Like every other sabbat, Litha comes with its own beliefs. Besides the well-known and traditional rituals of lighting a bonfire (or building a smaller fire to be jumped over), as well as drinking, dancing and making love, there are many lesser known rituals linked to the celebration of midsummer.
To honor the culmination of the Oak King's rule, men traditionally wore wreaths of woven oak leaves on their heads and women wreaths of midsummer flowers. Pick some blossoms and place them under your pillow on Litha night and you will dream of your future husband.
Want to be healthy throughout the coming year? Then be sure to be up to see the sun rise on the solstice. If you're in need of healing, the calendula (marigold) plant was believed to possess miraculous healing powers when picked on Litha. The traditional healing plants to be picked on the sabbat for the coming year are fennel, rue, rosemary, lemon verbena and st. john's wort, among many others.
Place a swag of summer greenery over your front door for a year of luck and prosperity.
And despite the joy and abundance associated with midsummer, there is always at least one festival that flies in the face of love, health and prosperity. Fortunately, the medieval French ritual of burning cats on midsummer's night has long since disappeared (especially if you happen to be a cat).
A blessed Litha to you all and safety in all you engage in that night.
Photo courtesy of mermaiden creations on flickr.