Newsletter: Litha 2021
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
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What is Litha?
Litha is the celebration of the summer solstice, often referred to as Midsummer. Litha (in the Northern Hemisphere) falls approximately around June 20-24 of each year. On Litha, the Sun shines its light longer than any other day, and marks the point at which the Hemisphere starts making its recession into the darker months.
Although traditions and symbolism for this holiday may vary somewhat from one culture and practice to the next, some common associations with Litha are bonfires, the oak tree, honey, flowers, and herbs. At this point in the summer, plant life is lush and critters are typically their most active.
This makes Litha a perfect time to celebrate the things that remind you of happiness, light, all that which brings back memories of youth and childlike freedoms.
Maybe it’s just the Leo in me but, I LIVVVEEE for summer! The warm nights around a fire, long days spent by the riverbanks and of course picnics! To me, celebrating the summer is just something that I have always felt compelled to do, even before I knew anything about Litha and Paganism. One thing that has always made the summertime feel special to me, is all the time that I get to spend connecting with family and friends, outside in the elements.
This year, as a coven we plan to celebrate together by camping out under the stars, having a fire and celebrating the time together before things grow cold and dark again.
The elder tree starts to bloom in midsummer, making it a great time to incorporate its
flower into your practice. It has many folkloric properties depending on the traditions one might look at, but generally is seen as having protective properties and, in some traditions, having a connection to the spirit realm. That being said, there are some traditions that are superstitious about bringing elderflower into one’s home. I’ve never had this superstition, but feel it pertinent to add for readers who may follow particular paths that do.
All of that being said, I wanted to share one way in which I have incorporated the elderflower into my own kitchen witchery. Many years ago a friend introduced me to elderflower cordial and I have occasionally made a similar style drink with a simple syrup made from elderflowers. Thus, I’ll be sharing a recipe for Elderflower syrup, which can be used for a variety of food and drink purposes.
What you need:
5-6 Elderflower umbels/heads for each cup of water or approximately ⅛-¼ c of dried florets/berries for each cup of water
Sugar (in equal parts to water)
1 Lemon per cup of water
Glass storage jar w/lid
Cheesecloth or coffee filter
If using fresh elderflower pieces, remove elderflower florets and berries from stems. Do not skip this step, as other parts of the elderflower tree (e.g. stems) can be toxic!
Place elderflower florets and berries in a bowl and squeeze lemon to extract juice over the top and set aside.
Add equal parts water and sugar to a saucepan.
Over low-medium heat, dissolve sugar into water.
Once sugar is dissolved, add elderflower florets/berries and lemon mix to the saucepan
Adjust heat to medium-high and wait for syrup to slightly boil while stirring occasionally.
Allow syrup to boil down to your desired consistency, remove from heat, and allow to cool to approximately room temperature
Place and secure cheesecloth or coffee filter over storage jar
Once most of the heat has subsided from your mixture, slowly pour syrup over cheesecloth or coffee filter and into your storage jar. If pieces of elderflower make it through your filter, feel free to repeat this step
Add cap and refrigerate for up to one month
How can you use your elderflower syrup?
Pour over ice cream, pancakes, fruit salad, etc.
Add a couple of tablespoons to a glass and combine with seltzer water
Add to tea (hot or cold)
Shadow Work Prompt
As Litha approaches, my mind settles back to the balance of energies: specifically, that of light and dark energy. Sometimes during the winter I allow my darkness to overwhelm me and it becomes difficult for me to get back into high energy to get the most out of summer.
There is an old saying about each of us having 2 wolves within us and that the one we feed is the one that survives. Each of us also has within us an inner child that would love to come out and play. This “wolf” doesn’t always get fed so it ends up dying in most of us or at least becoming very weak and unsure how to function properly. There are so many fun activities available to do during the summer that it’s one of the best opportunities to play with others and rejuvenate the kid within us.
What are some ways you can feed the other “wolf” within you that is your inner child?
What activities allow you to let go and have fun like you did when you were a kid?
How often do you do them?
How often could you do them?
Are there other people that might also want to be involved?
I hope that all of us get to feed our inner child this Litha by celebrating and playing together and getting to know our playful side a bit more each day. Blessed Be.
Podcasts on Hiatus - Catch us on our Socials!
Thank you to everyone who listened to Season 2 of Midwest Coven Cast and Season 1 of Midwest Coven Cast Presents: Weekend Reads. It is hard to believe that we are already two full seasons into the main podcast and even have a full season of a spin-off. We are all so thrilled that so many have been going along on this journey with us!
We will be back with more in the future!
Be sure to keep up with us on Social Media so you can keep up with our lives & craft and be the first to know when we announce the dates for our next season.
@midwestcovencast - TikTok, Facebook, Instagram
@midwestcoven - Twitter
Yule in the Southern Hemisphere
The coven would like to take a moment to wish a blessed Yule to those in the Southern Hemisphere. Your days will soon be longer and the road to spring begins.
June 20 Litha
June 24 FULL Moon 1:39PM
July 4 Independence Day (USA)
July 9 New Moon (8:16pm)
July 23 FULL Moon (9:36pm)
Aug 1 Lughnasadh