by Amy Marienblaume | Instagram
Welcome back, witches! The weeks are flying by and somehow this is my fifth entry into this series already. Before starting this week’s post, I wanted to take a moment and share my gratitude with you. Since beginning this journey, but especially after last week’s post, many of you have DM’d me messages of support, shared your own stories of loss, lit candles, or otherwise put your energies behind my spell work, and told me how much you’ve enjoyed reading this series. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much! Your support truly means the world to me.
Blessed Litha, and Merry Yule to everyone in the Southern hemisphere! Litha (also known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice) is the season when we rejoice in the sun and its warmth. The Wheel of the Year turns again, and we enjoy the longest day before the darkness slowly returns. The magic of Beltane has run its course, and landscapes are lush and fertile. Gardens are flourishing, and if we’re lucky, we may soon be able to harvest some of the produce we’ve sown.
Well, this is not the Sabbat I expected….
This year, Litha celebrations look a little (or a lot) different depending on where in the world you live, and how well the COVID-19 crisis is being managed locally (side note: since Chapter Three was posted, I’m happy to report that we’re under 200 new cases being reported each day in Ontario. Many businesses are reopening, and we’re now able to develop a bubble of people with whom we can socialize regularly – including hugging! While we’re very much not out of the woods yet, it is a significant improvement). This will be my first time celebrating Litha as a re-awakened witch and I am not able to participate in the bonfire celebration with my community of local witches as I had hoped. It’s disappointing, but my loved ones and I are healthy, which is worth celebrating all on its own.
For new witches, it is incredibly easy to become weighed down by the sheer amount of information available, and lose yourself in the feeling that you have to do it all in order to “properly” celebrate the sabbats, and call yourself a “real witch.” If you are a new witch, please don’t fall into this trap – especially if this is your first sabbat. Do what feels right and is manageable for you. With a new sabbat happening approximately every 6 weeks or so, it can quickly become overwhelming for new witches. It’s easy to feel like you’ve just wrapped your head around the current season and all its meanings and rituals, and then suddenly you’re faced with yet another new celebration. To be a witch is to travel the path of lifelong learning, so again, I encourage you to be kind to yourself when everything is still so new.
Welcoming in the Light
If you’ve been following along with this series, you know how much I like research, and Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials series (Midsummer, in this case) are the perfect little comprehensive guides to help any witch (especially new witches) plan their sabbat celebrations. From the history of each sabbat, to correspondences, spells, prayers, rituals, and recipes, these little books are a treasure trove of useful information for all witches (I swear Llewellyn did not sponsor this post, I’ve personally just found these books incredibly helpful).
In reflecting on what the season represents for me, Litha is all about cleansing myself with the warmth of the sunlight and reclaiming the ease that summer brings with it. Litha brings me back to childhood summers spent at Sauble Beach – going to bed with the lake water still in my hair, sand not completely washed off my feet, radiating the heat of the summer sun from the center of my being, exhausted by the end of the day – but in the best possible way.
I grew up baking with my mom, and around this time of year we would often make a honey cake. Baking is part of how I revisit the memories I have of her, and something that I, in turn, love to share with my little boy. While I have not been able to find the exact recipe we used since she passed away, the one below from Recipes for a Pagan Soul is pretty close.
Litha Honey Cake
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup honey
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, well beaten
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups of flour, sifted
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup powdered (10x) sugar
1 tablespoon of melted butter
1 ½ tablespoons of milk, slightly warmed
½ teaspoons of honey, warmed slightly
For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a mixing bowl on medium speed, cream butter until light.
On low speed, mix in honey and beaten egg.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Add this dry mixture, alternating with some of the buttermilk, into the first bowl.
Blend everything together thoroughly then pour into a greased 9×13 baking pan
Bake for 45-55 minutes, and allow to fully cool
For the Frosting: Blend powdered sugar, warm milk, melted butter and warm honey in a bowl. Spread over entire cake once fully cooled. Store in an air-tight container within 48 hours. Enjoy!
Keeping with my love of yoga and meditation, I was able to participate in a Yoga Magic Workshop and guided meditation hosted by Yoga for Witches author and Sentia Yoga owner, Sarah Robinson. The yoga portion of the workshop focused on activating, energizing, and balancing the solar plexus chakra, and connecting with the light. In moving through the practice and meditation, I finished the workshop feeling completely lit from within. Sarah has kindly made the workshop available to everyone on YouTube. She also has a guided meditation available on the Insight Timer app to welcome in the season (find it in the app by searching “Litha”).
Going with the Flow
The forecast for the weekend promises hot and sunny weather – the very essence of Litha. I’ll be out and about in my garden, and I plan to catch the livestream of the Solstice celebration at Stonehenge. I’ll pull a tarot spread for the period ahead, and the rest… I’m not totally sure about quite yet. As a change of pace, I’ve been trying to focus more on what intuitively feels right for the moment and less on accomplishing a specific to-do list. Going through high school and my adult life with the nickname “list queen,” this is a very new experience for me. And surprisingly, I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time!
The beauty of the 6-ish week period for each sabbat is that we have time to celebrate and enjoy the season. Like all magic, it’s your intention and energy that matters the most. So, for now I will leave you with this from The White Witch Parlour:
With open arms I embrace warmth and light,
May the magick of Litha shine bright tonight.
With fairies dancing and magick abound,
I see the Summer Solstice all around.
On this Litha eve, as twilight glows,
I welcome a transition of which my soul knows.
I release all ego, to sun, moon, and earth,
My spirit rejuvenated, by natures hearth.
About the Author: Amy is a newly re-awakened witch living in South-Western Ontario. As a Scorpio sun, Pisces moon, and Scorpio rising, she can be found reading and recharging in the bath when she’s not chasing after her almost-five-year-old Leo son she is raising with her Sagittarius husband. Professionally, as a Human Resources Business Partner, Amy brings her magic into the office by guiding the rest of the team to build self-awareness, compassion, and empathy with the goal of creating a more harmonious and enchanted workplace. You can find her on Instagram at @thewakenedwitch, where she shares her journey into owning the identity of Witch.