Happy Summer Solstice if you live in the Northern hemisphere! And joyful Winter Solstice if you are in the Southern hemisphere! I’m going to focus this blog post on Summer Solstice because that’s what’s happening where I live but please feel free to share your ideas for what you are celebrating in your part of the world in the comments.
Summer Solstice is when Springtime turns into Summer as well as the longest day of the year. In 2022 that’s June 21st so tomorrow. The Pagan holiday that’s celebrated around that time is called Litha. For this occasion I decided to take a look at what Summer means to me, transform my altar, and share some creative and self-care ideas for this season:
(Books in image above: Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman and Rebel Witch by Kelly-Ann Maddox – gifts from generous friends ❤ )
Summer of music
The main associations I have with Summer are joy, light, holidays, and music. Although I can’t support heat waves well, I do enjoy the long sunny days of this time of the year. Being able to spend a lot of time outdoors or simple having some rays of sun shine through my windows is such a pleasure! Summer is connected to (outdoors) music festivals as well and one of my wishes is to play outdoors concerts with my band Lavender Witch this season. I’d like to find other ways to cherish and celebrate my love for music during Litha.
This summer will also mark my 25th year L7 fan anniversary! 🙂 I discovered L7 on the radio in the summer of 1997 along with lots of other cool alternative rock bands of that time. 2022 is also 30 years after L7’s album “Bricks are heavy” was released so L7 are rereleasing that album and touring the US to support it. Read more about my love for L7 and some zines in my collection that write about them here on my blog. In the meantime I’m listening to L7’s “This Ain’t the Summer of Love“.
While we’re talking about music, a witchy idea that Molly Roberts and Kelly-Ann Maddox mention in their YouTube videos and book(s) is to explore pop culture pantheons. So instead of or next to more well-known deities, you can choose to work with for example (dead) musicians, artists, cartoon or comic book characters, and movie stars. Their pop culture icons / deities include Frida Kahlo and Kurt Cobain among others and I can totally get behind that. 🙂 But artists and bands who are alive and active and create their work independently are worth honouring, celebrating, and supporting as well, certainly in Summer time. That’s one of the reasons why I like acquiring and adding creations by friends to my home and altar… (also, they make great things!)
Summer Solstice altar
Each witchy/Pagan holiday I like to reorganise and redecorate my altar. I think about the themes, vibe, and objects I’d like to display and my synesthesia powers help me to choose the colour combinations. Colours I associate with June and July are yellow with a dash of red, orange, and white. These warm and sunny colours fit perfectly with this season. Litha brings up (leaf) green, red, and hot pink for me but in the end I chose to focus on yellow mainly.
At my Summer Solstice altar I placed a lot of creations of artist and friend Mawy Spencer who passed away recently. The zines, a lino print, a silkscreened patch, and a poster they designed take central stage to honour and remember them. Please go check out their work: their comics and art are amazing and I really want more people to see it.
I’ve also gathered objects created by other friends and other artists such as a broche of Donita Sparks by MandApunk, an embroidered sigil by Megan of Dark Habits, woven wall art by Jessica of Fake Breakdown Crafts (see photo at the end of this blog post), a flower sticker by True Zine Marin / Latibule, several silkscreened patches by Yori Gagarim, a neon pink postcard silkscreened by Chocs et Ennui, a poster by Déchainé.e.s, a moon calendar wheel by La GreenWitch, a Frida Kahlo postcard by Fallen Angels, and a self-care themed postcard by Glitza Glitza. I love to incorporate things such as buttons, postcards, and patches into my witch practice and they’re all the more meaningful when they are created by friends or fellow witches. By the way, that spell bottle and felt moon charm were made by me. 🙂
Summer is zine season
Now on to ziiiiines! The whole year is zine season for me of course 😉 but July is International Zine Month! During the entire month you can do small activities related to zine-making: from decorating envelopes to visiting zine libraries and from blogging about zines to publishing your own. I’m so looking forward to this!
By the way, I have made a few zines and postcards with a Summer vibe:
- Do it yourself care: self-care during heat waves mini-zine
- Do it yourself care: where I find joy mini-zine
- Tree house postcard
I will release a few new zines in the beginning of July. Here you can see a preview…
Summer ideas to try out
- wear a broche or amulet that represents the sun, a flower, or an animal
- go on a stroll in nature: a forest, park, beach, desert, hilltop, field, or whatever is available near you
- collect and dry flowers and leafs and press them in a notebook or use them in artwork
- drink herbal ice teas and other self-love potions (I’ve written a mini-zine all about this that will be out soon!)
- sew a pillow case with flower pattern fabric or embroider a summer-themed patch
- stay up very late or get up very early during the Summer Solstice
- make a zine, organise a zine gathering, start a zine library, teach a zine workshop, or simply read zines
- write songs on your own or join a band, even if you can’t read music, sing out of tune, or have never played an instrument before – you can do it! DIY!
- think about ways to honour and support (DIY/independent) musicians, zinesters, and other artists you like
- dance to your favourite music or imagine a spell that includes listening to a playlist with uplifting or empowering songs
- do a tarot or oracle spread reading for yourself related to Litha, Summer, or the Last Quarter Moon (I quite like the overlap of this half moonphase and Summer Solstice)
- blog about witchy stuff related to Litha like I did 🙂
What are your plans for the Summer Solstice – or Winter Solstice – and the upcoming months?