Although we’re not totally sold on the idea of the federal government designating one day a year to celebrate Indigenous culture, at least it’s an opportunity to check out some amazing performances by Indigenous artists.
And, as June 21st also marks the summer solstice, there are more than enough reasons to get out of the house and show your love for all things NDN, First Nations, Aboriginal, Native, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous.
Today is the Summer Solstice also known as Litha. It is the longest day of the year, it won’t get dark until very late into the night, there will be at least 14 hours of daylight. Litha means a stopping or standing still of the sun, it is one of the 8 Pagan solar holidays throughout the year.
This is a day of celebrations, the Goddess is heavily pregnant with the harvest to come, the Sun God The Oak King is at the height of his power. But this is also a day of sadness because today the Sun God The Oak King battles with the Lord Of The Dark Sun The Holly King and the Holly King will win and start to take over the skies. After today the Sun starts to loose it’s strength the days will get shorter and the nights longer, as we look to Autumn and Winter. The Oak King (The Lord Of Light) is born on Yule (the Winter Solstice) and he shines so brightly for 6 months of the year but this weakens him. The Holly King (The Lord Of Darkness) lays in wait until Litha when the Oak King uses his last ounce of strength to make sure the earth has enough power for the harvest to come. The Oak King (The Lord Of Light) will slowly descends into the underworld his journey will not be complete until Samhain (Halloween) When the Holly King (The Lord Of Darkness) will take over the skies.
Litha is a time of light, purification and of healing. Its a time to reflect on the light and dark that are both within each of us and within the world around us. It is a time to appreciate everything we have in our lives and to give thanks for it, to appreciate nature and all that it gives us.
Pick some flowers and put them on your altar to offer them to the Sun God and the Goddess and thank them for their sacrifices. adorn your altar with fruit and anything gold, yellow or shiny to honor the Sun. Build a bonfire or a small fire or light a candle. A fire lit on Litha is said to be very powerful and magical.
‘Write down your hopes dreams and burn them in the fire to do this on Litha night will bring you your desire’
This is the height of summer it is one of the most celebratory days of the year, enjoy it, have family round for dinner, invite friends and party, go for long walks and appreciate the beauty of the Summer and nature, dance and be merry.
Since I’m a witch who focusses a lot of fae magick, i figured i’d make a huge post about Litha, since it’s a really great time for interacting with faeries (and when I say faeries i mean fae/the fair folk/the others/aos si/sìth whatever names you may refer to them as!)
Some cool Litha trivia
Midsummer has long been associated strongly with faeries, which can be seen in things like Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Lots of the folklore about the Litha in Europe involves faeries (most of it on protection from them or ways to see them–i’ll get to that in a bit)
Midsummer was also strongly associated with witches, which can be seen in macbeth and the tempest
obviously since it’s the summer solstice it’s associated with the sun so bonfires are traditional, (jumping over a bonfire is good luck!) but it also has links to water, and is a good time for working specifically fire and water spells, bathing, and doing any kind of magick water work
Litha is also a great time to do love spells and marriages/handfastings as it is the time of the union of the Goddess and the God in Wicca, and also the time that many flowers associated with love grow. June is always the most popular month for weddings in modern society, so love is constantly in the air!
Many different folklore traditions about midsummer involve love e.g women would place flowers under their pillow or drop some silver into a well to the faerie to live their to has dreams or see the reflection or their future husband
Girls would also throw garlands of flowers/flower crowns into rivers or the sea and foretell their future from them.
Ok now on to the faerie part
There are tons of ways you can interact with faeries on litha!
u can share a meal with them
u can make a faerie herbal pouch
u can try to see them
u can ask for a blessing of your home
u can invite them to dwell in your garden (they’ll help ur plants flourish!)
u can even become friends with them! (but be careful, they’re tricksters and can be dangerous)
u can ask for protection for ur home and garden
The basics of making a faerie herbal pouch
it can be used for anything pretty much, including attracting faeries, getting dreams of faeries, to seek faerie help or comfort, to receive faerie magick to help with divination or spells, to travel to the land of the faeries etc
use any of the following herbs, which are all associated with faeries: lavender, hazel, alder, hawthorn, marigold, nettle, rosemary (for elves specifically) straw, trefoil, primrose (really any sweet smelling flowers like rose, lily, etc) cowslip, thyme, raspberry leaves, strawberry, or anything that has a strong association with faeries for you (i really like using violets because in msnd puck uses a little purple flower!)
if you want to use stones, fluorite is associated with faeries and great for fae magick
for material: pale lavender, grey, green for faeries, or yellow for otherworld, use cotton
sew closed with white thread
charge it! (i use the four elements e.g blessed spring water, the flame of a lavender or grey candle, salt, and lavender or sandalwood incense for air)
say an incantation if u want while u’re doing this, whatever ur comfortable with/do normally
if u want some more energy in it, place it in the moonlight for an hour or two (I always do because i want it to be additionally charged with magick that has that ~otherworldly~ feel
hang it in a tree in the yard or a fencepost or wherever u want!
To share a meal with faeries
make faerie biscuits! theyre really yummy (i use the recipe by ann moura with a few modifications)
share some milk (if the moon is out)
share some fruit juice made with summer fruits
share some wine or mead with them
make faerie tea! (some good herbs to use are dandelion root, rose hips, elder flower, irish moss, raspberry leaf, ann moura also has a great recipe)
To see faeries (u don’t have to do all of these at once!)
soak some thyme and lavender in olive oil and rub it on your eyelids in the evening
sit in a stone circle
carry a four-leaf clover in your pocket or shoe or in a little pouch round ur neck
put some thyme in your pocket and sprinkle it across your thresholds to allow faeries to enter your home
look under hawthorn, elder, and apple trees
there are tons of spells to see faeries, chose one that feels best for you and your goals
small tinkling silver or glass bells can attract faeries! just be super sure theyre not steel or iron!
Things to NOT do!!!!!!!!! Don’t do any of these to the faeries!!!!
Do not thank them!! saying thank you reduces them to human servants in their eyes and is highly insulting!!
Do not use or wear any steel or iron (unless your only goal is protection) and NEVER offer anything to faeries that is made of those substances
Do NOT assume faeries are not dangerous! Protect yourself and your pets! i draw sigils on my dogs collars, make sure theyre wearing their steel dog tags etc (those bells on cat collars could also work.) A little bit of rue in your pocket can work as protection for you, and if they try to take you away turn your jacket inside out and put it on to confuse them
Do not eat their food! According to tradition it means you will stay with them for seven years. However, this does not mean you cannot share a meal with them, just eat and drink things you provide yourself
Other fun litha activities
make a solar cross out of the faerie triad (ash-oak-hawthorn)
burn old amulets and yule wreaths in ur bonfire
make white protection pouches out of litha herbs and hang them around ur yard and house!
make a pouch (or use any other kind of receptacle) fill it with your negativity and self-doubt, and then burn it
reaffirm ur beliefs to ur Gods (or if u’re secular just commitments to ur beautiful self) and the craft
reaffirm other commitments u have made (like wedding vows, promises etc)
Wianek [plural form: wianki] - a wreath in the Polish language. According to the old-Slavic tradition, they were a symbolic representation of blooming youth, vitality and virginity. Only young girls and the unmarried women [particularly those who haven’t bore a child yet] were allowed to wear them. They were woven out of local flowers, herbs and plants, often those of magical [e.g. protective] meaning.
Wianki are particularly important during the Slavic celebrations of the summer solstice, that in Poland holds many names, for example Noc Kupały, Kupalnocka, Sobótki [name of Slavic bonfires], Wianki [festival held in Kraków] or the Christianized version: Noc Świętojańska [St. John’s Night], Świętojanki, etc.
During that special day, girls were woving the wreaths and dancing around bonfires in rites meaning to evoke fertility, beauty, health and strenght. Some herbs could be also attached to a belt around the waist. Later that night, whole processions were approaching a nearby river [or lake, if no river was available] in order to launch the wreaths down the stream. That part of the custom is still alove today. The wreaths, often attached to a board or two crossed planks with a small candle at the centre, were used in divinations, predicting love and even marriage. Some girls would launch two wreaths at once to observe how they float - if they were staying close together on the water, mutual love was indicated.
In many cases, the boys would jump into the water to pick up a wreath. The most desired sign for a girl was when the wreath was brought back to her by the very boy she cherished in her heart. Some boys would jump even into the strongest streams and deepest waters just to capture a certain wreath, only to give it back to the girl that created it. They were able to confess their love and show the courage that way.
It was once believed that the night is a time of people to fall in love with each other, and to openly express their feelings. It was also the one special night in the old-Slavic calendar when the people were able to choose their sexual partners freely and spend that one night together without being judged. Some couples would get married later in the same year.
Meaning:Protection from the sun’s rays, to keep cool during hot summer days.
Happy Summer Solstice to those of us in the northern hemisphere! This is the longest day of the year, so it’s critical to stay safe. Make sure to stay cool, drink lots of fluids, and (where applicable) keep your pets safe too.
This sigil comes precharged, so you can reblog it if you want, but you’re not obligated to. Note that this sigil is not for altering the weather, merely for your personal protection.
Happy first day of summer! We hope you can visit America’s amazing public lands, like Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming pictured here. Kate Garibaldi captured this summer scene of a field of arrowleaf balsamroot flowers framing the Teton Range at sunrise. Photo from www.sharetheexperience.org.