Today (at 11:34 pm) is Litha, or Midsummer, or the Summer solstice. Something cool is happening as we have the full Strawberry (or Honey) moon occurring on the same day as the solstice, which is the celebration of the full power of the sun. This conjunction hasn’t happened since June 1967 (my birth year!), and represents a complete harmony/balance in the divine feminine and masculine energies. It’s a powerful evening, and you will feel it deeply!
The full moon is in Sagittarius transitioning into Capricorn, for those that follow astrology.
What’s a Strawberry or Honey Moon?
The term Strawberry moon originates from the Algonquin tribes of North America who believed June’s full moon signalled the start of Strawberry season, which it still pretty much does.
The term Honey moon comes more from the color of the moon as it rises low in the sky opposite the high point of the sun. The air is warmer and thicker at this time of the year, and it’s reflection tends to have an amber glow, like honey. Also, traditionally in ancient Celtic cultures, couples who had been handfast for a year and a day the previous Beltane, would get married in June, and enjoy a “moon” or a month of newlywed nuptials, in which meade was a big part. Meade is honey-based alcohol and it is believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.
What should I do to about this cool thing?
Take a look out into the sky this evening, and just observe with your naked eye the beauty of the fullness of the moon. Look at the color. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and feel whatever comes up for you. If you have a relationship that needs healing, love or attention, this is a good night for it. It’s also just a good night for sex, let’s be real.
Litha, or Midsummer, is a Fire Festival and thus, is celebrated with fire. One could light a big candle and let it burn all day, even anointing it with special oils and saying a blessing over it. There are also backyard fire pits, barbecues and probably an event or two with a real bonfire somewhere not too far from you. Lavender and rosemary are well associated with Midsummer, as is St. John’s wort, basil, chamomile, lemon balm, hyssop and sage.
Midsummer anointing oil
1 oz. carrier oil, such as almond, grapeseed or apricot (olive may also be used)
12 drops rosemary
12 drops lavender
12-20 drops lemon balm
12-20 drops chamomile/and or hyssop if desired
Summer Solstice is a traditional time for gathering herbs and flowers. This is because they are at the height of their power, just like the sun. You’d think noon on Solstice Day would be the most opportune time to pick them, but actually folk custom varies on this point, so anything goes including first thing in the morning when the dew is still on them, at sunset and at midnight. If you miss your chance on Solstice, you can also wait for Midsummer’s Eve (June 23, known as Herb Evening in Latvia) or Midsummer’s Day (June 24th, the church holiday assigned to St John the Baptist, associated with Midsummer, also called St. John’s day).
If you are lucky enough to have a garden or live somewhere that herbs, like lavender, can be found, a fun craft is making a lavender wreath to hang on your door or wall for a pretty and protective decoration. Otherwise, dry and preserve your herbs for future use in the kitchen, soap, or magical craftings.
Above all, enjoy yourself! The midsummer is ripe with JOY. Pull it in as you breathe, feel it move throughout your body, bubbling every cell. Breathe out the happiness and peace that it leaves behind, feeling those move out through the place you are, home, community, country and world. Breathe in joy, breathe out peace. Know that it is so.