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Eliza Raven

Midsummer Solstice ¦ Litha Blessings!

Published almost 2 years ago • 6 min read

Today is one of the most anticipated and joyously celebrated dates in the northern hemisphere calendar. Litha. Midsummer. Midpoint. The joyous celebration of the high point of the year. The buzz of summer insects and the calling of summer birds. The blossoming of fuschias, roses and jasmine in my garden and their heady scent wafting down the breeze towards us.

I feel blessed by the gorgeous sights, smells and sounds around me. Washing dries in half an hour on the line. I spend so much time outdoors that I don’t even notice the spiders, carefully tending to their webs and clearing my house of pesky flies! I want to plan holidays and lazy weekends away camping in a field beside a lake. There won’t be midges - how could there be?! Everything feels possible, even imminent, right now.

The uptick in my mood and energy is considerable. I joyfully get myself and the three manic dogs out onto the beach early, taking advantage of the cool sea breeze and the lack of people to enjoy the broad, blue expanses of sea and sky. White egrets and black terns peck at sea snails on the far distant reef of rocks and it feels incredible that this is “just” the Bristol Channel. I feel transported to the Aegean and Wales is now Turkey, staring back at me from a distant Greek island. Bliss.

This morning, Flora asked me when the school holidays would begin, and I know she too is waiting impatiently for the constraints of the school day to fall away into the long, peaceful, heat-haze days of summer. My desire to cook elaborate meals wanes in favour of cold, fresh salads and simple grilled meats, fish and cheese. I carry a water bottle with me from room to room, and still only really feel refreshed by the freezing cold plunge into the river outside my back door. Thank goodness for that river!

And yet, here we are at the apex of the northern hemisphere summer and from here on in, the wheel of the year turns away from the light and towards the coming darkness of the winter months, and so we move into peak Mother energy. This is the tipping point of the year - the longest day - the sun is at its highest point and so also the moment in the year when we feel most like our astrological sun sign - most like “ourselves”.

Today is a celebration of life. This is the fruition point of all the effort we’ve put in to our world since Imbolc. We get to enjoy reflecting on every single win today!

In pagan mythology, the Goddess is now full and pregnant with child, and the Sun God is at the height of his virility. This is the peak of the solar year and the Sun is at the height of its life-giving power. The earth is awash with fertility and fulfilment and this is a time of joy and celebration, of expansiveness and the celebration of achievements.

Yet within this climax is the whisper and promise of a return to the Dark. As the Light reaches its peak, this is also the moment when the power of the Sun begins to wane. From now on the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer and we are drawn back into the Dark to complete the Wheel of the Year.

At this time the God, as Oak King, is rich in abundance, but he too surrenders his reign to his brother twin, the Holly King, and the descent begins. But before we welcome the return to the Dark side of the year, and acknowledge this great turning point of the Wheel, we celebrate!

Tonight we will be lighting a fire, and writing down for each of ourselves all of the “wins” of this past 6 months. We will acknowledge and celebrate each and every one of them, large or small, for we know that what makes a human great, are all the tiny moments of growth and changes which go to make a greater whole. We will burn our celebration papers together as an offering of gratitude to the life forces which have brought us here and maybe beforehand we will read them out loud to each other, so that we can celebrate each others’ wins too.

I will make elderflower cordial today as the flowers will be at their most scented, and later in the year, when we drink it in the depths of the cold and dark of winter, we will remember the joy of midsummer and our happiness in the making of it. A shot of sunshine in midwinter, to look forward to.

This is the time of the Oak moon. A tree of healing and peace, the oak can be used as a haven for restoration. When your spirit needs rest and comfort it can be soothed beneath the tree’s vast branches. Meditating with your spine resting on the trunk of an oak tree soothes the nervous system and induces feelings of inner peace. Oak trees conduct the energy of endurance and strength, offering a magical remedy for fear and despair. They bring courage and protection from adversity. The great size and age of the oak made it a symbol of the continuity of the community. The water that collects in the dips in its branches was thought to be sacred and used to cleanse and heal the body of negative energy. Feel energised by the power of the Sun and oak during this energetic time of year. Harness powerful solar energies for Oak Moon work to bring cheer and success to your life.

Here are some of the ways you might choose to enrich your spiritual life during this moon:

Go on a vision quest during the Oak Moon and spend time in nature to receive messages from the oak tree. For best results carry out this quest at the time of the Summer Solstice to enhance your insight with the energy of the Sun. As you’ll need to spend a night outside for this quest it’s best to do it with a friend.

  1. Go to a hilltop where both sunset and sunrise will be clearly visible.
  2. Begin the quest at sunset, ending at sunrise.
  3. As the Sun falls from the sky, say a prayer to the great oak tree for guidance.
  4. Look out for signs, such as animals that cross your path, or shooting stars.
  5. Keep a record of your feelings and thoughts throughout the quest.
  6. At sunrise give thanks for what you have received from the natural world.

As the Sun reaches the height of its power in the month of Oak, so the energy of the natural world – and your own spirits – will soar. Use this abundant feeling of vitality to attune yourself to the season and engage in some of these activities.

Other ways to celebrate midsummer:

  • Dance outside in the Sun – it’s so energising.
  • Go for a walk every day and enjoy the long, light summer evenings.
  • Keep an acorn from the autumn and use it as a charm during the Oak Moon.
  • Have a gold themed dinner to celebrate the Sun.
  • Bury a letter to the Universe under an oak tree, detailing your summer wishes.
  • Wear an oak leaf in your hair to bring you luck.

And here are two rituals you can use to enhance the energy of this moment in the year:

Solar success energy

Make a wish during the Oak Moon and imbue it with solar energy. You’ll need to choose a wishing symbol, such as a coin for wealth.

You will need:

  • Gold candle and matches
  • Symbol of your intention
  • Oak leaves
  1. Hold the gold candle towards the sky and say, “Power of the Sun enter this candle. May the flame of success burn brightly”. Place the candle in a holder next to your intention symbol.
  2. Surround the candle with oak leaves and say, “Mighty oak tree, lend me your strength”
  3. Light the candle and make your wish, then let the candle burn down – success will soon be yours.

A purification ritual

You can burn oak leaves to purify the atmosphere and banish fear and doubt.

You will need:

  • Small bottle of wine
  • Basket
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Needle and thread
  • Fireproof bowl
  • Charcoal disc and matches
  1. On the night after the full moon go to an oak tree and pour a libation of wine onto the roots, asking the tree for its help.
  2. Gather a basket of leaves and sew them together, then hang up the leaves to dry out for three days.
  3. When the leaves have dried, carefully remove the thread and pound the leaves with a pestle and mortar into incense. Light the charcoal in the fireproof dish.
  4. When it glows red add the dried leaves to create an energetic purification smoke.

However you choose to celebrate Litha - Midsummer - Solstice - enjoy it on purpose!

Blessed Solstice to you all.

Lizzy xx

www.elizaraven.com

Eliza Raven

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