Typically celebrated on or around June 21st depending on tradition.
The Basics of Litha
Also Called: Midsummer festival - in American &
Celtic traditions; Alban Hefin - in Caledonii traditions;
Feill-Sheathain - Pecti-Wita traditions.
Also known as 'Midsummer Night's Eve', it is the longest day of the year. The Midsummer festival celebrates the kingly aspect of the God. It is a festival of passion and glory, a time to merge and commune with nature, sprites and fairies. In the Celtic traditions it is also a celebration of the Mother Goddess who is seen heavy with child, ready to deliver the fruits of the season so to speak.
- Colors of red and maize yellow and gold are excellent decorations representing the Sun God, the masculine aspects of the season. Sunflowers and sunflower seeds are also excellent examples (provided you've planted them in early spring). Or replace the early spring wreath on your door with a new summer decoration of red feathers for sexuality and yellow feathers for prosperity, intertwined or braided with ivy.
- Alter candles should be of gold and red.
- Money tree plans can be added to your mantle decorations for monetary wealth, (providing you once again have had an early planting season).
For the God, he comes in two forms in this festival as the Oak and Holly Kings. Just as these two battled for supremacy during Yule, they do so again during the Summer Solstice. Only this time the Oak King wins the battle to represent the waning of the celestial year.
As the longest day of the year, this Sabbat is perfect for the 'working' side of your life. Any task that needs the attention of masculine energies can be performed on this day. From business needs to weeding or tending to the garden. Now is a good time to look at your house plants and determine which ones need to be repotted. You can plant those clippings you've been rooting in water for the past month or two as well.
Span the shades of green for your decorations. Make a solar disk, gather feathers or polish your blades. Fire is also a key symbol for the Mid-Summer festival as it represents the energy of the Sun. It might even be a good night for a bonfire, telling tales and stories of battles and victories of the conquering Oak King.
Begin the festival with a light yard cleaning. Weed the garden, fertilize the flowers and plants in your yard. And pot those rooting plants. There are many ways to decorate home and hearth for each Sabbat, keeping the God/Goddess energy moving through your home throughout the year. But remember this is a working festival, so attend to your garden, business or financial matters as well.
Traditionally Sabbat festivals begin at sun set on the eve of the Holiday. You can use the daytime hours of this holiday eve to prepare your yard or out-door space for the evenings festival celebration. Prepare your offerings, such as breads and fruits for the nights ritual as well.
Prepare your alter with dark green candles, a light green table cloth covered with a wheat colored lace is also an attractive addition. Some witches include crystals such as malachite or aventurine. A Garnet or a Red Phantom crystal are also nice additions to represent the fire of the Sun God. Gold or brass serving trays and goblets for ritual offerings are also placed on or around the alter for easy access. Arrangements of summer flowers and ferns should also be included.
If your alter is outside or you have space on your interior alter, you might include baskets filled with examples of the summer harvest. Watermelon, cantaloupe, corn cobs, beans, carrots, potatoes, all placed upon stalks of lavender, sage and other herbs can be a nice touch. After all this is a celebration of summer in all it's blooming glory.
There are several ways of conducting a ritual. Each witch should learn many different methods and then construct your own within the boundaries of the festival.