The Summer Solstice – Litha – June 20-23 (depending on the actual astronomical event)
held on the longest day of the year is probably one of the most publicised events
in the Pagan calendar. This is a celebration of light over darkness and the abundance
of life. The colour of this festival is gold, representing the Sun King – and I
use a gold coloured cloth and gold candles on my altar. Bright coloured flowers
also decorate my altar – I like to use sunflowers – and summer fruits. This festival
is strongly associated with the rituals performed by the Druids at Stonehenge. But,
if like me, you prefer a more solitary celebration its worth searching ordinance
survey maps for some of the lesser known places in your area (they’re out there,
trust me!); alternatively try to find a quiet spot in the woods, perhaps beneath
an oak tree, where you can perform your ritual undisturbed. There are many rites
that you can perform for this festival, for me the best time is at noon, when the
sun is at its peak in the sky as well as in the wheel.
This is a time of abundance and this should be reflected in your altar decorations.
The colours of the Sabbat are gold and yellow. This festival celebrates the power
of the sun and symbols of the sun should be placed on your altar – candle holders,
lamps or oil burners with the suns image are good. Use a cloth of gold or deep yellow
and adorn your altar with gold candles, flowers such as sunflowers or buttercups
can be added as well as crystals such as Citrine or sunstone can also be used. Your
altar should also reflect Gaia’s abundance and can be represented by bowls of summer
fruits and mead. Again this is a time for fairy magic – and is one of the strongest
times for this and your work should be done outdoors.