"The sun reaches its highest point of the year, like the culmination of a full moon's waxing. In order to stay steady in this full solar power, we ground ourselves by inviting the earth and the sky to meet in our bodies."
On June 21st the constellation of cancer appears just as the seasons begin to change, and the sun’s movement teeters from ascent to descent--the Summer Solstice. On the longest day of the year the Sun leaves its spot in Gemini and makes its way over to the sign of the crab.
For the next month, we'll feel more connected to our roots, more sentimental, and ready to connect deeper with our homes and ourselves. Cancer season is often an emotional time, but as we known, the cure to anything is water--sweat, tears, the sea.
Cancer is the first cardinal sign as well as the first water sign of the zodiac, so it holds a very initiatory energy. While June 1st is typically thought to be the beginning of the second half of the year, in reality, June 21st is the real kick-off of the second part of the year. If our New Year’s resolutions didn’t work out (or most likely shifted), this day lends us a second chance.
A lunar symbol, Cancer belongs to the water element and is known to be passive, domesticated, imaginative, romantic and ~sometimes~ self absorbed. The influence of the Moon points to a vivid imagination and inner depth, both qualities consistent with the sign. In this way, while Cancer season is very much a season of emotion, but it doesn’t ask you to deal with your emotions entirely in isolation! You can still open your heart to caring and being cared for. This is a time to love the people closest to you, who have proven themselves true, and to let them love you in return. Everyone is influenced by the powers of Cancer this month no matter what your zodiac sign.
Litha is a pagan holiday; one of the eight sabbats during the year. Litha (also known as Midsummer) occurs on the summer solstice, and celebrates the beginning of summer. The life giving Sun is celebrated all over the world with various traditions, like fire festivals, song circles and dance ceremonies. Monuments like the great pyramids and Stonehenge were built to measure time and so the four markers of the season—summer and winter solstices, fall and spring equinoxes—could be pinpointed. The Celts celebrated Litha with hilltop bonfires and dancing. Many people attempted to jump over or through the bonfires for good luck. Other European traditions included setting large wheels on fire, and rolling them down a hill into a body of water.
In folklore, Litha is when a battle between light and dark takes place. In this battle, the Oak King and the Holly King battle for control. During each solstice, they battle for power, and the balance shifts. The Oak King, who represents daylight, rules from the winter solstice (Yule) to Litha. During this time, the days steadily get longer. However, during Litha, the Holly King wins this battle, and the days get steadily darker until Yule.
For modern day pagans and witches, Litha is a day of inner power and brightness. It is a Sabbat related to personal growth, and a perfect opportunity to spend time outside and celebrate nature. Use these themes to incorporate into your own rituals.
Ground yourself with yoga or meditation. There’s strong sun energy brewing on the solstice sabbat, which can feel intense for some. Find a quiet spot and meditate about the light and dark forces in your world.
As you meditate on the light and warmth of the sun, place your hands on your solar plexus. Imagine you can fill it with all the energy you require to do your work in the world. Light is a living consciousness that responds instantly to your call—let it come into your field through the solar plexus, into your spine. Radiate it outward from your body. Now, imagine that you can radiate light out to everyone on the Earth, like the sun. Become a beacon for light.
- Spend time with the flowers. Buy or pick flowers and arrange them all over your home, or explore a botanical garden. Flowers are symbols of the solstice and many believe flowers possess magical powers. Picking wildflowers can also be magical.
Write down all the things you are ready to release this season so you can have more energy for the important things in life. Take your time and look at what keeps you from your best self. What are you ready to leave behind? What beliefs keep you stuck? What habits are derailing your ability to have the love, health, and joy you desire? Where have you taken on the anxiousness, fear, and anger of the collective?
Now place the paper in the fire while saying, I now release all negativity to the flames. The Goddess of Fire will clear my pain. Thank you and so it is.Another subtle way to practice fire magic is by having a bonfire or barbecue outside to welcome the summer with fire and in season foods. If you are celebrating outside with a fire, burn plants like chamomile, mugwort, st. john’s wort or lavender for good health and calm.
- Ritual Baths. Solstice night is a perfect time for a ritual bath. Light candles, fill your bath with salts and essential oils, even flower petals (or add essential oils to your shower and hang flowers from the shower head).
- Cleanse and redecorate your altar.
- Leave fairy offerings
- Make sun tea, solar water, or lavender lemonade.
- Go cloud gazing.
- Have a picnic outside.
- Find a book to learn something new and read it outside.