Unrecognizable people celebrating Litha with bonfires on beach

Herbal Magic for Litha: A Solstice Fire Ritual

The days are drawing longer and longer in the Northern Hemisphere as we prepare for the Summer Solstice: the celebration of Litha, or Midsummer! This is a time in which we revel in the abundance of the fruiting seasons and drink in the sensation of Sun on our skin.

While the element of Fire grows strongest beneath the waxing light of the Sun, for many this is also a time when the air we breathe can begin to feel unbearably hot. This season therefore invites us to practice temperance. Summer teaches endurance, resilience, and resourcefulness, as our ability to thrive can often depend upon our ability to retreat to cooler waters to soothe the festered heat of our inner and outer worlds alike. With this increasing adaptability come reverence and strength.

At the same time, Summer marks a period of riches, growth, and ripening. As such, this coming Solstice opens a passageway which we can combine with a little magic to summon the treasures and boons we’d like to harvest come Autumntime.

Herein you’ll find an easy herbal ritual for your solstice spellcrafting.

A Litha Ritual With Fire

A macro shot of firewood, white dust and hot, glowing coal. Burning branches and wood.

This ritual uses the Summer’s element of Fire. Pure and crackling life force energy, we can use Fire to synthesize our visions and intentions as we cast them into something we can touch. Fire is a catalyst for transformation. From the Phoenix with its cycles of death and rebirth, ash and flame, to the ecological regeneration a controlled burn can incite within our ecosystems, it wields the power of creation in its seemingly destructive character. As a teacher, Fire demonstrates the renewal that comes in releasing what no longer needs to grow in our garden.

Whether bonfire or chiminea burn, please exercise proper fire safety at all times when working with an open flame of any sort. Be sure to review and respect legal fire codes in your area.

If starting a fire isn’t an option for you, you may consider burning your herbs on a lighted charcoal disc. Alternatively, our essential oil candles and incense sticks can substitute for the fire nicely (you might enjoy our Litha scent!). Made with 100% plant-derived ingredients, these herbal infusions can serve as convenient carriers for your magical plans.

Drawing on the idea of temperance and balancing the elements, you may also use the herbs to craft a magical tea for the Solstice. Please be aware that certain herbs may have adverse effects on those who are pregnant or nursing. If you have concerns for your health, please consult your doctor and/or a certified herbalist.

Herbs for Summer Solstice Magic

Dried herbs set in bowls, jars, and bundles for use in alternative medicine.

These are just a few of our favorite herbs to use for rituals celebrating Litha, or Midsummer. Each is accompanied below by some of its most commonly associated powers. Of course, there are oodles of herbs that may suit this ritual well; those you choose will depend on your individual working, your personal expertise, and your own intuition. 

Basil: abundance, luck, fertility, growth, prosperity, heart-opening, friendship, creativity

Bay: cleansing, purification, protection, manifestation (carrier of will)

Calendula or Sunflower: confidence, creativity, adventure, lust for life, abundance, prosperity, solar energy

Chamomile*: calming, relaxation, healing, meditation, protection, purification, warding, success, solar energy

Cinnamon*: heat, fire, sexuality, passion, confidence, creativity

Lavender: peace, serenity, softening, love, dreams, creativity

Mugwort*: dreams, divination, intuition, psychic powers, meditation

Oats: abundance, prosperity, nourishment, sustenance, friendship, longevity

Peppermint: cooling, cleansing, purification, wisdom, relief

Pine or Cedar: cleansing, protection, grounding, stability, abundance, steady growth, support, meditation, longevity

Rose: self-love, romance, sexuality, creativity

Rosemary*: cleansing, purification, warding

Rue*: protection, warding, psychic powers, remembrance, healing

Sage**: wisdom, protection, longevity, luck, wishes, guidance, companionship

St. John’s Wort*: protection, divination, dreams, death and rebirth, longevity, solar energy

Star Anise: wishes, dreams, friendship, communing with ether, embracing the unknown

Yarrow*: protection, warding, psychic powers, divination, dreams, love

*do not consume if pregnant

**please note: this refers to Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis), not White Sage (Salvia apiana), an endangered plant sacred to Indigenous cultures and used in closed practices

Performing the Litha Ritual

Unrecognizable people celebrating summer solstice with bonfires on beach 

The ritual itself is quite simple: It is a matter of throwing herbs to burn in a fireplace. In this craft, we are using plants to represent and hold a certain intention based on their magical correspondences.

To perform the ritual, collect your herbs and settle in before the fire. Come alone or gather with loved ones and friends. Considering that Summer celebrates the quality of abundance, you may choose to align this practice with a seasonal feast, music, dancing—whatever suits you best!

Take some time to clarify what you’re calling in with this ritual. This is a space for unbridled creativity, so allow yourself to tailor the practice however you please. When you’re ready, take the herbs into your palms. Whether you burn them one by one or blended together is up to you. Pass your intention into the herbs by speaking it aloud or holding it clearly in your mind; you may even like to weave a spell to speak. Feel into what you are bringing to life. Ask the season to clear space for it to grow. Then, toss the herbs into the fire. Watch as they burn. See the smoke rise as your working is lifted to the winds and carried gratefully into the arms of the Otherworld.

Enjoy the rest of your fire to close out the ritual! Make sure the fire is properly and completely put out before you leave.

Happy Solstice-ing!

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