Oh Great Goddess, Bless us in this sacred time, as we honor the traditions of our Elder Sisters. I open a protected space for myself and for all living creatures on this planet
So mote it be.
The Wheel of the Year is the name of the annual cycle of seasons in Wicca, which is a spiritual movement based on ancient pagan religions and redefined by Gerald Gardner.
Wicca includes elements of beliefs from shamanism, druidism, and Greco-Roman, Slavic, Celtic, and Norse mythologies.
The wheel of the year has thirteen moons and eight holidays called sabbath or festival. These festivals are inspired by pre-Christian Celtic and Germanic festivals.
The wheel of the year and these celebrations are inspired by the rhythm of nature and the solar cycle. Festivals are divided into two categories.
The major festivals are the ancient Celtic festivals that celebrate important milestones in the year. These are Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.
The minor festivals correspond to the solstices and equinoxes Yule, Ostara, Litha and Mabon. For each of these festivals, for each of its seasons, I try to offer you a podcast with some explanations and stories that may allow you to return to the basics, to recognize and celebrate the passage of time and the seasons, to celebrate the sun, source of light and life. I would also invite you to observe the rhythms of nature and to welcome the idea that our internal and personal rhythms are the reflections of these great natural rhythms which are the cycles of the Moon, but also those of the rotation of the Earth around the Sun.
I come today to talk to you about Litha, also called Summer Solstice. Beltane. Litha is the entrance gate to the full-on Summer, with joy, celebrations and sunshine tagging along!
To begin, I would like to talk to you about summer.
In nature first of all, summer manifests itself in different ways...
Summer is a time of intense activity. Historically, it was a period of long working hours to maintain gardens and fields.
It is a time of rich abundance…the first berries are ripe, flowers are blooming everywhere, the forest is lush and green again, the air is warm.
We are close to the summer solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year, the point where the sun seems to just stand still - in fact, the word 'solstice' comes from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “the sun stands still. "
The Earth is tilted as much as possible towards the sun and light triumphs over darkness
The Earth is flooded with fertility and fulfillment and it is a time of joy and celebration, of expansion and rejoicing in our accomplishments.
This time of year harbors contagious excitement.
Summer is fun and electric, everything is light, joyful and festive, there is an outward focus, towards the exterior, like the Earth is inviting us to be extroverts (which might feel difficult for some of us actually...)...
Our inner Fire is also strengthened and our spirits are super energized by the sun.
We feel inspired and invigorated, full of confidence.
The Goddess is now full and pregnant, and the Sun God is at the peak of his manhood. It is the apex of the solar year and the sun is at the height of its vital power. This is the culmination of Yang/Masculine energy.
Yet within that climax is the whisper and the promise of a return to the darkness. As the light reaches its peak, it is also the time when the power of the sun begins to wane. From now on, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer and we are driven back into darkness to complete the wheel of the year.
We are so happy that summer has arrived but there is also sadness. Despite the long, hot summer nights, we know the days are getting shorter, the Earth is moving away from the Sun again, and we are beginning the slow inward turn.
After Lammas, on August 1, the wheel of the year changes from growing season to harvesting season. It's harvest season for fruits and vegetables, the days are visibly getting shorter, the grass has turned brown and things are starting their gradual downhill…
Then comes a time of uncertainty, a time when we face our hopes and our fears. We have worked hard this year and we hope that our work will bear fruit. But we know that there are also forces that can hinder our personal harvests. Just as an early storm can damage a farmer's harvest, we must protect ourselves and our dreams so that they grow through to harvest.
Every year the sun reminds us of this beautiful cycle of growing, reaching its peak, then allowing itself to die so that it can change, be reborn and grow and start the cycle all over again.
Summer is a time for...
Going, doing and doing great things!
Lighting a bonfire and performing a nighttime ritual.
Embracing your own expansive Divine Masculine energy. It is passionate and shines like the summer sun that shines so brightly, almost fiercely and so confidently right now. It is assertive and independent. It is bold and imposing. It builds and creates.
Meditating outside and praying while honoring the flower gardens, celebrating the solar and summer deities.
Picking your herbs and putting them to dry...
Celebrating your inner fire, the passionate, powerful and badass part of your Higher Self that resides within you and does the hard work of bringing your dreams to life.
Absorbing this energy and letting it fuel you and boost your growth.
Firing up the barbecue, throwing a garden party, pluging in the sprinkler and enjoying the midsummer celebrations.
Celebrating the highlights of your life, acknowledging your hard work and your successes.
Working to keep nurturing your dreams so they turn into great harvests in late summer and fall.
Making meaningful progress on the intentions you planted in the spring and on your dreams from last winter.
Taking advantage of the extra hours of daylight and spending as much time as possible outdoors and in nature!
Being patient and continuing even if growth has not yet fully arrived (you cannot rush cultures). Keep nurturing your dreams and they will bear fruit at the right time.
Meditating on darkness and light in the world and in your personal life
Resting, resting... In the summer we work AND we play... The whole season is about outward focused energy, the energy of doing and going. And that's a lot. At the end of the summer, we are often exhausted and drained. Make sure you take the time to rest, relax and enjoy the long hot days of summer.
Witnessing abundance: look around you in nature and everywhere you will see signs of summer abundance and the bounty of the earth. I invite you to position yourself in gratitude for all the abundance that surrounds you.
Swim in the sea. The Greeks believe if you haven't swam a minimum of 50 times during the summer in the sea… your immune system won’t be as strong next winter!
I would also like to tell you about Litha. Litha is the name of the pagan festival celebrated for the summer solstice.
Almost every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in one way or another, and the focus is almost always on celebrating the power of the sun. In societies that were primarily agricultural and depended on the sun for life and sustenance, it is not surprising that the sun was deified.
The summer solstice has been celebrated for millennia by humans…
Everywhere in the world, circles of stones dating from prehistoric times can be found. They are temples whose geographical orientation corresponds to an alignment with the position of the sun during the summer solstice, such as Stonehenge in England, which proves to us that our ancestors were aware of the importance of this time of the year.
Early European traditions celebrated this moment by setting fire to large wheel-shaped bales of straw, then rolling them down a hill toward a body of water.
It was believed that the fire would ward off evil spirits from the village. Some farmers would light a fire on their land and people would walk around, holding torches and lanterns, from one bonfire to the next. If you jumped over a bonfire, without setting your pants on fire, you would be lucky for the coming year.
This festival which has existed for hundreds of years has continued today in the form of the Saint John’s fires (very important for the "people of the North" who have endless nights in winter)
In France, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany or Latvia many ceremonies are organized during which we stay up all night to party, we sing, we dance around bonfires, we make crowns of flowers that we wear to adorn ourselves, etc.
The summer solstice is also associated with festivals such as Vestalia in ancient Rome, which celebrated Hestia or Vesta, the Greek and Roman goddess of the hearth and sacred fire. The Romans honored this period as sacred to Juno (Hera in Greek), the wife of Jupiter, whose name gives us the month of June.
A legend in parts of England claims that if you stay up all night on Midsummer, sitting in the middle of a stone circle, you will see the fairies. But be careful...carry some Common Rue in your pocket to keep them from harassing you, or turn your jacket inside out to confuse them.
William Shakespeare associated midsummer with the world of fairies in at least three of his plays. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth and The Tempest all contain references to magic on the night of the midsummer night. .
Astrologically, the sun enters Cancer, which is a water sign. The solstice is not only a time of fire magic, but also of water.
In Egypt, the summer season was associated with the flooding of the Nile delta, the source of life.
In South America, paper boats are filled with flowers and then set on fire. They then are released to float along rivers, bearing prayers to the gods.
In some traditions of modern paganism, you are offered to get rid of your problems by writing them down on a piece of paper and placing them in a moving body of water (stream, river, etc.)
It's up to you to find your own way to celebrate the magic of the summer solstice.
I invite you, as a Litha celebration to receive and use the mantra of the goddess Demeter.
I receive joy, energy and energy in every breath I take.
I receive joy, energy and abundance in every breath I take.
I receive joy, energy and abundance in every breath I take.
Here are some suggestions for using this mantra.
When you see yourself in the mirror, for example, look into your beautiful eyes, then repeat the words out loud.
You can also put a reminder notification on your phone (at 3.33?) and when the mantra appears, take 3 deep breaths and repeat the words three times.
Or write the mantra on a post-it, place it near your bed and repeat it when you are preparing to fall asleep. Put your hand on your heart and repeat the mantra as many times as you want.
When you wake up in the morning, you can read the mantra out loud.
Again, I hope this mantra allows you to connect with the energy of Litha and the magic of Demeter. I hope it will allow you to hear how each breath you take can bring joy, energy and abundance.
So much for today ...
I would be so happy to hear from you about all that.
Thank you in advance for your comment.
See you soon, for my next online adventures!
Until then I send you love, light and gratitude.
PS: If you desire to learn more about the Greek Goddesses and the magic they have in store for you, have a look at the Magic Tab on the website menu!