Hello my friends, and welcome. I hope everyone is well. Today we are going to talk about Litha and the Summer Solstice, which isn’t for another week and a half, but I like to talk about it a little early so we can think about what kind of rituals or spells we might want to work, and have a little time to prepare for that. So Litha is the topic of the day. But very quickly, before we get to that, I want to read a message from a witch who is having a little issue that I think a lot of us have from time to time, if not all of us.
I’m keeping this witch’s name and identifying details out of this, but the message is as follows:
Hey Eli! so I’m in a long term relationship (secretly got married on 2-22-22 but having a “real” wedding ceremony for our friends and family in September) anyway, I love him a lot. He’s so sweet, so HOT, and just all around perfect. Through most of our relationship I have always been the one with a higher sex drive but idk, for about the past year or so it’s just so low. I just came out of a pretty long depression so it could be that or maybe cuz I’m on different type of medicine? I know he’s definitely feeling the lack of love/lust so my question: are there any spells, rituals, herbs, ANYTHING you would recommend to make ME more lustful? Maybe something to embrace my inner divine sexual feminine? Really anything you can think of. Thank you so much.
Well, I was really glad she asked this question, because this is an issue that comes and goes for a lot of us, and I definitely don’t talk about sex enough on the podcast. I’ve been married for almost 25 years, and I love my husband more now than I ever did, but sometimes the sex drive just isn’t cooperative. Sometimes there’s a concrete cause for a lagging libido, like depression or a new medication, but sometimes you don’t even know why the fire is out. The human body has a mind of its own, its own cycles, and its own timing. But we can work with this.
So first, I recommend some sex magick. In the Anointing Oils episode from a couple weeks ago, I talked about love oils, and very briefly I covered a lust oil variation of that, so we are going to expand on that a little bit for this specific situation. We’re going to combine some ingredients meant to strengthen established love relationships, with some ingredients meant to entice lust, AND we are going to throw in a few things to help clear the blockages that could be preventing our witch from enjoying herself as a sexual being to the fullest extent.
So for this oil, throw some coconut oil or vitamin E into a little saucepan. Add some rose petals which are powerful in matters of love and sex and are going to help you release any issues that may be holding you back or inhibiting you, sandalwood to activate and awaken sensuality, cardamom to increase passion, jasmine to help unlock the spiritual connection as well as physical, and hibiscus for sexual energy. And finally to this oil we can add some sage for clearing out any blockages you may have. So heat it through on a very low flame for 20 minutes or so and then let it cool completely. Strain it out and keep it in a bottle to use as needed.
You may also want to petition Freya for her help in this as well. She is the Norse fertility goddess, but she is incredibly powerful in issues concerning love, lust, sexuality, marriage, and sex magic. So once you’re ready to begin, anoint some candles with this oil, light some incense (dragon’s blood, lotus, or patchouli incense are good choices, but just pick your favorite) anoint yourself, invite your partner to participate in this working, draw sigils on yourselves with this oil. Focus your intention on not only raising your own sex drive, but on enjoying this moment and opening any roads to experience more moments like this. Then just get busy.
Lastly, as long as you’ve been very open about how you’re feeling and you’ve been very clear with your husband that you still find him sexy (and all the other adjectives you used to describe him to me!), but you’re struggling with a low sex drive, he’s going to be able to be understanding. And this kind of openness and vulnerability is the best wedding gift you could give your marriage. Don’t forget that intimacy is demonstrated in a lot of ways that don’t always have to end in sex, so as long a you’re still hugging and kissing each other good morning and good night, you’re finding ways to be close to each other, showering together, snuggling on the couch, holding hands, cooking meals and eating together, you’re going to navigate through this just fine.
And one last point I want to make on this issue is that this can be very cyclical, so be prepared to listen to your body and pay attention to the signs it’s giving you. We are hormonal beings, men and women both, and there are so many factors that come into play. Stress, work responsibility, family obligations, and natural hormone cycles are all going to wreak their own special havoc on our sex lives. It is a fact of life that the lust isn’t always there, but in a healthy relationship, the love gets stronger and stronger as the time goes on. So when you feel yourself or your partner lagging, don’t panic, and don’t take it personally. And thank you for writing, I appreciate your openness.
And then one little brief message from a witch named Angi:
Good morning Eli! I am so thankful for your podcast. I love listening to all the wisdom and your soothing voice. It’s almost meditative. Ok, so the real reason I am here. I am a witch in Indiana, and I have found it really difficult to find other magical people in my area. I just want to ask if/when we are going to see a Middle-Aged Witch Coven group. It would be really nice to have a way to connect with other Middle Aged witches to build community and maybe find others in a nearby proximity to gather for rituals, ceremonies or other witchy activities. Excited to hear your thoughts!
Ok, so I am currently in the very very super early stages of trying to figure out how to launch some kind of Middle-Aged Witch forum. I do own the domain middleagedwitch.com, but so far I’m only using it for email. I don’t have a ton of technical experience or know-how when it comes to web design, and I’m a little intimidated by the thought of having to moderate a web forum. It seems like it could be very time-consuming and (unfortunately) I have a day job that eats a lot of my time. But I’m making some (slow) progress, and at some point in the distant future, I’ll give that a shot. In the meantime though, I do have a Facebook page that anyone can post on @middlegedwitch, so if you are on Facebook and you’d like to meet some like-minded witches or maybe see if anyone in your state is also listening, please feel free. And thank you very very much, Angi, for writing.
And after we talk about Litha, I do have a brief little mini-update from the witch who wrote a couple weeks ago who was having issues with her ex-husband and her daughter’s stepmother, but I do want to get into the solstice, so just a heads-up that I will read that before we close today. Ok, so now let’s get into Litha.
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, in June in the Northern hemisphere and December in the southern hemisphere. Litha is the Wiccan term for it, but it’s kind of found its way into the witchcraft mainstream, so I will be using these terms, solstice, and Litha, interchangeably. Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, and has been marked by festivals and rituals. Traditionally, in many temperate regions (especially Europe), the summer solstice is seen as the middle of summer and referred to as “midsummer”. Today, however, in a lot of countries and calendars it is observed as the first day of summer.
There’s a lot of cultural crossover in the different beliefs and traditions surrounding the solstice, so it’s really easy to find a few aspects to fold into your own celebrations. In Spain, for example, Midsummer tradition is strong, and we can easily identify the rituals that reveal the pagan beliefs widespread throughout Europe in Neolithic times. These beliefs pivot on three basic ideas: the importance of medicinal plants, especially in relation to health, youth and beauty; the protective character of fire to ward against evil spirits and witches and, finally, the purifying, miraculous effects of water.
So with regard to solstice plant magic, there are a lot of ways to celebrate. Traditionally, women collect several species of plants on midsummer’s eve. These vary from area to area, but mostly include fennel, different species of fern, rue, rosemary, dog rose , lemon verbena, St John’s wort, mallows, laburnum, foxglove, and elder flowers. In some areas, these are arranged in a bunch and hung in doorways. In most others, they are dipped in a vessel of water and left outside exposed to the dew of night until the following morning, when people use the resulting flower water to wash their faces.
Making a flower crown is a wonderful and very picturesque activity to include in your celebrations, as is participating in any festivals, carnivals, or outdoor events. It’s a wonderful way to connect with the community, and even though I don’t anticipate that there are going to be too many pagans or witches at the local beer and bratwurst festival in my town, it’s still a great way to spend a day outdoors in the sunshine, listening to live music and enjoying the sights and smells and tastes of my local area.
Visiting a farmer’s market is also a very solstice-y activity.. Picking out some local produce to incorporate into a fun summery recipe and inviting family and friends over to enjoy good food, cold drinks and great company, this is all very on-brand for the solstice. The purpose is to enjoy the weather and really bask in the season. If we think back to the winter solstice, a large part of that celebration is showing gratitude and respect for the bounty of the previous growing season, and the summer solstice is about not only enjoying the warmth and the bounty of summer, but of looking forward to another successful growing season.
As for ways to incorporate fire magic into this sabbat, of course bonfires come to mind first thing. Bonfires are lit, traditionally around midnight. Young and old gather around them and when it is relatively safe to jump over the bonfire, it is done three times for good luck. Luck in our lives and in the goals we are currently working toward manifesting, but also a lucky harvest. We can toss herbs and flowers into the flames to call in abundance to us, such as calendula, nettle, lemongrass, dandelion and spearmint. The summer solstice marks a great time to release old patterns and stagnant energy, and writing those things down that we wish to release and throwing them in the solstice flames is a powerful demonstration to that commitment.
As far as water rituals go, there is nothing that feels as energizing and revitalizing in these hot summer months as swimming. Especially in a natural body of water, such as a lake, a river, or if you’re fortunate enough to live near the sea, spending a day on the beach is incredibly cleansing. Bringing a little bottle or jar to collect a small amount of those healing waters for use in future spellwork is a good idea too. Bask in the warmth of the sun, luxuriate in the natural waters, offer something to the water spirits in the area, like a bit of charged quartz.
Now, the full moon is on Tuesday, so another way to honor the water spirits would be to make some moon water at home, and then pour a bit out into the natural body of water that you’re visiting. Obviously, natural bodies of water are charged by the moon every month, but in this situation, it’s really about the gesture as a sign of reverence and respect. And I will go ahead and say it: a summer pool party is a perfectly suitable solstice celebration. I promise you, the ancients would have loved gathering with family and friends and grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and drinking beer and playing cornhole and listening to music.
We are the descendants of these folks, and they will be smiling happily upon us, to see us enjoying watermelon margaritas and playing guitar around the fire pit and just reveling. This is what the solstice is all about. It doesn’t have to be all long robes and incense and chanting, not on Litha. We can save that for Samhain. Let’s get outside, let’s get a little bit tipsy. Let’s lay out under the stars and see how many constellations we can identify. It doesn’t always have to be so serious.
Litha, the summer solstice, is a celebration of warmth, of the sun, of the many, many weeks yet to come in the growing season. So I plan to make the most of it, not just on the 21st, but for the next several weeks. Every minute I spend in my garden will be a celebration of the season. Every day trip to the beach, every brunch in an open air cafe, every BBQ, every game of horseshoes. And I welcome you, I challenge you, to do the same. Wring every drop of warm-weather fun out of the season that you can. Let’s get sick of summer. We’ve earned it.
And now, before we close I want to read this update from a witch who wrote a while back. So, very quickly to recap, her ex-husband was being really flaky with their daughter, kind of making promises and then letting their daughter down and not following through, and also the step-mother, his current wife, was being really cruel toward this witch’s daughter, making ugly comments about her weight and making her feel down on herself, and just generally being a huge pain in the ass.
And this witch had asked for advice about doing spellwork to find a job for ex-husband somewhere far away so that he would be too distant to continue disappointing their daughter but they could still have a relationship. And we also talked about binding the stepmother from harming this witch’s daughter, and also about having the daughter herself participate in the work and creating her own spells.
And I can’t even begin to tell you the response from listeners of this podcast. Witches were so ready to lend their own energies to assist in creating a protective web around this little one, and I know for certain several witches actually added this to their own intentions to support this working. And more than a few witches have asked for an update and on Monday morning, I got one. So here we go, she writes:
Thank you so much for all of your helpful suggestions. So far I did a binding on my daughter’s step mom. I used a combination of candle, herbs and knotted rope. You are so right about Hecate-I’m totally feeling her in so much that I do lately! Thank you for that suggestion, although it is intimidating to work with deities. I’ve been writing things down a lot more lately and will be able to do it again with tweets if needed. My daughter was visiting her dad for a weekend and since school was out and she was having such a good time decided to stay an extra day. She said they got along and nothing scary happened. I’m so happy when things work out for her! I had to reel in my own jealousy (and dislike) for a second there!! But I did, phew! And the lil tootsie is on board with her own protection jar, we are collecting gem chips since that is her favorite mode of manifestation right now. I appreciate you!
Thank you so much for giving us all that update, we really needed it and I’m so happy for you, but especially for your daughter. I know the other aspects of this working will take a little time, of course, but so far things are moving in the right direction and it’s really just so lovely to hear and I’m so happy that your daughter is finally enjoying her time with dad and step mom. So, thank you again for that. I really love to hear it.
And that’s all for now. I hope everyone enjoys the solstice, we’ve still got about 10 days or so, so plenty of time to plan something either big or small. And please send me pictures of your celebrations on social media at @middleagedwitch, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll talk again next week. My name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.