Litha-Ideas For Things To Make To Celebrate Litha

Posted May 31 2012

~Here are a Few Great Litha/Midsummer Recipes & Ideas On Things To Make For Litha~

Nearly every agricultural society has marked the high point of summer in some way, shape or form. On this date – usually around June 21 or 22 – the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. It is the longest day of the year, and the point at which the sun seems to just hang there without moving – in fact, the word “solstice” is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.” The travels of the sun were marked and recorded. Stone circles such as Stonehenge were oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice.

Litha has often been a source of contention among modern Pagan and Wiccan groups, because there's always been a question about whether or not Midsummer was truly celebrated by the ancients. While there's scholarly evidence to indicate that it was indeed observed, there were suggestions made by Gerald Gardner, t he founder of modern Wicca, that the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many modern Wiccans and Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June.

In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of June, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King.

This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. Crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life.

For contemporary Wiccans and Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. Find yourself a quiet spot and meditate on the darkness and the light both in the world and in your personal life. Celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year with fire and water, night and day, and other symbols of the triumph of light over darkness.

Here are a Few Great Litha/Midsummer Recipes & Ideas On Things To Make For Litha

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Midsummer Fire Incense:

Midsummer is a great time for herb gardens, because there are buds and blooms everywhere. This is a powerful time to gather herbs, and also to prepare and use them. Any fresh herb can be dried simply by picking it and tying it up in small bundles in a well-ventilated area. Once they are completely dry store them in airtight jars in a dark place. To make your own magical summer incense, first determine what form you’d like to make. You can make incense with sticks and in cones, but the easiest kind uses loose ingredients, which are then burned on top of a charcoal disc or tossed into a fire. This recipe is for loose incense, but you can always adapt it for stick or cone recipes. As you mix and blend your incense, focus on the intent of your work. In this particular recipe, we’re creating an incense to use during a Litha rite -- and since Litha is all about the sun and its strength, we’re going to make this a fiery and powerful incense. You’ll need:

A Mortar & Pestle

3 parts myrrh
1 part apple blossoms
½ part bay leaves
½ part cinnamon bark or cinnamon
1 part chamomile flowers
1 part lavender flowers
2 parts mugwort
½ part rosemary

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation, such as:

Balance of the heavens and earth below,
The power of the sun in this incense grows.
Cinnamon, mugwort, apple and bay,
Fire and water, on this longest day.
Herbs of power, blended by me,
As I will, so it shall be.


Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

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Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is in full bloom by Litha, so it's a perfect opportunity to make a pitcher of cool lemon balm tea! Brew this up in your kitchen, and serve it over ice.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups lemon balm leaves, fresh
  • Honey or other sweetener
  • Water

Preparation:

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil, and add the leaves. Reduce heat and allow to steep for about 15 minutes. Strain leaves out, and then add honey or other sweetener to taste. If the tea is too strong, add a bit of water to thin it out. Pour into an ice-filled pitcher and serve. You may want to add a sprig of mint for garnish.


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Zucchini Bread

As the Wheel of the year turns, so does the herbs and foods that are in season. This recipe for zucchini bread symbolizes what the earth has made abundant for us during this time of the year. The "phalic" symbolism of the zucchini also plays into the masculine energy of which this time of the year tends to ties into... "The Sun", The Oak King and The God. This bread also can be used for magick in which you are trying to increase balance, prosperity, fertility, and stability. Not only is this great for magick, but is also great for cakes and ale after ritual as well. The bread can be used to symbolize the coming together of all the things nature has provided in making these ingredients available to us, as well as the coming together of hard work thus far, and taking time to appreciate all that has been supplied due to our efforts. This bread is simple to make, and can be made in one large loaf, or smaller loaves, depending on your preference. 

Prep Time: 20 Min.   Cook Time: 1 Hr.   Ready In: 1hr 40min

Ingrediants:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.


(Source-About.com, allrecipes.com)