Picture By Douglas P. Perkins Midsummer, also called Litha or the Summer Solstice, is another one of those sabbats that can land on a different date each year. This is because it's the longest day and shortest night of the year, and this year it lands on June 21 (same day as Father's Day - wow, busy day this year!). Once Midsummer passes, days will start to get shorter and nights longer again. It's hard to think of that because at this point in the year most of us want the days to last longer--especially those of us who live through far too many months of winter each year.
Clearly, with Midsummer being the longest day of the year, the sun is at its height of power. It's a time to continue the celebrations started at Beltane. And it's a time for love. It's interesting how many weddings take place during June. Could this possibly be something that we brought along with us from the past without realizing it? Aside from love, though, celebrating the coming of new life is important as well.
And what would a holiday be without its symbols? Again, there's a balefire at Midsummer, along with amulets like the God's Eye, which represents the sun. Fire is powerful during many sabbats, but it's strongest during Midsummer--the sun rules. Those weddings I mentioned? Flowers, tossing rice, and even cutting a wedding cake have origins in Pagan fertility magic. The ring represents a magic circle. Those are only a handful of wedding items that originate from Paganism.
There's a lot of things going on during Midsummer, so I highly recommend you read further about it if you're interested. Here's a few websites: Litha, All About Litha, and Midsummer/Summer Solstice.
Further Reading Suggestions:
Franklin, Anna. Midsummer. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 2002.
I hope you found this tidbit interesting! If you would like me to touch on a particular topic that fits in this series, please don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions.
NEXT UP: Guest post from Jennifer Loring
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