Updated: Jan 12
Wicca is a predominantly western movement whose followers practice witchcraft and nature worship. They see it as a religion based on pre-Christian traditions of northern and western Europe. It spread through England in the 1950s and subsequently attracted followers in Europe and the United States.
Despite variations within the Wiccan community, most believers share a general set of beliefs and practices. They believe in the Goddess, respect nature, and hold both polytheistic and pantheistic views. Most Wiccans accept the Wiccan Rede, an ethical code that states “If it harms none, do what you will.”
Wiccans believe in meditation and participate in such rituals throughout the year, they celebrate the new and full moon as well as the vernal equinox, summer solstice, and Halloween, which they call Samhain. Wiccan rites include invoking the aid of the deities, practicing ceremonial magic, and sharing a ritual meal.
Wiccan holidays or Sabbats are festivities commemorated by the pagan religion. These holidays celebrate the journey of the sun around the globe, known as Wheel of the Year, with Wiccans referring to the celebration of these holidays as “turning of the wheel”. As this wheel turns, several milestones are accomplished. Typically, these festivals effectively follow the sun’s “life” and “death” each year, with the holidays also in accordance with this. These signify the most prevalent times for seasonal celebrations.
It is the name given to the Wiccan Sabbat celebrated at the Summer Solstice. This is the longest day and shortest night of the year, marking the pinnacle of the Sun’s power to fuel the growing season. From here on out, the Sun will set a little earlier each night until Yule, they recognize and give thanks for its warmth.
It generally falls between the 20th and 22nd of June. At this period, the principal Sun God is often at his power peak; and is a unique day controlled by both the element of fire as well as the Sun.
During this period, there is both ample time in the course of the day for working as well as some light to commemorate also. Generally regarded as the handfasting or coupling festive season, it is in the month of June when numerous unions and marriages are created and effectively celebrated also. This period is abundant with joy and blessing.
The Sun God, otherwise also known as the Lord of emerald elements as well as of the Forest represents this festival. The commonly used herbs in this holiday are honeysuckle, mugwort, lemon, and chamomile, which can be divided into portions, burned as incense around homes, or used in adorning an altar.
How is it celebrated?
Since this period is primarily about light and the sun, the celebrations are centered on longer days as well as the Sun’s remarkable power.
This time is ideal for reaffirming one’s vows as well as practicing them, giving thanks for all the blessings, as well as establishing a connection with nature. After this sabbat, the nights start growing longer while the Sun subsequently shifts further with every single day going.
What is also common during Litha are outdoor rituals since pagans exploit the longer daylight hours. The ceremonies may include meditation, meeting with groups for celebration, outside where the sun is shining.
Summer games and bonfires are also common events that mark this period. Finally, Litha presents a great time for protection, truth, charisma, and cleansing spells.
THE SECRET OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE
The other Sabbats are common times of Wiccan rituals because they are more pertinent to the mundane plane of existence.
The birth of livestock and wild game
The planting of seed
The harvest of the crops
The change of pace in the fallow seasons
The rebirth of light
All of these are critical to physical survival.
Summer Solstice, however, holds its power on the level of the Spirit which is much less obvious, demanding, and seemingly urgent.
And it is complex not only because it deals with spirit rather than matter, but because it has a built-in paradox. While summer is just hitting its stride, the Earth is already turning towards the dark season as the nights grow longer from this point of the calendar.
SPIRIT IN THE MATTER
Symbolically, the dark season represents the spirit's incarnation in matter. While this is a sacred event, the birth of the body means the "death" of the spirit.
Just as physical death means our transition from this world to the next, spirits leave the dimension in which it dwells, it comes to this limited expression of reality.
This is all part of the eternal, ecstatic, sacred dance of Spirit.