Midsummer Incense #1
2 parts Sandalwood
1 part Mugwort
1 part Chamomile
1 part Gardenia petals
a few drops Rose oil
a few drops Lavender oil
a few drops Yarrow oil
Burn at Wiccan rituals at the Summer Solstice or at that time to attune with the seasons and the Sun
Midsummer Incense #2
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Benzoin
1 part Dragon’s Blood
1 part Thyme
1 part Rosemary
1 pinch Vervain
a few drops Red Wine
(The above recipes for “Midsummer Incense” is quoted directly from Scott Cunningham’s book “The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils & Brews”, page 80, Llewellyn Publications, 1989/1992.)
Summer Solstice Ritual Potpourri
45 drops lemon or lavender oil
1 cup oak moss
2 cups dried lavender
2 cups dried wisteria
2 cups dried verbena
Mix the lemon or lavender oil with the oak moss, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the potpourri well and store in a tightly covered ceramic or glass container.
(The above recipe for “Summer Solstice Ritual Potpourri” is quoted directly from Gerina Dunwich’s book “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes”, page 162, A Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994/1995)
Put in soap or anoint candles
5 drops lavender
4 drops rosemary
4 drops rose
Add a piece of dried vervain, a small citrine, clear quartz crystal, and a sprinkle of gold glitter. So magical and beautiful!
Magickal Activity for December 21, The Summer Solstice
Midsummer is a celebration of light and life, symbolized by the flame of a candle and the movement of water. A large glass bowl filled with an assortment of floating candles makes a wonderful point of focus for ritual. Choose bright yellow sunflowers, white lilies, and red tulip-shaped candles. Have each person participating in the ritual inscribe his or her desire, with a pin, on a candle. Have each person come forward, place his or her candle in the bowl and light it as he makes his wish. Following the ritual, the bowl is placed outdoors and the candles are left to burn out.
The Sun Wheel
One of the most popular symbols of Midsummer is the Sun Wheel, the turning of which suggests the turning, or progression, of the seasons. The Wheel is decorated with flowers, fresh herbs, and brightly colored ribbons.
The simplest method for making a Sun Wheel is to buy an already-prepared natural-branch wreath from an arts and crafts store. Affix small branches of rowan to form the spokes of the wheel (four spokes to represent the elements and cross-quarter days or eight to symbolize the eight Wiccan Sabbats). Use floral wire to attach fresh flowers and herbs to the wreath. Embellish with brightly colored ribbons. The wheel can be used as the focal point for your Midsummer rites or hung on the front door of your home for decoration.
Midsummer Eve/Summer Solstice
The Summer Solstice is celebrated between December 20 – 22-the longest day and shortest night of the year. The festival of Midsummer venerates the potential of the life-sustaining powers of fire and water, forces that were vital to our ancestors’ survival. It was believed that fire would help keep the sun alive and that the blessing of waterwells would continue their flow to nurture the parched earth. Without sun and water, there would be no crops and all would perish.
One of the most popular customs that grew out of the early fertility rites was that of jumping or leaping over Midsummer bonfires. The idea being, the higher one jumped, the higher the crops would grow.
Another symbol that was popularized at this time was the wheel. The turning of the wheel represented the turning or progression of the seasons. Wheels were decorated with brightly colored ribbons and fresh flowers. Lighted candles were placed on them, and then they were set afloat on the lakes and rivers.
Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Night are genuinely thought to be particularly uncanny times. It was reasoned that certain plants were endowed with magickal properties on this night, that, if gathered before sunrise, could be used for protection against all evil spirits and forces.
With the sun at its zenith, Midsummer was, and still is, a time for marriages, family celebrations, and coming-of-age parties.
Symbolically, Midsummer is the time to nurture those goals you made at the beginning of the year as you reflect on the progress you have made toward bringing them into fruition.
The Witches Magick for the Summer Solstice – Sun Spell
A simple sun spell can help you capture the power of this most important time in the sun’s journey across our skies. And who doesn’t need a bit of that potent energy in their everyday lives? This simple sun spell harnesses the energy of the sun into an amulet (token) that you can carry with you. Call on it whenever you need a bit of that brightness.
You will need:
A candle and something to light it with— I like to use a red candle because the sun is a fire element, but use any color you have or that speaks to you
A pinch of dried spice— dried chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or black pepper
A daisy (ruled by the element of fire)
A plate or saucer to work from
Gather your spell materials together and go outside into the sunshine. Sit somewhere green and quiet if you can, and hold your candle, spices, and daisy in one hand. Cup your other hand over the top. Concentrate on focusing your energy into what you are holding. Focus on the creation of something that will bring you brightness when you need it.
When you’re ready, light the candle carefully and drop wax onto the plate or saucer to create a pool of wax. Extinguish the candle and, working swiftly, sprinkle the spice onto the molten wax. Place the daisy onto the wax and spice. Carefully mould the still-warm wax into a ball or penny shape, enclosing the spices and daisy within it. You can always drip more wax onto the top to ensure that the spell is fully enclosed.
When the wax has cooled, hold the amulet in one hand and raise your hand to the sun. Close your eyes and imagine the brightness and warmth of the sun’s energy forming a sphere around your amulet, empowering it with its energy.
Say some simple words like:
Power of the sun, charge this spell till it is done.
When you feel that your amulet has absorbed the sun’s power, thank the sun for lending you its strength. When you return home, relight your candle and burn it in thanks for the success of your spell.
Carry this amulet with you and reach for it whenever you need to lend the sun’s power to whatever you are doing. Use it when a spell needs an extra boost, or on a cold gray day that leaves you feeling down, or when a friend is in need of some brightness at a difficult time. This powerful little spell can also be recharged by holding the amulet up to the sun whenever you need a boost. You can use it as a focus in fire spells as well.
Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
The Summer Solstice, known to some as Litha, Midsummer, or Alban Heruin, is the longest day of the year. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. After today, the nights will once more begin to grow longer, and the sun will move further away in the sky.
If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, consecrate a space, or call the quarters, now is the time to do so.
This ritual is a great one to perform outside, so if you have the opportunity to do this without scaring the neighbors, take advantage of it.
Begin this ritual by preparing the wood for a fire, without lighting it yet. While the ideal situation would have you setting a huge bonfire alight, realistically not everyone can do that. If you’re limited, use a table top brazier or fire-safe pot, and light your fire there instead.
Say either to yourself or out loud:
Today, to celebrate Midsummer, I honor the Earth itself. I am surrounded by tall trees. There is a clear sky above me and cool dirt beneath me, and I am connected to all three. I light this fire as the Ancients did so long ago.
At this point, start your fire. Say:
The Wheel of the Year has turned once more
The light has grown for six long months
Today is Litha, called Alban Heruin by my ancestors.
A time for celebration.
Tomorrow the light will begin to fade
As the Wheel of the Year
Turns on and ever on.
Turn to the East, and say:
From the east comes the wind,
Cool and clear.
It brings new seeds to the garden
Bees to the pollen
And birds to the trees.
Turn to Face South, and say:
The sun rises high in the summer sky
And lights our way even into the night
Today the sun casts three rays
The light of fire upon the land, the sea, and the heavens
Turn to face West, saying:
From the west, the mist rolls in
Bringing rain and fog
The life-giving water without which
We would cease to be.
Finally, turn to the North, and say:
Beneath my feet is the Earth,
Soil dark and fertile
The womb in which life begins
And will later die, then return anew.
Build up the fire even more, so that you have a good strong blaze going.
If you wish to make an offering to the gods, now is the time to do it. For this sample, we’re including the use of a triple goddess in the invocation, but this is where you should substitute the names of the deities of your personal tradition.
Alban Heruin is a time of rededication
To the gods. The triple goddess watches over me.
She is known by many names.
She is the Morrighan, Brighid, and Cerridwen.
She is the washer at the ford,
She is the guardian of the hearth,
She is the one who stirs the cauldron of inspiration.
I give honor to You, O mighty ones,
By all your names, known and unknown.
Bless me with Your wisdom
And give life and abundance to me
As the sun gives life and abundance to the Earth.
I make this offering to you
To show my allegiance
To show my honor
To show my dedication
Cast your offering into fire. Conclude the ritual by saying:
Today, at Litha, I celebrate the life
And love of the gods
And of the Earth and Sun.
Take a few moments to reflect upon what you have offered, and what the gifts of the gods mean to you. When you are ready, if you have cast a circle, dismantle it or dismiss the quarters at this time. Allow your fire to go out on its own.
Litha is the season of the summer solstice, and the longest day of the year. This means that the very next day, the nights will begin getting longer incrementally as we move towards Yule, the winter solstice. Celebrate the sun while there’s time, and let its warm energy and powerful rays envelope you.
Litha Prayer to the Sun
The sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sol Invictus, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness.
What to Include for the Summer Solstice
It’s Litha, and that means the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It’s a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can’t, that’s okay — but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.
Colors of the Season
This sabbat is all about the sun celebration, so think of solar colors. Yellows, oranges, fiery reds and golds are all appropriate this time of year. Use candles in bright sunny colors, or cover your altar with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season.
Litha is when the sun is at its highest point above us. In some traditions, the sun rolls across the sky like a great wheel – consider using pinwheels or some other disc to represent the sun. Circles and discs are the most basic sun symbol of all, and are seen as far back as the tombs of ancient Egypt. Use equal-armed crosses, such as the Brighid’s Cross, or even the swastika – remember, it was originally a good luck symbol to both the Hindus and Scandinavians before it became associated with the Nazis.
A Time of Light and Dark
The solstice is also a time seen as a battle between light and dark. Although the sun is strong now, in just six months the days will be short again. Much like the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, light and dark must battle for supremacy. At this sabbat, darkness wins, and the days will begin to grow shorter once more. Decorate your altar with symbols of the triumph of darkness over light – and that includes using other opposites, such as fire and water, night and day, etc.
Other Symbols of Litha
Midsummer flowers, fruits and vegetables from your garden
Gods Eyes in sunny colors
Oak trees and acorns
Sandalwood, saffron, frankincense, laurel
Author: Patti Wigington
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