By Nicole Piper, from Sol Path Tarot and Crystal Magick
The summer solstice, known also as Litha, is celebrated by modern pagans as the longest day of the year.
There is some quibbling about whether Litha was ever practiced by the ancients, but there is plenty of evidence that ancient people from agricultural areas across the world and from various religious persuasions celebrated midsummer (perhaps not Litha in name) in a variety of ways, mainly for the same reasons.
This is a day to celebrate the sun. The crops are growing, nature is in its full splendor, and the days are warm and seemingly unending. This is a time to honor balance between fire and water.
You can spend the day swimming and end it with a bonfire at night, along with various other traditions like hosting a barbecue (as we Pagans are known to do), spend some time at the beach, hike in the woods – anything that has you out in nature and enjoying the energy and beauty of the sun. It is a wonderful time for love magic and getting married or engaged (handfasting).
If you worship deities, this is a time to honor Ra and Horus (Egyptian), Lugh (Celtic), Baldur (Norse), Apollo and Hestia (Greek), and Juno (Roman) among other solar deities. If you’re more into elementals, give an offering to the fairies or dragons!
You can incorporate crystals into your Litha celebration as well. Sunstone is an obvious choice, as well as Citrine, Tiger Eye, Carnelian, and Garnet.
One way to do this would be to choose a crystal that aligns with something you need help with, for example, if you have been feeling timid or unmotivated, you might grab a Tiger Eye, stand under the sun (use proper sun safety precautions please), and speak your intent out loud to the universe. If you’re not one for theatrics, you might just wear a necklace or bracelet made from the appropriate crystal as you go about your day. Maybe there is a physical problem you could use help healing from or something you really, really want to make happen and need to use some manifestation magic – grab the appropriate crystal and head outside!
Another way to celebrate if the weather doesn’t cooperate or if you can’t spend as much time outside as you like, is to decorate like you would for any other holiday. Fresh flowers, baskets of fruit, ribbons and fabrics in reds, yellows, and oranges would all be appropriate, and you could burn some sandalwood or lavender incense. However you choose to celebrate this day, be sure to give thinks to the sun that brings us life and literally brightens our days.
Nicole Piper, from Sol Path Tarot and Crystal Magick