IT'S ALMOST LITHA (21st/22nd June)
Most Wiccans celebrate eight Sabbats annually: Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltaine, Litha, Lughnasad, Mabon and Samhain.
Also called Summer Solstice or Midsummer, Litha is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Litha Sabbath is a time of great joy and celebrations dedicated to the Sun at its zenith, to the abundance of the earth and to fertility.
This is also a great time to harvest and dry herbs that will be used throughout the year to make magical herbal sachets and incense.
What You Will Need:
Items for the Litha Ritual include: five candles (2 red, 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 blue) ; a cloth pouch; enough to lay out your circle (there can be space in between them); herbs, flowers associated with Litha, incense, cauldron, wiccan wand ( you can use oak, willow, or ash branches), fresh water.
- Prior to the ritual, prepare a small cloth pouch of herbs associated with the Litha season, such as lavender, St John's wort, chamomile, thyme, rose, verbena. As you make it, pour your troubles, sorrows, illness, and regrets into it. Then close the pouch with a red string.
- Make your own incense. Simply grind to a powder the selected ingredients before mixing them. You will need a censer and charcoal disks for burning this incense during the ritual. Example of herbs to use for Litha : olibanum, mugwort, jasmine, rose, thrush, honeysuckle, cinnamon, myrrh, sandalwood.
- Fill the cauldron with fresh water and flowers dedicated to Litha (rose, jasmine, chamomile, lavender…)
- Prepare your sacred space by drawing a circle with circumference of 1 metre on the floor. For example, You can use stones or lay out a cord in a circle. Place all the objects you will be using in your ritual inside the circle.
- Purifying the sacred space with a besom or a regular broom (the broom is a purifier) in order to cleanse the ritual area and clear out negative energies that may have accumulated inside
- Place the 4 candles symbolizing the elements at the Four Quarters (North-Green, East-Yellow, South-Red, West-Blue)
- Set up your altar so that it is face to the North and cover it with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season; you can also place a basket of yellow, orange and red fruits or vegetables upon your altar to represent the colors of the sun
- Place the pouch of herbs in the front of the altar and the red candle at its center to represent the Sun
- Place the cauldron on or near the altar on the left side of the red candle
- Finally, light the candles and incense
Call upon the God and Goddess, standing facing the altar. Pick up your wand and with arms upraised, repeat this incantation:
With the Sun God at the height of His power and majesty,
The waxing of the year is accomplished,
And the reign of the Oak King is ended.
With the Sun God at the height of His splendor,
The waning of the year begins.
The Holly King must slay His brother the Oak King,
And rule over the Goddess’ land until the depth of Winter,
When His brother shall be born again.”
“The spirit of the Oak King is gone from us,
To rest in the Underworld;
Until, with the turning of the Wheel,
The season shall come when He shall return to rule again.”
Ring the bell three times.
“Oh great Goddess and God,
All nature vibrates with Your energies
And the Earth is bathed with warmth and life.
Now is time of forgetting past cares and banes,
Now is the time for purification.
Oh fiery Sun,
Burn away the unuseful, the hurtful, the bane,
In Your glorious power.
Purify me! Purify me! Purify me!”
Pick up the pouch and light it with the flame of the red candle. When it is burning, drop it into the cauldron. Say:
"I banish you by the powers of the Goddess and God
I banish you by the powers of the Sun and Moon
I banish you by the powers of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water !"
Take the time to visualize the negative energies burning away to nothing. Then say:
"Oh gracious Goddess, oh glorious God,
On this day of Midsummer magick
Charge my life with wonder and joy.
Help me to attune with Your divine energy."
Finally, thank the Goddess and God and close the circle.
You can also prepare a simple and delicious feast for your Midsummer gatherings...
SUMMER SOLSTICE FOODS
This joyous holiday dedicated to the Sun, also highlights the abundance of nature. This is the time to cook sun-colored fruits and vegetables, for example, by making salads of all kinds. Other traditional foods include the season's first potatoes, made with dill.
Favour grilled food, and particularly barbecued meats and seasonal vegetables, as barbecues represent the bonfires.
Fresh fruit juice and herbal teas are the usual drinks. Wine and mead, often referred to as “nectar of the gods,” have also pride of place during Midsummer festivities.
Summer Solstice blessings to one and all
LITHA MENU IDEAS
- Warm mustard Potatoes salad
- BBQ pork tenderloin
- Grilled vegetable skewers
- Honey Cake
WARM MUSTARD POTATOE SALAD (4 persons)
• 1 1/4 lbs (600 g) of new potatoes
• 1 tablespoon (5 ml) grated lemon rind
• 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon (15 ml) old-style mustard
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
• 1 bunch of chopped chives
• 1 bunch of chopped dill
• 1 bunch of watercress or rocket
- In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold, generously salted water.
Bring to a boil, cook covered potatoes until tender
- Drain and cut the potatoes in half and place in a bowl
- In a small bowl, whisk together zest and lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil
- Pour over hot potatoes
- Add the chosen herb and mix
- Arrange the salad on lightly oiled watercress or rocket
BBQ PORK TENDERLOIN (for 4 persons)
• 1 pork tenderloin around 600g
• 30 ml olive oil
• 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2 cloves garlic minced
• 4 fresh thyme branches
• 2 fresh rosemary branches
• Salt and pepper
- Mix all marinade ingredients, excluding thyme and rosemary
- Transfer the pork tenderloin, thyme and rosemary herbs in a re-leasable plastic freezer bag
- Pour the marinade over the pork, then remove all the air from plastic bag and close it tightly
- Let your pork marinate at least 7 hours in the fridge before cooking on the barbecue. Preferably, marinate the meat for a day
- Once the BBQ heats up (medium/high), oil the grill
- Place pork on grill and cook on all sides approx. 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving
- Slice the meat and serve
GRILLED VEGETABLE SKEWERS (for 4 persons)
This recipe is ideal to serve with grilled meats
• 6 cups mixed vegetables (cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers in different colors, onions, eggplants, mushrooms)
• 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup of olive oil
• 2 tablespoons of liquid honey
• 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (basil, rosemary or thyme), minced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
• Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the vegetables into strips or cubes, or use whole vegetables according to their size (cherry tomatoes, mushrooms...) and put them in a large bowl
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, honey, herbs, chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the veggies and mix well to soak them. Marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour
- Drain veggies and discard the used marinade. Then thread vegetables on wooden skewers that have been soaked in water. Cook the skewers on an oiled barbecue grill, medium heat
- The cooking time depends on the vegetables chosen. It will take an average of five to ten minutes and fifteen minutes for onions.
DELICIOUS HONEY CAKE (6 people)
Honey represents the sun and warmth of the longest day of the year. For this reason, honey cake is a perfect way to celebrate Midsummer.
• 6 tablespoons liquid acacia honey
• 250g of flour
• 20 cl of boiling milk
• 3 teaspoons of baking powder
• 3 eggs
• 100 g melted butter
• Vanilla extract to taste
- In a salad bowl, mix the honey, sugar and milk
- Gradually add flour and turn with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth
- Add eggs, butter and vanilla extract
- Pour the batter into a greased pan
- Cook at 180 °C (356 °F)
- Bake for 20 minutes then cover the cake with foil
- Continue to bake for about 25 minutes.
And if you're looking for the perfect jewelry to celebrate the Summer Solstice or another Wiccan Holidays, you can check out handcrafted Wiccan jewelry designed by silverinestore by clicking the following link: