Litha Crew Post from July 13, 2022
I would hope you all know by now that Litha is the Pagan/Celtic celebration of the Summer Solstice. Every year on Litha, I see the name of our home afloat all over social media. A friend tagged me in a post on Instagram because a girl in Salem was making flower hair bands to celebrate the day on the wharf, and she looked down and saw the name of our sailboat. She said it was the perfect sign. How cool is that? We were someone’s sign that day!
Litha is the longest, brightest day of the year. The word “Solstice” comes from the latin word “Solstitium” meaning “sun stands still”. Ancient Celts used to celebrate Litha by traveling to the hilltops and lighting bonfires to honor the space between the earth and the heavens, land and sky.
Other ancient rituals included lighting a large wheel on fire and rolling it down a hill into the water. Litha is the most powerful day for the sun, but it also marks the days becoming shorter again. The water and fiery wheel may have represented soothing the sun’s strong fire, and was an offering to the gods to prevent drought for their crops.
Litha has been known as an important day for ritual. From the Romans honoring Juno, the Goddess of women, childbirth, and marriage, by naming the month of June after her as crops and nature thrive in summer; to offering cinders from bonfires to crops as a blessing. Even William Shakespeare associated ritual and witchcraft with the Summer Solstice in at least three of his plays. It’s a powerful day. Earth and Air, Fire and Water, Day and Night. The sun leaves Gemini with such duality, and enters Cancer, the sign of warmth, home, and comfort.
I hope you all had a beautiful warm solstice, and continue to have a happy summer. ☀️