Midsummer

Midsummer - Litha - Pagan Holiday - Greenman by Lesley Crawford
“Greenman” (C) by Lesley Crawford

Midsummer

Sometimes called Litha, Midsummer is one of eight Neopagan solar holidays or Sabbats. Celebrated in the northern hemisphere on the summer solstice, June 21st, and in the southern hemisphere on Dec 21st, Midsummer marks the longest day of the year. This zenith celebration calls us to look back and be ever thankful for our harvest, our bounty, our long spent days while also serves to remind us to look forward to, and prepare for, shorter days on our horizon.

The Sun in all it’s powerful creative and sexual energy is represented by the Sun God who is ruler of the forest and enters it to become the hidden “Green Man” covered in leaves and forest growth. This symbolism speaks to rebirth which is a constant theme for both the summer and winter solstice’s. For more on the enigma of the Greenman, visit this site.

Prior to being used in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as an actual day, “Litha” historically seems to be associated and referred to as the season of summer.

Among the Sabbats, Midsummer is preceded by Beltane and followed by Lughnasadh or Lammas.


 

Stonehenge Summer Solstice

stonehenge summer solstice
The Sun rising over Stonehenge on the morning of the Summer Solstice

Every year at Stonehenge thousands gather to watch the sunrise and partake in celebrating the summer solstice.

A Stonehenge summer solstice would indeed be a mystical event to be long remembered. As we celebrate in spirit the summer solstice, no matter where we may be, we can appreciate it’s significance not only as a great pagan holiday within Midsummer but as a moment of time to reflect upon our inner fertility, that is, our very real power to spiritually regenerate as we move along our individual paths in life.

Whitedog at Stonehenge

 

A dear friend took me to visit Stonehenge and Avebury in the fall ..’twas a grand adventure!

There are so many questions, so much speculation, history and folklore concerning the over 900 stone configurations across the British Isles that I am sure to spend the rest of my life periodically pondering with great wonder and amazement, these truly magical places..

The Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunrise image is licensed under:

Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

See also: Pagan Holidays – The Wheel of the Year