Litha & the Wheel of the Year

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One way that I like to connect with the seasons and cycles of the earth is by tuning into The Wheel of the Year. This is a relatively new practice for me, but I'm finding the journey into exploring this way of being in flow with the seasons to be an enjoyable one! Read on to discover how you can connect more deeply with the earth's natural cycles in your spiritual practice... The Wheel of the Year can help you tune into natural cycles and helps you internalize these outward changes in nature as reflections of the growth and evolution you experience in your own life. Living in harmony with the seasons and the ebb and flow of nature helps you to lead a more soulful life and to cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself on a soul level. The Wheel of the Year helps you recognize who you are and your role in the world around you. So what is the Wheel of the Year? Separated into 8 main holidays, the Wheel of the Year represents seasonal cycles that focus on the 4 Solar Holidays of the year (also known as the quarter days). This stems from the Anglo-Saxon cultural observations of the solstices and equinoxes, with the addition of the 4 Gaelic, agrarian, seasonal celebrations (the mid-points between the solar holidays known as the lunar cross-quarter days or fire festivals). Although some of the holidays observed in the Wheel of the Year are quite old, The Wheel of the Year as a whole is fairly modern (being developed in the late 1950s). Though I don't personally follow the tradition that created the contemporary Wheel of the Year, I find it a helpful way to think about the passage of time and what's happening at each time of year. An Introduction to Litha: Litha, or the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, is the second of the quarter days (the solar festivals), which marks the second of the summer holidays (the mid-point between Beltane and Lughnasadh/Lammas). Litha is traditionally celebrated on the longest day of the year, determined by when the Earth's pole is at maximum tilt toward the sun (this date may range from June 20th-22nd each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and between December 20th-23rd in the Southern Hemisphere). From this point forward, the days will begin to grow shorter until we reach the time of equal day and night at the Autumn Equinox (Mabon), followed by the shortest day of the year at the Winter Solstice (Yule). Modern Litha celebrations stem from the contemporary Wheel of the Year, where Litha is associated with Midsummer and is celebrated as a time to revere and honor the Sun and the gifts it bestows to us here on Earth. As this day is the longest of the year, it also has the shortest night, and in some modern spiritual paths, represents the death of the Sun King. To honor the Sun King, bonfires are often lit at sunset and a vigil is kept until dawn, to ensure his return. Set up your Litha Altar with me! Litha Crystals: Citrine Pyrite (especially Pyrite Sun formations) Sunstone Ethiopian Opal Golden Calcite Peridot Carnelian Green Nephrite Jade Heliodor Amber Golden Healer Quartz Emerald Rose Quartz Lapis Lazuli Yellow Calcite Golden Tiger's Eye Litha Signifies the Time for: Abundance Growth Happiness Power Light Warmth Serenity Communication Connection Success Fertility Change & New Directions Trust Joy Strength Enlightenment, Divine Wisdom, & Illumination Love Magic Gentleness Celebration Boundaries Flow Blessing Creativity Healing Peace & Tranquility Acknowledgment Confidence Inner Flame Protection Emotional Expression Inner Truth Why celebrate Litha? Litha celebrates the peak of Summer and honors the light of the Sun on this, the longest day of the year. At this time, plants are lush and full of fragrant blossoms.

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