Date- The Summer Solstice, June 20-22 or the fixed date of June 21.
Names- Midsummer, Summer Solstice, Gathering Day, Herb Night, Longest Day, Shortest Night, Litha, Feill-Sheathain, First Day of Summer, Midsummer’s Eve, St. John’s Eve, Aine’s Day, Aine’s Festival, Hefin, Alban Heruin, Alban Hefin, Hieros Gamos
Because the Sun’s power is at its peak on this day, the herbs that gather strength from it are also at peak potency. It is traditional to gather herbs for magical use on this day. It is also a good time for divination, healing rituals and gathering materials for rods and wands.
In some traditions the Sacred Marriage or Heiros Gamos is celebrated on this day while other traditions celebrate the ritual at Beltane.
Some traditions hold that a great battle between the forces of creation and destruction or light and darkness take place on this day, as it marks the beginning of the waning year. The days will get shorter and the nights get longer through the year hearafter.
Symbols of Midsummer
- Incense- lavender, musk, patchouli
- Colors- Green, yellow, blue, gold, white, red
- Stones- Tiger’s eye, clear quartz, topaz, amber
- Herbs- St John’s wort, mistletoe, vervaine, yarrow, lavender, rose, fern, rosemary, thyme, sunflower, sage, mint, basil, chive, parsley, lily
- Symbols- fire, sundials, swords, feathers, all rayed flowers equal armed cross, rosettes, sun wheels, Catherine wheels, torches, solar disks
- Food- Honey, Mead, dandelions, Seasonal berries
- Gods, Goddesses, Saints and Spirits- Matuta, Anahita, Kupala, St. John, the Oak King, the Holly King, Aine, Sul, Dia Griene, Grian, Brid, Lugh, Llew Llaw Gyffes, Gaia, Freya, Litha, Vivian, Cerridwen, Ishtar, Astarte, Aphrodite, Yemaya, Oshun, Frigga, Pan, Cernunnos, Tammuz, Balder, Apollo, Ra, Bel, Belanos, Helios, Hera and Zeus