Event Details

Litha, or Midsummer

Time: June 20, 2014 to June 22, 2014
Location: Where you choose to celebrate
Event Type: holiday, festival, time
Organized By: Practitioners World wide
Latest Activity: Jan 11, 2014

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Event Description

Litha, or Midsummer, is one of the four solar festivals observed by many Practitioner and Practitioner traditions. Learn about ancient solar celebrations, and ways you can enjoy Midsummer with rituals, feasts, and crafts.
The Native American Sun Dance
In many Native American tribes, the Sun Dance was a holy and ceremonial way to honor the summer solstice and the Great Spirit.


 Litha, the summer solstice, is a time of magic and mystery! Find out why this midsummer sabbat is so important in so many different cultures.

Vesta was a Roman goddess sacred to women, and each year in June, she was honored with a celebration called the Vestalia. Learn why Vesta was important, and how her festival was celebrated.

While today's Practitioners might see midsummer as a day to work on their tans and have a big bonfire, for our ancestors, it was a day of great spiritual significance. Many ancient cultures honored the sun as a deity.

Litha, or Midsummer, is a celebration of the summer solstice.

Summer solstice celebrations have been held throughout history. While some cultures dedicated this time of year to the Divine, others saw it as a chance to welcome the balance between the light of the sun and the darkness which would eventually arrive. Celebrate Litha, or Midsummer, with fire and water and find the balance in your own life.

Litha is the time of the summer solstice, and is a celebration of the sun. Use solar symbols and other seasonal goodies to decorate your altar for Midsummer!

Hold a Midsummer Night's Fire Ritual
Although this particular Midsummer ritual isn't ancient, it is inspired by the traditions and legends of the Celts of the British Isles. Take advantage of the long hours of daylight to celebrate Litha, or Alban Heruin, and honor the solstice outdoors under the skies.
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Celebrate Fathers
With the summer solstice being a time to honor the fertility of the God, and coming on the heels of Father's Day honor the fathers, stepfathers, brothers, grandpas, sons, and all the other men in your life at Litha with this simple ceremony.

Juno and Vesta - Roman Goddesses for the Summer Solstice
The ancient Romans honored their goddesses Juno and Vesta. Juno was the goddess of marriage and handfastings, and had the month of June named in her honor. Vesta was the keeper of the hearth, and of sacred virginity. Both can be celebrated in June at the summer solstice.
Aerra Litha - The Saxon Pagans and Midsummer
The Germanic tribes celebrated Midsummer as well, and thanks to an eighth-century author, we know a bit about what they did and why

 

Summer Solstice…. “Litha” (Summer)
June 21 2014 10:51 GMT

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Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on January 11, 2014 at 4:47pm

Bre Geier 11:36in the evenin' Jan 10
MidSummer Incense

for the Summer Solitice ritual (June 21) or at a time to attune with
the seasons and the sun

3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Benzoin
1 part Dragon's Blood
1 part Thyme
1 part Rosemary
1 pinch Vervain
a few drops Red Wine

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on January 11, 2014 at 4:38pm

Summer Solstice Associations

Traditional Pagan Foods of Summer Solstice:
Fresh vegetables, summer fruits, pumpernickel bread, ale, and mead.

Traditional Ritual Herbs of Summer Solstice:
chamomile, cinquefoil, elder, fennel, hemp, larkspur, lavender, male
fern, mugwort, pine, roses, Saint John's wort, wild thyme, wisteria,
and verbena.

Summer Solstice Altar Decorations:
summertime flowers, love amulets, seashells, aromatic potpourri,
summer fruits.

Summer Solstice Incense:
frankincense, lemon, myrrh, pine, rose, and wisteria.

Sacred Summer Solstice Gemstones:
all green gemstones, especially emerald and jade.

Summer Solstice Deities:
Aphrodite, Astarte, Freya, Hathor, Ishtar, Venus, and other goddesses
who preside over love, passion, and beauty.

Summer Solstice Candle Colors:
blue, green, and yellow

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on January 3, 2014 at 2:50pm

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on June 23, 2012 at 9:21am

Summer Solstice Spell

Today is one of the holiest days of the year. At first light, take a tall white or yellow candle and a short black candle outside; light them to symbolize the longest day and shortest night of the year.

A flower-scented incense is good to burn while you intone the words below:

Brother Sun and Mother Moon,
Day is longest now.

Energies of the brilliant Sun
Aid all at work
Or having fun.

Longest day,
A blessing is,
From rise to set supreme is the Sun.

Fueling growth and
passions bright,
Strong and true is the solar light.

Bounty grows
And river flows,
As Earth is warmed and lighted.

Creative energy reaches zenith
on this day of shortest night.

Crops grow high and excitement grows,
with each new ray of Sun.

Every day,
All creatures play
and hail the mighty Sun.

Ancient solstice,
Fires burning,
Honor the Sun and feed the light.

Druid, Indian, Norse, and Celt all danced
on Summer Solstice,
joyously felt.

Solar winds
and solar flares
Wash away our hunger and our cares.

Mighty Sun,
King of warmth,
Makes humans to frolic and bees to swarm.

Keep this day
In memory bright,
To warm you on long winter nights.

May the rays of solstice keep us warm,
All through the year.

The Sun has kissed
Flower field and tree,
The Sun is supreme.

So mote it be.

By: Abby Willowroot

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on June 21, 2012 at 10:58am

Blessings of Litha
Savannah Skye

This wheel keeps turning
Turning on and on
As each new Season dawns...

It keeps turning
As we pray for the coming of Litha
That's when we ask you...
Oh Litha carry us into
Sister Moon grace us into
Brother Sun face us towards
Mother Goddess place us
Place us in the blessings of Litha

The blessings of Litha that are
Malina's warm sun
Flora's sweet flowers
Psyche's beautiful butterflies
Gaia's lush green
Yemaya's liquid bliss
Iris' colorful rainbow

As we dance for the coming of Litha
That's when we ask you...
Oh Litha embrace us
Sister Moon grace us
Brother Sun face us
Mother Goddess place us
Place us in the blessings of Litha

The blessings of Litha that are
Malina's warm sun on our faces
Flora's sweet flowers under her graces
Psyche's beautiful butterflies dancing on the wind
Gaia's lush green that covers the earth from end to end
Yemaya 's liquid bliss that surrounds us with love
Iris' colorful rainbow that imbues us from above

As we sing for the coming of Litha
That's when we ask you...
Oh Litha carry us into
Mother Earth's sweet face look over us
Oshun's liquid grace bliss us
Gaia's beautiful hidden spaces protect us
Mother Goddess' wishes place us
Place us in these blessings of Litha

These blessings of Litha that are
Given to us with love
From our Mother Goddess above

Given to us while this wheel turns
Turns on and on
As each new Sabbat dawns

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on June 21, 2012 at 10:58am
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on June 19, 2012 at 9:46am

A Smattering of Solistice Spells

As a pagan, you may well light a bonfire Midsummer night and jump it, for Litha is a fire festival. Likewise, you may stay up to greet the Midsummer dawn.

If you do, keep a pair of garden shears handy. Midsummer’s Eve at midnight, Midsummer’s Day at dawn and Midsummer noon are prime times to collect plants sacred to the sun or special to the fey. In fact, any magickal herb plucked at Midsummer is said to prove doubly effective and keep better. Divining rods cut on Midsummer’s Eve are said to be more infallible, too. You can charge your charms, depending on their purpose, at midnight, noon or in dawn’s first light.

Charms traditional at Litha include those for courage, dream divination, fertility, invisibility, love, luck, protection, wealth, the restoration of sight and the ability to see the fey. Midsummer is a fey time, both by tradition and observation. The scent of the air is thick, green and juicy; it’s lost its spring astringency and is simply lush. The whole world is stretching its limbs and frolicking. The fey are big on that.

Especially for charms of love, gardening and magickal abilities, the fey are a great help in herb collecting. In exchange, they like gifts of milk and honey, cookies, sweet liqueurs, or any sweet food, drink or liquor. They also like baubles, particularly pretty or shiny. Or cold hard cash — but in coin, not paper, and it’s best if shiny.

To stay in good with the fey and the herbs you collect from, leave enough of the plant or other plants of the type that the herb survives in the spot collected from. Remember too to always ask the plant before taking a cutting, and to wait for an answer. A quid pro quo usually works: a shiny dime, some fertilizer, or a bit of your hair or clothing — whatever you think the plant most wants.

Courage: Tuscans use erba della paura (stachys)collected on Midsummer’s Day as a wash against fear. Steep the herb in hot but not boiling water, then rinse the limbs with long strokes moving outward from the torso. You might substitute wood betony, a relative more common in North America.

Dream divination: Litha is a good time for foretelling things in dreams. Specifically, to induce dreams of love and ensure them coming true, lay a bunch of flowers under your pillow on Midsummer Eve. That’s what the girls of old Scandinavia did.

For effective dream divination, remember to keep a notebook beside your bed. At bedtime, relax, ground and center, then clearly define your question. Meditate on that question until it’s firm in your mind, and assure yourself you will remember your dream on waking. Then go to sleep.

As soon as you wake, record your dream. One trick is to set an alarm clock so you’re wakened artificially, which can help dream recollection. Dreams dreamed on Midsummer’s Eve are said to be more likely to come true.

Fertility for your garden: For a lush garden, mix ashes from the Midsummer bonfire with any seeds yet to plant. (You still have time to plant cosmos and a handful of fall-blooming flowers.) Likewise, for fertility sprinkle bonfire ashes on any flowers or vegetables you have growing.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on June 19, 2012 at 9:46am

Fey charms: To see the fey, pick flowers from a patch of wild thyme where the little folk live and place the flowers on your eyes. A four-leafed clover not only grants you a wish but also, carried in your pocket or a charm, gives you the power to see fairies dancing in rings. A good place to look is by oaks, said in Germany to be a favorite place for fey dances. To penetrate fey glamour, make and wear an ointment including fourleaved clovers.

St. John’s wort, also known as ragwort, has a strong connection to the fey and transportation. You might add it to charms to travel quickly. The Irish call the plant the fairy’s horse, and the fey are said to ride it through the air. But beware: The Manx say if you step on a ragwort plant on Midsummer’s Eve after sunset, a fairy horse springs out of the earth and carries you off till sunrise, leaving you wherever you happen to be when the sun comes up.

Invisibility: Collect fern seed on Midsummer Eve for use in charms of invisibility. To become invisible, wear or swallow the seed (that is, the spores) you have collected. Such spores also put you under the protection of spirits.

The fern is said to bloom at midnight on Midsummer Eve, either a sapphire blue or golden yellow depending on your source.

Love: Plant two orpine starts (Sedum telephium) together on Midsummer Eve, one to represent yourself, one to represent your lover. If one withers, the person represented will die. But if both flourish and grow leaning together, you and your lover will marry.

Luck and human fertility: As at Beltaine, leap the Midsummer bonfire for fertility and luck.

Protection: Herbs traditional to Litha (also know as St. John’s Day) in England include St. John’s wort, hawkweed, orpine, vervain, mullein, wormwood and mistletoe. Plucked either at Midsummer’s Eve on midnight or noon Midsummer Day and hung in the house, they protect it from fire and lightning. Worn in a charm on your body, they protect you from disease, disaster and the workings of your enemies.

Sight: Dew gathered Midsummer Eve is said to restore sight.

Wealth: The fern also has a connection with wealth. Sprinkle fern seed in your savings to keep them from decreasing. The alleged golden-yellow fern flower, plucked on Midsummer Eve at midnight, can be used as a dowsing tool to lead to golden treasure. Alternatively (the Russian version), you throw the flower in the air, and it lands on buried treasure. Or, if you’re Bohemian, you pluck the flower and on the same Midsummer Night climb a mountain with blossom in hand. On the mountain, you’ll find gold or have it revealed in a vision.

If you wait patiently till midnight on Midsummer Eve and see no such golden fern flower, perhaps invisibility will have to do.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on June 19, 2012 at 9:43am

Solstice Day, Chasing the Clouds Away!

by Andy
Litha is the time of the sun. While the sun was ascending at Beltaine, it is in its full glory now. In the northern latitudes, which we share with the Northern European peasants who created many of our traditions, it doesn’t even get dark until 10 o’clock. All around the world, sun gods and goddesses from different mythologies have Their special rites on this, the longest day. They come in Their various guises, fighting the dark and bringing fertile, healing light. Today is the day of Their greatest victories.

In ancient Greece, Helios was the God of the Sun. Every day, He rode across the sky in a chariot pulled by four wild, flaming steeds. Every day the horses fought Helios, but every day He was their master. Helios had a son named Phaëthon. He was a mortal and with pride did he watch his father ride across the sky. Phaëthon loved his father and wanted to know more about him and be like him. In short, he wanted to drive the chariot for a day.

Phaëthon begged his father to grant him his fondest wish. Helios, loving his son, agreed. Then the son revealed that his wish was to drive the chariot, and Helios had to grant it. Phaëthon put on the crown of golden rays, mounted the chariot, and off he went. Across the heavens he rode, lighting the sky. The horses began their daily struggle, but Phaëthon could not master them. The horses rode wild. They towed the chariot at the zodiac animals who became enraged and drove the it from the sky. When Phaëthon neared the earth, it dried and cracked. Lakes boiled away. Then he rode up high again and the earth froze.

Zeus saw all this and knew He had to step in. To prevent Phaëthon from destroying the earth, He hurled his great thunderbolts, slaying Phaëthon and destroying the chariot. Helios’ grief was terrible, and he vowed that no one but He would ever drive His chariot again.

The gods are at the height of their power and majesty at Litha and now is the time to meet them up close, but not too close. It is dangerous to for mortals to meet and interact with the divine. As Phaëthon wanted to know the Sun God, so do we go to the God or Goddess. Let us hope that we don’t get burned.

Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on June 14, 2012 at 10:30am

Sunna is the Norse Goddess of the Sun, also known as Sól, though some hold that Sól is the mother and Sunna Her daughter. In Norse mythology, the Sun is female while the Moon is male. When the world was created from the body of the dead giant Ymir by the triad of Odin, Vili, and Ve, the Sun, Moon and Stars were made from the gathered sparks that shot forth from Muspellsheim, the Land of Fire.

Sól ("Mistress Sun"), drives the chariot of the Sun across the sky every day. Pulled by the horses Allsvinn ("Very Fast") and Arvak ("Early Rising"), the Sun-chariot is pursued by the wolf Skoll. It is said that sometimes he comes so close that he is able to take a bite out of the Sun, causing an eclipse. Sol's father is Mundilfari, and She is the sister of Måni, the Moon-god, and the wife of Glaur or Glen ("Shine"). As Sunna, She is a healer.

At Ragnarok, the foretold "Twilight of the Gods" or end of the world, it is believed the Sun will finally be swallowed by Skoll. When the world is destroyed, a new world shall be born, a world of peace and love, and the Sun's bright daughter shall outshine Her mother.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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