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Litha

Litha is the Summer Solstice and is also known as Midsummer and Coamhain. It falls on or around 21st June and marks the longest day of the year.

The power of the Sun is at its greatest at this time, ripening the crops and providing us with plenty of food. Midsummer has a long tradition of being magickally powerful and many plants and herbs should be collected now as they are filled with the energy of the Sun.

One of the names for the Moon at Midsummer is "Honey Moon" as this is a time when the hives are rich with honey. The honey can be fermented and made into a traditional Midsummer drink called "mead".

The Midsummer fires are traditionally kindled from Oak and Fir and herbs are thrown into the fire to prevent sickness, bad luck and to help the crops grow. These herbs included: St. John's Wort, Heartsease, Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium, Thyme and Pennyroyal. Livestock was once driven through the embers of these fires to ward off disease and illness.

Wild herb robert

Stonehenge
Stonehenge is an ancient megalithic site in Wiltshire, England. On Midsummer's day, the Sun rises directly above a stone called the Heel stone and it casts a shadow which extends into an avenue of stones. It is an amazing creation considering the tremendous age of the structure and it shows us just how important the Solstice was to the ancient people of this land.

Faery realms
Faeries and Elves were greatly romanticised by the Victorians and this led to our image of them today as pretty, harmless creatures. However, this wasn't always the case. They frequently feature is Celtic myths and legends, often as mischievous tricksters or slightly darker beings who should be respected.

The people of Old England believed strongly in Nature spirits and to their minds, the land of Elves (they believed in two varieties - light and dark) and the land of Giants was as real as our own realm of existence.

It was believed that the veil between our world and the Faery realm was thinner at particular times, with Midsummer's Eve being particularly powerful.

Oak, Ash and Thorn (Hawthorn) trees growing together were thought to attract the Faery-folk and a crown of Elder twigs worn on May Eve will supposedly enable you to see them. It is said that sheltering beneath a Hawthorn tree on Midsummer's Eve will allow you to become enchanted by the Faeries. Single thorns growing near Faery hills and those in threes are considered to be especially magickal.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Wild Iris

 

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Page last updated: 22 September, 2011

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