Celebrating Midsummer

Celebrating Midsummer or Litha

For my June blog post, I want to talk about Litha (lee-tha), also known as Midsummer. This pagan holiday occurs during the Summer Solstice, usually between June 20th and June 22nd. Many people choose to celebrate on June 21st, for convenience, rather than looking for the exact astronomical date. Let’s talk more about Celebrating Midsummer!

What is Litha?

Litha marks the longest day and shortest night of the year. This celebration is filled with passion and success, but there’s also a bittersweet feeling, knowing that summer won’t last forever. This reminds us to enjoy the present moment fully.

Like Beltane, Litha celebrates love and fertility. However, unlike Beltane, fertility is not the main focus. Instead, Litha emphasizes demonstrating love while we still can. That doesn’t mean fertility isn’t present—it certainly is! It’s just that Litha focuses more on the playful and mature aspects of love.

The mood of Litha is not melancholy or sad. Like Beltane, it’s jovial and flirtatious, but also mischievous. Pranks, gags, and practical jokes often make an appearance, attributed to the fairy kingdom. On this day, the gateway between our world and theirs is wide open.

Think of it this way: Beltane is about mating, while Litha is about what comes after mating. In a healthy relationship, the couple is at a point where they can laugh and be playful with each other. They still make love, but there’s been a shift towards more responsibility and maturity. The focus is now on finding stability and success together, tackling life with each other’s support. Midsummer represents the Divine Union at the height of its power.

Celebrating Midsummer: The God and Goddess

During Midsummer, the Goddess is seen as the mother Goddess. She is compassionate, nurturing, and giving, often more than what is asked for. She deeply loves and goes out of her way to demonstrate her love for her children. Examples include Freya, Flora, and even Mother Mary.

Throughout Midsummer, the God is seen as the Sun/Son God. By the end of Midsummer, however, he symbolically dies. It’s as if the King of the land has decreed a giant party to celebrate the abundance of the Kingdom. Everyone celebrates and has a good time all day, and with extra daylight hours, this continues into twilight. People are laughing, playing jokes, bantering, and flirting. Then, right as darkness descends, someone yells, “The King is dead!”

Altars at Litha

Sunflowers are traditional for altars and home décor on this day. The colors are red and yellow, classic summer colors. Sometimes, a wreath braided with ivy is also placed in the home or on the altar. Some people choose to place items on the altar that they have “outgrown” and wish to let go of completely.

Celebrating Midsummer: Litha Traditions

Different Pagans have different traditions, and it’s impossible to include every one. Here are three traditions especially suited for this celebration:

1. The Money Tree

  • Symbolism: A money tree placed in the home reminds us to celebrate summer’s wealth and prepares us mentally and emotionally for the coming harvest.
  • Simple and Easy: This is one of the simplest traditions to partake in, making it accessible for everyone.

2. Communion with Nature

  • Outdoor Activities: Hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, and gardening are popular because of the extended daylight hours.
  • Twilight: This is a significant time for fairy folk and nature spirits. It’s when they are most active, and communication with them is easiest.
  • Fairy Money: Some Pagans redeem fairy money, similar to coupon books given to parents or spouses, with promises of activities or actions.
  • Staying Up All Night: Some people go camping or hiking and make it a point to stay up all night, intending to greet the rising sun.
  • Nostalgia: In the hours before dawn, some take a nostalgic memory tour, remembering happy times that are no more.
  • Fairy Blessings: Those who stay vigilant may receive blessings from the fairy folk.

3. The Wicker Man

  • Symbol: The Wicker Man, made from burnable materials, is set on fire after sunset. It symbolizes sacrifice, fertility, or a memorial to the Sun God Lugh.
  • Variations: There are several variations of this tradition:
    • Sacrifice: In one version, burning the Wicker Man is an offering to the gods/goddesses to bring abundance and prosperity. Historical accounts, like those from Julius Caesar, suggest that Druids may have used living humans in large Wicker Men for this purpose, though this is debated.
    • Fertility Ritual: In another version, young men dress in costumes and masks, symbolically fertilizing young girls by capturing them during a chase. The Wicker Man is then burned while people dance or run around it.
    • Memorial: Some Pagans see the Wicker Man as representing the god Lugh. Anything burned with him is believed to be carried to the Otherworld. Notes, artwork, and spells are tied to the Wicker Man, with the smoke carrying these intentions to the Otherworld.


I hope this article helps you understand Litha better. Midsummer is a time for joy, love, and a bit of mischief, reminding us of the fleeting nature of life. Celebrate passionately, love deeply, and make the most of every moment. You never know when it might not be there anymore.

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