Thursday, December 24, 2009


Litha occurs on longest day of the year, which, in the southern hemisphere is around 21 to 23 December when the sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn and for the northern hemisphere it is when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer around 21 to 23 June. It is the first sabbat of the waning year.

Other names for Litha include Alban Heruin or Alban Hefin (Druidic), Feill-Sheathain, Gathering Day, Midsummer, St John's Day, Summer Solstice, Thing-Tide, Vestalia, Whit Sunday or Witsuntide.

There are many themes for this time of year, some of which are as follows:
* Abundance of light
* Balefire, especially jumping over the balefire
* Fairies
* Fertility of plants and harvest
* Fires / Bonfires
* Mistletoe
* Oak Trees
* The Sun – sun wheels, peak of the sun’s strength

The colours of Litha are the bright colours of summer, particularly blue, gold, green, orange, red, white and yellow.

Traditional foods for Litha are:
* Ale
* Corn cakes
* Garden fresh vegetables
* Honey
* Honey cakes
* Lemons
* Mead
* Oranges
* Pumpernickel bread
* Squash
* Summer fruits

Popular herbs, plants and flowers include:
* Carnation
* Chamomile
* Daisy
* Elder
* Fern
* Frankincense
* Heather
* Honeysuckle
* Ivy
* Lavender
* Lemon
* Lily
* Mint
* Mistletoe
* Mugwort
* Oak
* Rose
* Saffron
* Sage
* Sandalwood
* St. John’s Wort
* Vervain
* Wild Thyme
* Yarrow
* Ylang-ylang

Popular incenses at Litha are:
* Frankincense
* Lemon
* Myrrh
* Pine
* Rose
* Vanilla
* Wisteria

Litha-related gemstones include:
* All green gemstones, especially emerald and jade
* Diamonds
* Lapis Lazuli
* Tiger’s Eye

In Pagan mythology, Litha is seen as the time when the Oak King, who represents the waxing year, is triumphed over by the Holly King who represents the waning year. The two are actually one God, the Horned God, but the Holly King is seen as the growing youth while the Oak King is seen as the wise and mature man.
The Goddess is also celebrated at Litha by many Pagan traditions. She is seen as the woman heavy with child, who will give birth to the God at Yule. She is also seen as the bounty of coming harvests, of protection and sustenance.