View Full Version : Litha/Summer Solstice Lore

May 25th, 2007, 06:54 PM
June 21st is Litha and/or the Summer Solstice.

The Summer Solstice is also known as: Alban Heflin, Alben Heruin, All-couples day, Feast of Epona, Feast of St. John the Baptist, Feill-Sheathain, Gathering Day, Johannistag, Midsummer, Sonnwend, Thing-Tide, Vestalia, etc. (religioustolerance.org)

Here's some links I've found:

Litha (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGki7iZVdGklQAis9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE3Z2xwdTBuBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMTQEY29sbwN3BHZ0aWQDRjY2NV83NgRsA 1dTMQ--/SIG=11r9n479i/EXP=1180219234/**http%3a//www.asiya.org/sabbats/litha.html)
Starcrafts - Midsummer (Litha) Lore (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkxALZVdGbhcB6zhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2aWo5aGczBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMgRjb2xvA3cEdnRpZANGNjY1Xzc2BGwDV 1Mx/SIG=125illsid/EXP=1180219019/**http%3a//www.starcraftsob.com/craft/lithalore.shtml)
Summer Solstice Celebrations: Ancient and Modern (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkxf9Z1dGV2ABlz9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2c2w3M2VvBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3cEdnRpZANGNjY1Xzc2BGwDV 1Mx/SIG=129pmhjrn/EXP=1180219773/**http%3a//www.religioustolerance.org/summer_solstice.htm)
Litha: History and associations (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkxALZVdGbhcB9DhXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2cmZiOTRpBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNQRjb2xvA3cEdnRpZANGNjY1Xzc2BGwDV 1Mx/SIG=126rg5v04/EXP=1180219019/**http%3a//www.bewitchingways.com/wicca/year/Litha.htm)
Litha (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkxALZVdGbhcBADlXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2ZHI3Z25iBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDOQRjb2xvA3cEdnRpZANGNjY1Xzc2BGwDV 1Mx/SIG=12dqeqc4u/EXP=1180219019/**http%3a//www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/tigris/567/id20.htm)
WitchVox: Midsummer/Summer Solstice (http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=3525)
WitchVox: Solstice... Season of light and dark (http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=3767)
Midsummer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGknH4ZldGI10BAutXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE3MG1sYWc3BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMTAEY29sbwN3BHZ0aWQDRjY2NV83NgRsA 1dTMQ--/SIG=11mbcni82/EXP=1180219512/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litha)
The Old Ways: Midsummer (http://www.cyberwitch.com/wychwood/Temple/midsummer.htm)
A Midsummer's Celebration (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7280/samhain.html)
The Sun in History (http://passporttoknowledge.com/sun/history/sun_history.html)
Sun Myths (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/cgi-bin/tour.cgi?link=/mythology/planets/sun.html&sn=0&cd=false&cdp=/windows3.html&art=ok&frp=/windows3.html&fr=f&tour=&sw=false&edu=mid)
Solar Folklore (http://solar-center.stanford.edu/folklore/folklore.html)
Fun Myths About Ancient Sun Gods (http://familyeducation.com/article/0,1120,1-4222,00.html)
List of all the Sun Gods (http://library.thinkquest.org/15215/Culture/gods_list.html?tqskip=1)
Ancient Origins: Solstice (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGknGDZ1dGI10Btg5XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2ZHI3Z25iBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDOQRjb2xvA3cEdnRpZANGNjY1Xzc2BGwDV 1Mx/SIG=11snhov0t/EXP=1180219651/**http%3a//www.candlegrove.com/solstice.html)
Summer Solstice - Wikipedia (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkkVxaFdG2xkAP0hXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2dDZpcmt2BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA3cEdnRpZANGNjY1Xzc2BGwDV 1Mx/SIG=120aq1ec3/EXP=1180219889/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_solstice)Feel free to discuss, share, add info and links (I know there's tons more out there!) or just read :)

May 26th, 2007, 02:59 AM
Here's one I didn't see mentioned:

Kupalo (http://members.aol.com/Frankcis/kupalo.html)- (Coo-PAH-loh) - the Celebration of the summer solstice. Kupalo comes from the verb kupati which means "to bathe" and mass baths were taken on the morning of this holiday. On this holiday, the sun supposedly bathed by dipping into the waters at the horizon. This imbued all water with his power and therefore, those who bathed on this day would absorb some of that power.

Fire was sacred to the ancient Slavs and fires were never allowed to go out. In the sanctuaries, fires were tended by the priests and in the home, guarded by the mother. On the eve of Kupalo, however, all fires were extinquished and rekindled with "new fire". New fire was created by friction. A peg was rotated within a hole in a block of wood made especially for this purpose. In some areas, animals were sacrificed on Kupalo's eve and a feast prepared of them entirely by men was shared as a communal meal. Bonfires were lit and couples jumped over them. It was considered a good omen and prediction of marriage if a young couple could jump the flame without letting go of each other's hand. Cattle was chased through the fires in order to ensure their fertility.

At the beginning of the celebration, a straw image of "Kupalo" was made of straw, dressed like a woman and placed under a sacred tree. At the end of the festival, the effigy was ritually destroyed by burning, "drowning" or being ripped apart. Afterward, elaborate mock funerals were held. Two people pretending to be a priest and deacon would cense the figure, with a mixture of dung and old shoes burning over coals in a clay pot. The funeral was carried out among much wailing and laughter.

Kupalo was considered the most powerful time to gather both magical and medicinal plants. It was considered the only time to gather the magical fire-fern. On Kupalo's eve, the flower of the fern was said to climb up the plant and burst into bloom. Anyone who obtained it would gain magical powers including the ability to find treasures. To gather the herb, one must draw a magic circle around the plant and ignore the taunts of the demons who would try to frighten them off. Kupalo marked the end of the "Spring festival" period which started in the beginning of March.

From: Slavic Paganism and Witchcraft (http://members.aol.com/hpsofsnert/)


Kupalo - approx. June 21
This is the Summer Solstice festival. There is singing, dancing, outdoor festivities, and divination. Women go to the forest, find a birch tree, bring it to the festival, strip the lower branches, fix it in the ground, and decorate it with garlands. No men can touch it. Under it, they put a straw idol of Kupalo, dressed in women's clothing and adorned with ribbons and necklaces. At night (called "Kupalo's Night"), people dance in circles and jump over bonfires, sometimes in couples, carrying an effigy, and wearing garlands of flowers and girdles of holy herbs. Wheels of fire are sent down hills to represent the sun declining. On this night, the trees walk and speak to each other. On the next morning, people bathe in rivers and the "dew of Kupalo." At sunset, they perform the funeral rites of the god, when the idol is drowned or burned. Midsummer is the time to gather herbs for magical uses (oak and pine give energy, aspen takes bad energy, thistle and juniper repel demons). The fairies are powerful on this night.
From HERE. (http://www.winterscapes.com/slavic.htm#gods)

May 26th, 2007, 09:03 AM
I hadn't heard of summer originally being from Mayday to Lammas with Midsummer being so called because it was half way between the two. (Info from first link) Interesting to know. Thanks for sharing :).

May 29th, 2007, 09:17 PM
This site is really cool, just found it!

Traditions of the Sun: Exploring Ancient Observatories (http://www.traditionsofthesun.org/)

They have these really cool, interactive menu for various places (like the Aztec temples, etc) with still images as well as some time-laspse videos and a free PDF book (http://www.traditionsofthesun.org/books.html).