Friday, May 22, 2020

Summer Solstice / Litha: June 20th, 2020


The Summer Solstice is a scientifically observable event marking the moment when one of earth's poles is at its maximum tilt towards the sun, creating the longest day and shortest night for the coinciding hemisphere.  Multiple different ancient and modern cultures observe the Summer Solstice as an important time for celebration, Europe, where Stonehenge lines up perfectly with the rising sun on the solstice, to ancient Greece, were the Summer Solstice marked the start of the new year.  In Egypt, the solstice sun sets between the Great Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre if you're looking from the view of the Sphinx.  Nearly every culture has attributed some sort of significance to the Summer Solstice, making it a particularly impactful time of year.

Because the Wheel of the Year is Eurocentric in nature, European traditions contributed most to what modern pagans and witches celebrate as Litha.  During this solstice, it was believed that spirits roamed the land - perhaps fae, perhaps something else.  Bonfires were lit to protect the land and its people from these spirits, and garland and wreaths were made of protective flowers and herbs such as "chase devil" (now known as St. John's Wart as the holiday was Christianized into St. John's Eve).

Modern celebrations of Midsummer involve celebrating the start of summer and the longest day of the year which, historically, would also be the longest working day.  This makes Litha the perfect time to celebrate career milestones and do work and money spells.  The summer solstice is a time of the sun, of heat, of fire, empowerment, and strength.  Now is a fantastic time to stand tall, be proud of your accomplishments, and revel in your own inner power.

This year's summer solstice occurs on Saturday, June 20th, 2020 at 4:44 PM CST.  Every year it shifts slightly, so I would suggest checking Archaeoastronomy.com if you're coming to this article after 2020.

Activities and Spells
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