The sabbat of Litha, also known as the day of St. John, the Summer Solstice," Midsummer "or, more recently, the Music day, is celebrated on the 21 June. Depending on the country, it can be celebrated from June 20 to 24. The opposite of Yule Litha is the longest day of the year. Once completed, the days will decrease little by little until the Dark Season. You guessed it, it is a hectic day in power, the veil between the worlds is diminishing, the magic and the music invade our daily life, the Sun is at its peak, the Nature is queen. This intense power is especially related to fertility, healing, love and protection. This is why this feast presents the field perfect for the harvesting of magical herbs and medicinal plants. The plants harvested during the Saint-Jean are in charge of the energy of the Solstice, their powers are magnified and our preparations herbal bath in this magic. To fully enjoy this sabbath, I have created a program that makes the honour all the while being fun and accessible to all.
Aurora Nature & Bonfire at Dusk
The sabbat of Litha is part of these celebrations, which take on their full meaning when they are realized in nature. Here, the Nature is dazzling and fertile, is honored, even as the Sun is at the Zenith of its cycle. So I invite you to come out to admire the sunrise. Find a spot with an unobstructed view, a peaceful place, where you feel good and will not be disturbed. You can also choose a place steeped in magic, but it does not all of a site such as Stonehenge or Callanish close to home ! For my part, I think that I install on the wild cliffs by the sea. I feel good and find the four elements. Sit back, relax and soak up little by little, the sun growing, its light, its warmth, its caress. Feel its energy and its magic. Take your time to enjoy the scenery, the light, the sounds of Nature or to meditate.
Once twilight shows the tip of his nose, I invite you once more to swim in the last glimmers of the Sun, and then to prepare a Fire of Joy. If there's one immutable tradition on the Saint-Jean, it is the one of the fire ! Already small, in my home village in the provence, I remember these huge fires that we had and jumping through, one after the other. Anyway, prepare a fire, safely. Not need it to be gigantic if you are celebrating alone(e) Litha, a camp fire will do the trick ! The Bonfire of the Solstice is supposed to be festive, so don't hesitate to play games or listen to music, to sing, to dance around (in the direction of the race of the sun), to burn fragrant flowers or still to jump through, always with caution. A legend tells us that through the Fire of Litha brings good luck and protection.
Harvest magical herbs & Recipes from the St. John
As mentioned earlier, the feast of St. John is a godsend for the harvest of herbs responsible to be able to be a blessing to herbalists. Nature is at the pinnacle of its flourishing, it will decline from that day, as the Sun. Traditionally, the crops of these herbs is performed by women only, during the night of 23 to 24 June. It is important to pick the plants with the dew of the moon, before the sun caresses them. Many herbs can be picked up at the Saint-Jean, but the real" Simple Saint-Jean "are the following :
- St. john's wort (Hypericum perforatum) against evil and depression,
- Wormwood (Artemisia vulgaris) brings happiness and protection, the evils of the feminine,
- Verbena (Verbena officinalis) grass sacred protection,
- Fern male (Dryopteris filix-mas) against the evil witches,
- Quackgrass (Elymus repens) purifies the body,
- Sage (Salvia officinalis) purifies the mind, the panacea for the body (heal-all),
- Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) allegory of the sun, the evils of the day.
In some writings dating back to the Middle Ages, it is recommended to harvest the plants " backwards ". Indeed, the veracity of the powers of the plant was public knowledge and many people thought that herbs had a" will defensive ". This power of self-defence would preclude the harvester to take advantage of the virtues of the plant. Harvesting the herbs while turning his back to them, they would not trigger the aura. Personally, I don't have too many opinions on this belief, I'll let you make your own opinion ! Good, it is nice to pick the simple Saint-Jean, but what to do after that ? Here are two recipes, one that uses fresh herbs and other dried.
Cakes from Saint-Jean
Here is a simple recipe for cake-type shortbread salted. I adapted the recipe to my vegan diet, but you can modify it according to your needs and desires. You can enjoy these shortbread on your own, in a drink, with a pesto house (I propose you a recipe here !), as a snack on a hike...
- 100g of flour
- 50g of margarine
- 10g of olive oil
- 8 sage leaves, fresh (Salvia officinalis)
- 6 small fresh rosemary sprigs (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Fleur de sel
Start by finely chop the sage and rosemary. In another container, mix the flour, margarine (well softened), olive oil, and salt. After having obtained a homogeneous dough, add the herbs, mix again and shape into a sausage. Wrap the pudding in cling film and leave to rest in a cool place for about an hour. Once the dough has rested, cut a slice off discs about 5 mm thick. Drop on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for ten minutes at 180°C. And above all, try to wait until the shortbread has completely cooled before devouring them !
Bag of Simple Saint-Jean
The seven Singles of the Saint-Jean can be found in the wild in almost the whole of France, there's no excuse not to enjoy it. The idea is to harvest a few sprigs from each plant : stems, leaves, flowers, but leave the roots in their place ! Put them to dry in small bunches aerated in a dry, ventilated place, with the head down. The drying is more or less rapid according to the plants and their water content. Once the entirety of the grass is dry, snip and arrange the herbs in a bag made of natural fabric. You can use your herbs in your rituals, in order to invoke the powers of the Summer Solstice, or you can use it as a" Dream Pillow "to be placed under the pillow to soak up the benefits of herbs during the night.
Divination with the Ogham " Quert "
Each Ogham is a gas plant, it also represents a period of the year. I chose to create a draw divinatory according to the symbol of the Ogham" Quert "ᚊ because it is the Summer Solstice. This Ogham, corresponding to the Apple-tree, evokes, among other things, the magic, cyclicality, life, healing, joy, love, fertility... The same powers as those established by the sabbat of Litha. I propose you the next draw, to be done with the Tarot of your choice.
This draw consists of ten cards. Start by looking in your game the five cards : The Sun, Judgement, The Empress, the Emperor and The Lovers. Arrange it vertically as in the diagram, The Sun is in position I, The Judgment in II, etc., The vertical axis represents Litha as well as its major energies :
I : The Sun = The sabbath,
II : The Judgment = The Healing,
III : The Empress = The Fertility,
IV : The Emperor = The Protection,
V : Love = Love.
Then proceed with the draw. Focus on the energy of each card and what it represents (healing, protection...) and pull a card that you have horizontally to the left of the axis (be sure to keep the symbol of Quert ᚊ).
VI : global Vision of what that Litha can bring you,
VII : One aspect of your life or your personality to heal to move forward,
VIII : An idea, a trait, a project to develop which will bring well-being and development,
IX : One way to protect yourself without prevent you to realize your ideas,
X : A tip for making your long-lasting relationship or even a meeting over the long term.
Cauldron flower & Water Litha
As seen earlier, during this sabbath there are seven Simple specifically. But Litha is the celebration of Nature, the celebration of its fulfilment, the apogee of its beauty, then no question of crowding out other plants. I suggest that you concoct a magic water, a Water of Litha. To do this, be sure to have your most beautiful basket and your pruning shears or garden knife preferred(e) and go for a stroll. The idea is to pick up, sparingly, two good handfuls of wild flowers of all kinds. A few poppies, two or three daisies, a beautiful calendula, small gold buttons, one or two beautiful roses, a little jasmine and honeysuckle, three sprigs of lavender, a stalk of digital... in short, anything you want ! However, make sure not to déplumer a plant in him taking all his flowers. Similarly, take care that you do not harvest flowers-irritating to the skin such as the giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).
Once the pickup, place the flowers in a pot and add cold water to cover well and soak the flowers. If you don't have a pot, a fruit bowl or a simple pan will do the trick ! For my part, I let it infuse the flowers in water for a few hours, under the Sun of Litha, at its zenith, in order to load the water with its energy. But this step is optional, do it at your leisure. Then, I realize a flower water, an infusion. The word can be scary but in reality it is very easy to do.
Start by placing the middle of your container with the flowers, a bowl resistant to heat. Make sure that all the flowers are around your bowl and not crushed under it. Place a lid on your container, head down, in order to obtain a form in the basin. The cover must cover the whole of the container, to be sealed and remain closed until the end ! Put to heat. As soon as you start to observe the formation of steam on the lid, switch to a lower heat and still have ice cubes in the hollow of the lid. This process will allow the water vapor loaded in the assets of flowers to liquify again, up to beading in the bowl. The distillation process ends when you no longer see water vapor. At this point, stop the heat and let it stand about fifteen minutes, always with the lid on. Once this step is completed, retrieve your floral water and put it in the bottle. You can keep it at room temperature, however, the freshness and the darkness enhances its conservation. I do not recommend in no case to ingest it or use it from a cosmetic point of view, knowing that you can potentially put toxic plants into it (digitalis, for example). Use this Water to Litha only in a spiritual context, when your spells, consecrations, etc
Song of Litha
O Sun, the blazing flames,
Oh, Nature can no longer be thriving,
As my heart radiates your warmth,
That my delight will bloom like your flowers.
Hear the song glitter of my harp,
That cradles my captivating bath of Hyssop,
Let me kiss your energy,
Beautiful Litha, which magnifies my days and my nights.