The Summer Solstice occurs during summer. This is the June solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the December solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere. The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice.
Litha or Midsummer is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening.
In Egypt, the Midsummer season was associated with the flooding of the Nile River delta.
In South America, paper boats are filled with flowers, and then set on fire. They are then sailed down the river, carrying prayers to the gods.
In some traditions of modern Paganism, you can get rid of problems by writing them on a piece of paper and dropping them into a moving body of water on Litha.
Astrologically, the sun is entering Cancer, which is a water sign. Midsummer is not only a time of fire magic, but of water as well. Now is a good time to work magic involving sacred streams and holy wells.
Amaterasu (Shinto): This solar goddess is the sister of the moon deity and the storm god of Japan, and is known as the goddess “from which all light comes”. She is much loved by her worshippers and treats them with warmth and compassion. Every year in July, she is celebrated in the streets of Japan.
Aten (Egypt): This god was at one point an aspect of Ra, but rather than being depicted as an anthropomorphic being (like most of the other ancient Egyptian gods), Aten was represented by the disc of the sun, with rays of light emanating outward. Although his early origins aren’t quite known – he may have been a localized, provincial deity – Aten soon became known as the creator of mankind. In the Book of the Dead, he is honored with “Hail, Aten, thou lord of beams of light, when thou shinest, all faces live.”
Apollo (Greek): The son of Zeus by Leto, Apollo was a multi-faceted god. In addition to being the god of the sun, he also presided over music, medicine, and healing. He was at one point identified with Helios. As the worship of him spread throughout the Roman empire into the British Isles, he took on many of the aspects of the Celtic deities and was seen as a god of the sun and of healing.
Hestia (Greek): This goddess watched over domesticity and the family. She was given the first offering at any sacrifice made in the home. On a public level, the local town hall served as a shrine for her — any time a new settlement was formed, a flame from the public hearth was taken to the new village from the old one.
Horus (Egyptian): Horus was one of the solar deities of the ancient Egyptians. He rose and set every day, and is often associated with Nut, the sky god. Horus later became connected with another sun god, Ra.
Huitzilopochtli (Aztec): This warrior god of the ancient Aztecs was a sun god and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. He battled with Nanahuatzin, an earlier solar god. Huitzilopochtli fought against darkness and required his worshipers to make regular sacrifices to ensure the sun’s survival over the next fifty-two years, which is a significant number in Mesoamerican myths.
Juno (Roman): She is also called Juno Luna and blesses women with the privilege of menstruation. The month of June was named for her, and because Juno was the patroness of marriage, her month remains an ever-popular time for weddings and handfasting.
Lugh (Celtic): Similar to the Roman god Mercury, Lugh was known as a god of both skill and the distribution of talent. He is sometimes associated with midsummer because of his role as a harvest god, and during the summer solstice the crops are flourishing, waiting to be plucked from the ground at Lughnasadh.
Sulis Minerva (Celtic, Roman): When the Romans occupied the British Isles, they took the aspects of the Celtic sun goddess, Sulis, and blended her with their own goddess of wisdom, Minerva. The resulting combination was Sulis Minerva, who watched over the hot springs and sacred waters in the town of Bath.
Sunna or Sol (Germanic): Little is known about this Norse goddess of the sun, but she appears in the Poetic Eddas as the sister of the moon god. Author and artist Thalia Took says, “Sól (“Mistress Sun”), drives the chariot of the Sun across the sky every day. Pulled by the horses Allsvinn (“Very Fast”) and Arvak (“Early Rising”), the Sun-chariot is pursued by the wolf Skoll… She is the sister of Måni, the Moon-god, and the wife of Glaur or Glen (“Shine”). As Sunna, She is a healer.”
Most of the Wiccian and Magick practitioner make use of 19 to 25 June during Litha or Midsummer for energy and enhancement spell works. I personally make use of a tighter 5 day period of Summer Solstice for space cleansing, recharging my crystals and gems, and other enhancement work. This is often done with an understanding of of QMDJ chart to get the optimal combination of Heaven, Earth, Man and Deity for enhancement and healing work within the 5 days period. . If your house faces or sits in NE or SW, this period is one of the best time to recharge the house energy.
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