Litha – June 21st

Litha is the Summer Solstice. It occurs on or about the 21st of June, when the Sun enters zero degrees Cancer, thereby marking MidSummer. On this longest day of the year, the Sun God is at the peak of his power. Like Samhain, Litha is a day when the boundaries between the worlds are thin, when mortals have strange experiences, and when otherworlders travel in our plane.

Litha is also the traditional time of year to harvest your herbs and flowers, especially St. John’s wort, either to hang in your home as protection or to tie onto the wicker man as a symbol of a wish that you want carried into the next world. Ideally, you should cut your herbs with a scythe or boline, by moonlight, and chant the appropriate purpose for which each plant will be used. Leave an offering for the rest of the plant, don’t harvest more than a third of the plant – the rest will remain healthy and vigorous.

Beltane was the festival of union between the God and Goddess, and so it was seen as unlucky to marry in May. But often as a result of the Beltane festivities, many young maidens found they weren’t maidens any more, and indeed were on their way to becoming mothers! Because of this, June became a popular month for marriage. The Full moon in June is called the ‘Honey Moon’, because it as this time that honey is harvested from bee hives. The night after marriage thus became the ‘Honeymoon’.

Made from Honey, Mead is the traditional drink for Summer Solstice, and an excellent recipe for making mead can be found here.

If you don’t want to make mead, here is a simpler recipe for

Honey Apple iced tea:
4 black tea bags

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • lemon slicesMakes 6 to 8 servings
    In a 2 quart pot, brew tea bags in boiling water. Remove bags, add
    honey and apple juice. Stir well. Pour over ice.

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