Both are other names for the Summer Solstice, and yeah for those non-magical folk out there, this means the Druids are partying up at Stonehenge again. Jealous? I am. Well sort of. I'm not feeling up to traveling like that right now.
That said, the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, and is marked by a celebration of the sun because, obviously, it’s at peak power. So go get your stones, rings, necklaces, earrings, whatever, and set them on a sunny windowsill or porch rail to charge. As long as you trust your pet not to knock them off, or your neighbors not to swipe them, that is.
But let us not forget the fairies, for Litha is also the Feast of the Fairies. It is said that, at twilight, the portals between the worlds is open…think Hallowe’en, when the veil between this world and the next is thin, only this portal is to the fairy world. It is said if you welcome them, you'll be rewarded. However, try to avoid stepping into the middle of any mushroom rings... if you do happen to fall through, try not to eat their food. Not even Emeril Lagasse will be able to satisfy your palate if you return. (Emphasis on the if right there.) The Bard used this celebration as the backdrop of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and chocked the cast full of fairies.
Of course, if you’re of a more Druidic tradition, you’re gonna wait three more days and celebrate Alban Hefin on Wednesday. Druids follow a half-year cycle where the Holly King and Oak King take turns ruling as the consort of the Goddess. That changing of the guard occurs on the solstices, and Summer Solstice (not to be confused with the cool chick-sportster by Pontiac…) the Holly King takes over until Yule. Christians use this time to celebrate the Feast of John the Baptist, following the Druid timeline because…well, they ripped off a lot of holidays and renamed and reshaped and them. (They weren't the first to engage in such maneuvers. Nor were they the last. American's have allowed their holidays to be taken over and the true meanings diminished in light of retail bottom lines somehow. Wake up people. Shopping is not a religion. Coupons are not tickets to salvation. Receipts are not proof of tithing.) (Sorry. The unwarranted rant is over.)
Midsummer rituals include personal purifications and healing work, as well as charging gems and/or ritual objects with the sun's power. For some, it is the time to make of mead (honey wine, mmmm). So, on Sunday (or Wednesday, if you prefer), if you're doing anything else, take a moment to soak in a few rays and have a warm thought. Consider how your life has grown this year. What have you planted? The harvest is coming. When the day is done, look up at the night, you may see the is moon a slight, slight cresent...waning and soon to be dark, or new. Check back then. I'll have something to say about New Moons as well.
this pic is available as a background at http://www.knowth.com/stonehenge.htm