The summer solstice for many pagans is known as either Litha or Midsummer. Falling between the 20-22nd of June, it marks the longest day of the year. At this time, the sun is at its strongest magick.
Many traditions revolved around the sun and honoring this heightened fire energy. Bonfires, solar dances, and sun spells were common ways to celebrate this time of the year.
Pagan holidays and their traditions incorporate items found in nature, such as fruit, trees, and herbs. Paganism has a deep EcoSpiritual connection, from celebrating the cycle of the seasons to working with the four elements. Items found in nature contain their own magick, and pagans utilize this in their own crafts.
Whatever your traditions are for Midsummer, here are plants to bring to your magick practice this year…
Oaks are a well known symbol of the Summer Solstice. One of the stories associated with this tree is the legend of the Oak King. According to many Celtic traditions, the natural world is ruled by two kings; the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King rules the warmer months of the year, daylight, and summer, while the Holly King rules the cooler months, night, and winter. During the solstices, the two kings battle one another. At the Summer Solstice, the Oak King is defeated by the Holly King, symbolizing the approach of winter ahead.
Use: Money, success, & good fortune spells, strength & health
Native to the Mediterranean and parts of India, Lavender was a commonly used herb. It was one of the holy herbs to ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, taking baths with this herb for its cleansing properties. Thrown into bonfires at MidSummer, it was an offer to the gods and goddesses for happiness and love. In Spain and Portugal, it was thrown into bonfires on St. John’s Day to ward of evil spirits. Try a sachet of dried lavender under your pillow to help induce sleep and bring peaceful dreams.
Use: Purification, Protection, Divination, Love, Happiness, Peace, Good Fortune.
St. John’s Wort
This plant gets its name from John the Baptist, associated with Christian history due to the plant’s blooming, which coincides with his birthday, June 24th and St. John’s Day. On midsummer, the plant was thrown into the bonfires as a blessing of protection.
Plants were also brought into the home and hung for talismans that would protect from evil, misfortune, and fire. It was also used in divination for romance. Sleeping with a stem was said to bring prophetic dreams of your future lover and spouse. Connected to the sun and the element of fire, it brings in joy and happiness.
Use: Protection, love divination, exorcism, purification.
Witches would harvested yarrow on midsummer for magical use. In Europe, these magical properties would range from protective spells for Saxons, to healing magic with the Greeks. In China, yarrow stalks were used in divination with the I Ching.
Use: Divination spells, love magic, protection, healing, courage, communication spells, increasing psychic abilities.
Native to the Americas, sunflowers were used by indigenous tribes in their magic rituals and practices. Incas and Aztecs associated the sunflower with their solar deities. In hoodoo, sunflowers were seen as luck symbols and would bring good fortune. European traditions also associated them with the sun as well as fertility. Crowns of sunflowers were worn on Litha to increase fertility and bring about conception. Try a vase full of sunflowers to bring some joy and fortune into your space.
Use: fertility, solar magick, good luck and fortune.
Incorporate these plants and herbs into your Summer Solistice spells or Midsummer magick. For more ways to work with the energies of the season and cycles of nature, check out my Seasonal Living ebooks and snag your copy for the summer season!