This evening I celebrated Litha together with Medway Pagans. As always, it was a very beautiful, warm and serene experience.
The altar was set out with offerings and decorations appropriate to Litha – a yellow tablecloth, summer flowers and summer fruits, and as you can see in the picture above, it looked gorgeous. As with Beltane, the centre of the ritual was a fire, into which we placed offerings and charms (I think I was less of a wuss this time round when it came to approaching the roaring flames to place my offering of rosemary and incense!). Following this and our incantations to the Great Goddess, we shared a cup of ale and ate some of the fruit from the altar.
I really enjoyed the ritual and it gave me a great sense of inner peace and belonging, as well as a feeling of connection with the natural world and the others celebrating with me. It hit home just how much more I feel I can relax when I am performing a ritual with fellow pagans rather than outside by myself with the neighbours potentially watching! Another great part of communal rituals is that it also gives me a chance to talk to other pagans about their particular paths and learn from them, which is very beneficial to someone new to paganism like myself.
This month, I felt compelled to ask two members of the group why they never join us in the circle, and only stand and observe. I’d always seen them do this and was curious why, but always felt too shy to ask until today. Their reason was very interesting. Both follow what some may call a “left hand path” – one worships Lilith, the other Loki – and they feel that their deities may have upset the ritual if they had participated! What’s more, they see themselves, as “outsiders,” as a key part in the ritual even though they do not participate: they represent the darker aspects that are absent during the celebrations of light such as Beltane and Litha. However, they assured me that come Samhain, they’d be leaping right in!
Finally, when I got home (a new member of the group very kindly gave me a lift back!), who should be waiting for me in our driveway but three of our local foxes – it looked like a mother and her cubs 🙂 A wonderful way to end a lovely, magickal evening.