Litha Ritual

Cast circle as usual. On the altar is a large, unlit candle, plus bread and wine (or substitutes) for communion. If working outdoors, you can use the traditional bonfire instead of the Sun Candle.

Today we celebrate Litha, the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

The Sun God has reached the peak of His might, giving his energy so that life on Earth may flourish. Even as we celebrate the peak of His power, He now begins His slow descent to the inner realms. The pulse of life on Earth has reached its peak, animals and crops thrive all around us, the blossom that was created by the union of the Goddess and the God at Beltane is transformed into new fruit, and a time of fruitfulness and plenty beckons with the prospect of a new harvest in a few weeks time. We celebrate these gifts; it is a time of rejoicing, but it is also a time of change, as the waning of the year begins.

Just as the decline towards autumn and then winter must inevitably follow the peak of the Sun's power and the Earth's fruitfulness before the cycle of life can begin again, so too must we accept changes in ourselves: not simply resting content upon our achievements so far, but accepting that we must always continue to change and grow, that even at the time of our greatest accomplishments we must be ready to begin a new journey of learning and discovery. For all life is change, and change is a gift.

A few minutes' silence for trance; meditate on the blessings and gifts of the Sun, and the bodily or spiritual changes that the turning of the year may bring.

The Sun King turns in His path, fulfilled in love
With the Queen of Summer, leaving for another realm
As the Wheel of the Year turns onward.
As we celebrate the year's gifts,
Happiness attained and desires fulfilled,
May we gain the courage to change as we must,
To move ever onwards in our lives.

Priestess and co-celebrants dance round the centre, chanting:

All: She brings the gift of joy, fulfilment of our lives.

Priestess earths the energy raised into the unlit candle.

The Wheel of the Year turns, heralding the declining days of Autumn even as we celebrate the height of summer. Let us too embrace our need to change, to progress, even while we rejoice in what we have now.

Priestess lights the Sun Candle (or bonfire).

Let the midsummer fire shine forth!

All: So mote it be.

As we bask in the warmth of the year's peak, and as we gaze into the midsummer fire and remember all the summers gone before, may we see clearly what each of us must change in themselves or their life. And as the fire burns, may the changes commence.

We call upon the Sun God in his utmost power
As he turns to make his journey to another place
To shine in blessing upon the Earth
Giving peace and plenty to his children,
Banishing all hatred and suffering.

Priestess holds up communion bread and wine, saying,

With this Communion we drink of fulfilment,
We drink of the Goddess's gifts of love and happiness.
We give thanks for all that the year has brought,
And for what is still to come.

Priestess gives communion to co-celebrants and takes communion herself.

Priestess holds up wine, and makes the traditional toast:

To the Old Ones: Merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again.

A few minutes silence for meditation, then dispel circle as usual.

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