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This article was written by Sandra Kynes on October 09, 2006
posted under Litha
Items for the Litha Ritual include: Six candles for the altar; A basket of cut flowers; enough to lay out your circle (there can be space in between them); A basket of marigolds; Drums, rattles and other percussion instruments. If working solo or if these are not available you may want to use taped music such as Loreena McKennitt’s "Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance"; If doing ritual out of doors, find six to eight large rocks and set them in two rows with enough room for people to walk between to simulate the rows of standing stones at Carnac. If no large stones are available you may want to arrange a pile of smaller stones. If you are doing ritual indoors, use multiple baskets of flowers or potted plants. Be imaginative.
This is the time to rededicate yourself to your spiritual path and to ask for Lugh’s blessings. In this ritual marigolds are used to pay homage to the Lord. This flower has been associated with the sun since ancient times and abounds in stories of Apollo, the Greek sun god. Marigolds were believed to have magical properties, and that to look at them or smell their fragrance would remove sorrow and burdens.
The ancient people of Europe left their legacy in stone all over the Continent, the Mediterranean area, and the British Isles in the form of standing stone circles, alignments, and dolmens (chambers formed of standing stones). It has been known for a long time that these places mark the rising and setting of the sun at the Winter and Summer Solstices. They also mark lunar cycles, eclipses, and other astrological events.
It is worth noting that these sites were observatories as well as places of ritual. Science and spirituality were not separate compartments of reasoning and belief. Observing and honoring the natural world were integrated practices.
Stonehenge in England and NewGrange in Ireland are the most well-known sites, but the Brittany coast of France has the greatest number of standing stones. In this ritual, conjure up images in you mind and the energy of Carnac in Brittany where within a five-mile area there are 3,000 standing stones. Some are in circles, some are alone, but most are in rows that run for several kilometers. And for many centuries people danced and celebrated among the stones.
As you place flowers on the ground to mark your circle (large enough to encompass your "standing stones") say:
Spring ends and summer comes upon the land. As the days grow in warmth, I ask the Lord and Lady to awaken the sacred flame within my soul. With this fragrant circle, sacred is this space decreed.
Go to the edge of your circle and face each direction, respectively. After speaking, light a candle on the altar. Face the altar when evoking the Goddess and God.
I look to the North and call on the powers of Earth to join me in my circle. Your body sends forth the blooms of early summer with rich sensuous colors. Be with me as a bright red flower.
I look to the East and call on the powers of Air to join me in my circle. Caress me with your warm breezes that sweeten my life with soft scented flowers and plants. Be with me as the fragrant Linden.
I look to the South and call on the powers of Fire to join me in my circle. Your growing heat transforms the world into a lush garden. Kiss me gently with your warmth.
I look to the West and the powers of Water. Your gentle rains banish thirst and wash me clean. Touch me with dew-filled mornings.
Sun King, Lord of Summer, I welcome you at your zenith, your last full shining. Tomorrow you begin your descent, but today I celebrate you.
Lady of All, Queen of Summer, I welcome you in your full mother aspect as the fields begin to ripen and you awaken a spark of divine love deep in my soul.
Stand facing your altar, and say:
This day I use marigolds to honor Lugh and ask for his blessing to further my spiritual journey.
Bow and then place a flower on the altar, saying:
Lugh, Beli Mawr, I thank you for your many blessings and reaffirm my spiritual path. Even though you will soon fade, your bright spirit will remain in my heart throughout the year. So mote it be.
Begin the taped music or do your own drumming and start a free-form dance weaving in and out among your "standing stones". Chant:
I call to Lugh on Solstice Day,
Shine bright before you go away.
Sun King, Lugh, bring summer heat,
Blessed be and merry meet.
Continue until you feel the energy reach a peak, and then bring the music, drumming, chanting to a close. You may want to take time to meditate on your blessings as well as the reasons that you reaffirm your spiritual path.
Use your usual method for grounding energy or playback a recorded centering exercise.
Extinguish each altar candle before or after each devocation:
Lady of All, Queen of Summer, thank you Great Mother for the richness that unfolds around me and within me. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.
Sun King, Lord of Summer, thank you for your bright spirit. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.
Powers of Water, thank you for dewy mornings and gentle rains. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.
Powers of Fire, thank you for your transforming flame. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.
Powers of Air, thank you for warm breezes that sweeten long summer days. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.
Powers of Earth, thank you for the sensuous colors and fragrance that enrich my life. I thank you for your presence with me this day and ask for your blessing as you depart. I bid you farewell.
And so my spiritual journey continues as the Wheel of the Year turns ever onward. My circle is open, but unbroken. May the peace and love of the Goddess remain in my heart. In faith and unity, blessed be.
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