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Your summer solstice altar should be covered in beauty and things that represent life, rebirth, and the sun. The altar can be a simple table or a large piece of furniture.
The first day of summer for the Northern Hemisphere is known by many names: the summer solstice, Midsummer, Alban Hefin (or “light of the summer”) to the Druids, or Litha to most pagans.
The purpose of your midsummer altar is to create sacred space for you to connect with the divine masculine energy of the sun. It’s also about creating sacred space for yourself as well as others who may visit your home.
Celebrate the summer season with a decorative Litha altar. Here are some tips to set up this sacred space:
Decorating Pagan Altars
As the Summer Solstice approaches, pagans often decorate their altars with fruits and vegetables. It is traditional to use seasonal produce, but it should be noted that there are few rules about what you can put on your altar, and you should allow experimentation if you so desire.
There are several ways you can adorn your altar, whether it is a simple table top or wall, or even a simple shrine. If you find yourself struggling to think of ideas, then it may help to create a visual schedule of all the things you would like to do during these times. Use your imagination and have fun.
Just make sure you stick to your plan – no matter how strange it might seem at first. Remember, you don’t need to follow any tradition to create something beautiful.
Adding Solar Energy To Your Midsummer Altar
You will want to add solar energy to your altar by using objects that reflect the sun such as candles, crystals, and stones. You could also incorporate other symbols of the sun into your altar design, such as a sunflower, sun disk, or even a sundial.
Crystals that correspond to solar energy include amethyst, citrine, hematite, jasper, lapis lazuli, malachite, opal, peridot, rose quartz, smalt, tourmaline, tiger eye, and yellow sapphire.
Herbs that correspond to solar energy include basil, bayberry leaves, chamomile, dill, fennel, marigold, mint, nettle, pine needles, sage, St John’s wort, tarragon, thyme, valerian, and yarrow.
Flowers of the sun are daisy, dandelion, goldenrod, honeysuckle, lily-of-the-valley, marigolds, morning glory, pansies, poinsettia, sunflowers, sweet pea, violets, and zinnias.
Solar colors are gold, orange, red, yellow, and white.
Candles For Your Altar Space
Candles are an important part of the ritual process. They provide light, warmth, and focus. Candles can also be used to symbolize different aspects of the deities you work with.
Altars are usually in homes or created by a group. “I always light a white candle for clarity [on the Summer Solstice],” said Sloan. “I’m a nature lover and pick flowers to place on our altar in the bay window at home for the solstice.” “There are candles, sand and shells in there right now,” added Longo.
For summer solstice, choose candles in solar colors. Lighting candles for the summer solstice can help strengthen the sun as it begins its descent in the sky and the earth becomes colder.
Divine Energies For Your Litha Altar
Solar deities like Apollo, Helios, and Ra are powerful gods at this time of year. These deities are associated with fire, heat, healing, purification, and transformation.
There are also solar goddesses, such as Amaterasu, Aimend, Bastet, Bila, Iusaaset, Thesan, Xihe, and Nuha. These goddesses are associated with fertility, abundance, growth, protection, and love.
Your altar can be the home of art, sculptures, or trinkets that represent any of these solar deities. You can then go to your solar altar to speak to the aspects of the sun.
You can turn to solar deities to ask for things such as prosperity, health, strength, courage, wisdom, and success.
Prayers For Your Litha Altars
When you pray to the sun, you are asking for blessings from the sun itself. Here are some prayers you can say to your solar deity.
- “I call upon thee, O Sun, to bless me with health, happiness, and prosperity.”
- “O Sun, please shine on my path so that I may walk safely through life.”
- “Sun God, bring me sunshine and warm rays of sunlight.”
- “Sun God, thank you for giving us warmth, light, and life.”
- “Thank you, Sun God, for bringing light to our darkness.”
- “Thank you for being the source of life and warmth.”
- “Thank you for providing light and guidance.”
- “Thank you Sun God, for blessing me with health, joy, and peace.”
- “Thank you Lord Sun God for guiding me to the right path.”
- “Lord Sun God, guide me in my journey.”
- “Lord Sun God, give me the strength to face the challenges ahead.”
- “Lord Sun, I offer thanksgiving for all the gifts you have given me.”
- “Lord Sun god, please protect me from harm.”
- “Lord Sun god, let me see clearly what is real and what isn’t.”
- “Please make me a better person.”
- “Let me live long enough to fulfill my destiny.”
Sunflower Seeds And Poppy Seeds
Two small things you can add to any altar to bring in solar energy are sunflower seeds and poppy seeds.
Sunflower seed magical correspondences include courage, hope, faith, power, protection, and luck.
Poppy seed magical correspondences include wisdom, intuition, creativity, healing, and divination.
These two items are easy to find. You can make crafts with them, or simply put them in a small bowl and set them on your summer solstice altar.
During the full moon, we call upon Hekate to assist us in clearing our past, releasing our fears, and opening ourselves to new possibilities. We ask her to help us gain clarity in our lives, to help us transform our inner worlds, and to allow us to move forward with courage and confidence.
It is said that Hekate helps us to overcome obstacles and challenges that stand in our way, and to achieve our goals. In addition to being a benevolent Goddess, she is also a fierce warrior. When we summon her, we invite her to help us take charge of our lives, to lead us into battle, and to fight for justice.
I am an eclectic witch - I've been practicing since 1974. As a student of the occult, working with astrology, tarot cards, runes, and numerology, I found that this was a very comprehensive and well written text on working with Hekate during the full moon. Highly recommended. - Gail Sager
Great read - a must have for anyone interested in working with the Goddess during the full moon! Highly recommended! - Luis Meyer