The Summer Solstice, Litha, in Celtic tradition marks the celebration of the cycle of life. This festival invites us to find our own inner centre, to be in symbiosis with the centre of Life, to be receptive to love, purification, health, protection, and the abundance brought by the heat and light of the summer that is at its commencement.
The Summer Solstice invites us to become connected with our own inner fire, in order that there may be equilibrium between ourselves and the life around us.
Fire, the element of summer, is considered to be both a purifier (in Sanskrit, ‘pure’ and ‘fire’ have the same word) and a regenerator (the fire lit below the resurrection cauldron that allowed the dead rebirth). It is manifest in two forms: the Fire of the Earth which burns for us, and the Fire of the Heavens which warms us, the sun.
It is also the day where the light of the sun is most plentiful, its radiance at its strongest.
This day marks the moment where light triumphs over obscurity in all its forms. We get ready to receive the energy of Lugh on 1 August, having enjoyed Belanos, the light of the sun from Mayday.
The Summer and Winter Solstices occur around the vertical axis of the world, the two extremities of the path around the sun. This vertical axis becomes the World Tree, linking top and bottom, bearer of life, duration and wisdom. Moreover, the roots of the tree are an image for the roots of man, his past and future. Relating these symbols to the ‘wheel of time’, we find the link between man and the Cosmos.