This week Pagans “turn the wheel” by celebrating Litha—the Summer Solstice. In the southern hemisphere, they celebrate Yule—Winter Solstice. Summer Solstice takes place on June 20th, at 9:24 PDT this year.
Litha is the season of expansion, when the crops burgeon forth. We forget winter’s cares and spend our days basking under the brilliant light. The Summer Solstice brings us the longest day of the year—the zenith of the Sun King, and also His death as his brother, the Holly King, dethrones him and takes reign over the now waning year. From now until Yule, the light will fade into darkness.
This is the time of lovers and gardeners. The rutting fervor of Beltane has deepened into the passionate eroticism that grows when partners become familiar with one another’s rhythms and moods. It is the love between those committed by heart as well as body, it is also the love of parents for their children (be they two or four-legged). Nature is at her most fecund and everywhere we look ripeness spills out from field and forest.
Litha is the height of the Divine Marriage, then the Oak King falls, His vigor and prime giving way to the sagacity of the Holly King even as the Goddess prepares Herself for harvest and Cronehood. This is also a prime time for the Fae to come out, though truly, they are connected to our realm year round.