Today (in the Northern Hemisphere) marks a time that goes by many names: Litha, Midsummer’s Eve, the Summer Solstice…and all point to the sun’s highest glory.
Last year’s experience with Wicca made it exceedingly clear that I have a (to my pleasant surprise) close relationship with the Goddess and her Moon, however I’ve always personally identified with the element, fire, which is associated with the God.
Fire is a highly energetic and expressive force, much like the nature of the God or forms of male divinity within Wiccan and Pagan traditions, respectively. The God, and by extension the sun, is the animus of life–it’s power, fury, and light. As the consort of the Goddess, life burst forth from their union and we, the creatures of the Earth, celebrate and reap this harvest during the three succeeding harvest festivals of Lughnasadh (August 1st), Mabon (mid-late September), and Samhain (late October).
This is the balance of the male and female aspects of our existence and indeed, the very fabric of the cosmos. But even as we celebrate the glorious, life-giving power of the sun during its height today, we simultaneously recognize that the Solstice marks the beginning of the God’s (and the sun’s) eventual sleep. For no sooner than the sun rises to maximum potency does he reach this zenith and slowly fade. This is a reflection of the reality within all things, the consistency of change. Like the yin and yang, all of reality bears within it the seed of change in form and nature. This reality of the God in this context helps us loosen our grip on the notion of permanence, of clinging to that which inevitably fades, and embrace our ever growing and evolving selves.
There are many ways to celebrate the Litha, however the most fundamental way is simply enjoying to warmth of the day. Tending my vegetable garden in the back yard, with its green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and corn while watching the bees hoover from blossom to blossom is one such way.
Wicca, Pagan, or otherwise, everyone feels a connection to the power of the sun. How will you bask in its warmth today? I encourage you to put down the phone, laptop, or busy schedule today and take a stroll beneath the glorious gaze of the sun.