of the symbol please write your wish.

All please say-

Lord of the Sun that rides the westerly wild wind. As the seeds flourish and the fall into the waiting earth. I know this to be a time of equals allowing natures scales to come into balance. As the dark winter shadows reveal the wheel-a-turning it unveils life’s glory through a deathly silence.

O Great Goddess, watcher of sacred magic and long gone myths, show me the way to great wisdom. Show me the way Great Goddess!

When you are done please have your container safe and ready to burn the piece of paper with the wish and the symbol. During this time, please meditate for a full 5 minutes on the wish.

After the 5 minute meditation please say-

Let my mind and my hands be dedicated to the service of the God and the Goddess.

 

Litha- Southern Hemisphere

Using your pen and paper please draw your symbol allocated to your Hemisphere.

On top of the symbol please write your wish.

All please say-

Lord of the Sun that rides the westerly wild wind. As the seeds flourish and the fall into the waiting earth. I know this to be a time of equals allowing natures scales to come into balance. As the dark winter shadows reveal the wheel-a-turning it unveils life’s glory through a deathly silence.

O Great Goddess, watcher of sacred magic and long gone myths, show me the way to great wisdom. Show me the way Great Goddess!

When you are done please have your container safe and ready to burn the piece of paper with the wish and the symbol. During this time, please meditate for a full 5 minutes on the wish.

After the 5 minute meditation please say-

Let my mind and my hands be dedicated to the service of the God and the Goddess.

 

FAREWELLS

Please all say-

Mother Goddess, Lady of the Waters, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honour between us now and forever. Hail and farewell Great Selene.”

Ancestors of blood and ancestors of spirit, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honour between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.
Spirits of the land, spirits of this place, I thank you for your presence and your blessings. May there be peace and honour between us now and forever. Hail and farewell.

Thank you bright Lord for the light you have brought to us this night, may we carry it with us throughout the year that is coming.

Great Lady who is ever so gracious with her nurturing caring ways and infinite wisdom. Live within us throughout the coming year.

So mote it be!

 

CLOSING

 

Dismiss the circle:

  • To the Guardians of the East:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the South:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the West:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

  • To the Guardians of the North:

I dismiss and thank you from our Watchtowers and give Gratitude for protect us.

 

 

As you leave here tonight may the Lady and Lord bless you with all that you need and want.

 

I bid you Blessings and great Joy Brothers and sisters of the Craft

 

Thank you

Litha/Yule Coven Gathering Thursday, June 21, 2018

I am sorry for getting this posted to close to the Sabbat gathering. This Sabbat is written and lead by our Adept Maia.

WHEN::

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Socialization starts st 6:45 PM CT

Circle cast st 7:15 PM CT

Please DO NOT enter chat room once circle is cast.

WHERE:

Coven Life’s Chat Room

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Red candle for the Sun God
Green candle for Mother Earth
Small yellow square cloth
Red string
Herbs:
Basil
Sage
Lavender
Rosemary
(Either pieces or crushed)
Matches

RITUAL:

Let us begin:

 In the Northern hemisphere it is the longest day of the year. We celebrate Litha. The sun has risen as high as it can and seems to be at a standstill and then begins to fade more each day.
We gather here to honour the Gods and Goddesses who have united to bring fertility. We are grateful for the abundance of life and light. We are blessed with the riches of Mother Earth.
In the Southern Hemisphere it is the shortest day of the year. We celebrate Yule. It is the dark half of the year. The nights have been long and the earth has been waiting to be reborn. Each new day will bring more light and the earth will once again be warm. We welcome the longer days and the rebirth of the Sun God Ra. We are blessed with the promise of the riches of Mother Earth.
I will now call the Watchtowers.

I call the Watchtower of the East to protect those inside and outside our circle today.

I call upon the Watchtower of the South to protect those inside and outside our circle today.

I call upon the Watchtower of the West to protect those inside and outside our circle today.

I call upon the Watchtower of the North to protect those inside and outside our circle today.

Please open your quarters and please hear our call.

I call upon Spirit to guide us in peace and love.

I ask the Goddess Bridid to walk this circle three times three to lend us her power and energy as we gather here today. I ask the Sun God Ra to honour us with his presence and blessings.

Merry greet Brothers and Sisters of the craft. Please type in your name and the country you are in.

Please light the red and green candles.

Northern H

Gods and Goddesses we thank you for the abundance that you have blessed us with. Seeds are sown and we await the harvest that will come in the months to follow. We are grateful for your blessings.

Southern H

Gods and Goddesses we give thanks for the awakening of Mother Earth. As the sun climbs higher each day we are grateful for the return of light and warmth. We are grateful for your blessings.

Northern and Southern

Lay the square piece of cloth flat. Place each type of herb one at a time on the cloth. As you do say:

Basil for good fortune

Sage for wisdom

Lavender for calmness and peace

Rosemary for remembrance

Close your eyes and think about your goals for the future. See yourself accomplishing them. Feel the energy and power of the sun.

When you are finished type So Be It!

Gather the four corners of the cloth together and tie the string around them to make a pouch.

Example:

image1.jpeg

You may use it as decoration in your home, carry it with you, or leave it on your alter.

We thank the Gods and Goddesses for hearing our call.

I dismiss the Watchtower of the East with thanks for their energy and protection here today.

I dismiss the Watchtower of the South with thanks for their energy and protection here today.

I dismiss the Watchtower of the West with thanks for their energy and protection here today.

I dismiss the Watchtower of the North with thanks for their energy and protection here today.

I dismiss Spirit from our circle with love and thanks.

I dismiss the Goddess Brigid and the Sun God Ra with love and thanks to return from where they came from.

The circle is open, but not broken. Go in perfect love and perfect trust.

Thank you Brothers and Sisters for joining us this day. May your Litha/Yule celebration be filled with love and laughter. Until Merry we meet again.

Love and blessings,

Maia

Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice

AN ANCIENT SOLAR CELEBRATION

Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date – usually around June 21 or 22 (or December 21/22 in the southern hemisphere) – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded.

Stone circles such as Stonehengewere oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.

TRAVELING THE HEAVENS

Although few primary sources are available detailing the practices of the ancient Celts, some information can be found in the chronicles kept by early Christian …

To read the rest of this article please click on the following link or copy and paste it w your browser: https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-summer-solstice-holiday-litha-2562244

Summer and Winter Solstice /Litha and Yule Coven Gathering – December 21, 2017 at 7:00 PM CT

I invite you to include your children and/or grandchildren in our circle this evening. The ritual may seem a bit childish to some of you but I am trying something new for families who wish to raise their families in the ways of The Craft.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1 White Taper Candle

1 Small black candle

2 Candle Holders

Matches or Lighter

1 Small glass of Juice or mead or wine – this can be share with everyone attending at your home or a small glass per person

1 Bite size cookie for each person attending in your home

If you have a child that will be joining us you will need

2 Battery Operated Candle ( one should be painted or markers used to make the stick of the candle black. Do not get on the “candle flame” as this may cause to explode.

If you choose to have anyone attend our gathering you and they can decide whether regular or battery operated candles are use.

Please keep a careful with children and the elderly around the open candle flames. Remember it is always SAFETY FIRST with every magickal thing you do.

RITUAL:( Northern and Southern Hemispheres spells are to be done at the same time. The one you do depends on which hemisphere you live in.)

Lady Beltane: I walk this circle with all of you three times round so we are safe and sound.

I call upon Earth to come into the watchtower of the North to help protect those in this circle.

I call upon Air to come into the watchtower of the East to help protect those in this circle.

I call in Fire to come into the watchtower of the South to help protect those in this circle.

I call upon Water to come into the watchtower of the East to help protect those in this circle.

Everyone: So more it be! Thank say a greeting than please say your first name and where you are from. Please ask children to only put one initial in as a name. (RememberSafety first!!)

Northern Hemisphere EVERYONE : Now light or turn on your  black candle. Repeat this spell three times. When done type in “So more it be.”

As the Oak Kings brings the longest night his battle lost to the Holly King. We bid you safe slumber with our love and thankfulness until we meet again.

We will meditate for 2 minutes to honor the Oak King.

Now light or turn on your white candle while repeating this spell 3 times. Type in “So Mote It Be” when done.

As we light our candles we bring light back into the world. We welcome the birth of the Holly King and the festive joy that he brings.

EVERYONE will meditate for 2 minutes on what you want to accomplish in this the waxing part of the year and to welcome the Holly King

Southern Hemisphere EVERYONE : Light your white candle while repeating this spell three times. When done type in “So more it be”

As the Holly King loses his battle and the Oak King is born. We wish the Holly King a restful slumber with our love and thanks for all he has helped us with.

We will meditate for 2 minutes to honor the Holly King.

Now light your black candle while repeating this spell thtee times. When you are done type in “So mote it be”

We welcome the Oak King as the days get shorter. We ask for your help in preparing for the cold months.l

We will meditate for 2 minutes to honor the Oak King.

LADY BELTANE : I bring to each of you a blessing of peace, love, good will, and light on behalf of the Triple Goddess and her consort the Holly King. From myself I wish you positive energy, good cheer and happiness.

EVERYONE : Partake of your beverage and cookie and if you would like to say anything to the rest of the coven you are welcome to do so now.

LADY BELTANE: I dismiss Water from the watchtower of the West with our living thanks for your help and protection.

I dismiss Fire from the watchtower of the South with our living thanks for your help and protection.I

I dismiss Air from the watchtower of the North with our living thanks for your help and protection.

I dismiss Earth from the watchtower of the North with our living thanks for your help and protection.

The circle is open but never broken. Go in peace and love dear ones.