The Summer Solstice (aka Midsummer or Litha) is, to put it simply, the longest day of the year. But in a good, lots of sunlight way! Not in a “this line at the grocery store is taking a thousand years” way.
It’s the day that the Sun is at its highest in the sky, and takes place between June 20th and 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere depending on the year. It’s also generally recognized as the official beginning of summer, although “Midsummer” refers to the middle of the growing season, between planting and harvest. Whatever you call it and whenever it starts, we can probably all agree that summer deserves to be celebrated.
Summer Solstice celebrations are pretty intuitive: feasting, fire, rolling around in the sunlight for as long as possible. The holiday shares a lot of imagery with Beltane, but where we celebrate the beginning of work during Beltane we might celebrate the luxury of rest during Midsummer. On this day the Sun seems to stand still in its path. For our agricultural ancestors and neighbors, the seeds have been planted and are doing their thing until harvest time. Right now we focus on maintaining and nurturing, our crops and ourselves. It’s been a long winter and we’ve been doing our best to prepare for the next one.
Now is a great time to invest your energy in your community, whatever that looks like. Get to know your neighbors, the plants that grow in the sidewalk cracks, the graffiti and street art if you're lucky enough to have it. Take this day of stillness to observe and enjoy, and save the memory for when winter arrives.
In Wiccan rituals, Summer Solstice symbolizes the day that the Holly King defeats his brother the Oak King for dominance over the next half of the year… here in the HausWitch coven we don’t really vibe with the idea of any king dominating anything, but it's worth asking: what does “king” mean to you? What are you king of? If you were the only person in charge of the next half of your year (spoiler: you are) what would you decree? That every Sunday is bath day? That every Friday is dessert first day? That clearly communicating your needs is non-negotiable and a practice as magical as any spell?
What does your crown look like? What does your throne look like?
Who are the other kings? Who else's sovereignty do you recognize and how do you respect it while maintaining your own?
Journal on these thoughts, and then make yourself a paper crown. Sit in your sovereignty until the sun goes down, then light a candle and have a feast.
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