|Litha, or Mid-Summer is the
holiday that is seen as the peak of the power of the God of
Light. This representation of the God
is often known as the Oak King. Mid-Summer is
the beginning of the Summer Solstice.
It is the longest day of the year. At this time, the
God of Light is at his highest
strength and at the peak, he crests and gives way to his
twin, the God of Darkness (not evil
or satanic), often known as the Holly King. Rituals
depicting these two kings in a battle
are often depicted. Many see them as two rival
personalities within the same Deity.
The Oak King is born at Yule, the
Winter Solstice. He gains strength with the nights
growing shorter and the days longer.
At the moment of his greatest power, Litha
(Mid-Summer), he confronts himself in
the mirror and sees the other side of his
personality, the Holly King. The
Holly King is born at Mid-Summer. He gains strength
until Yule, the night of his greatest
power, the longest night. At that point, he then looks
in the mirror and sees the other side
of himself, the Oak King.
There are many versions of this
lore. One viewpoint has a Christian tone. This view sees
Jesus Christ as the Holly King, while
John the Baptist is seen as the Oak King. One
reason for this identification is the
fact that the birth of Christ is celebrated on December
25th, and the birth of John the
Baptist is celebrated at the Summer Solstice.
Consider decorating your
environment with fir boughs, birch, fennel, and lily. Sun
flowers are an obvious here as well.
This is a good time of year to work with increasing
strength and focus, clarity and
fertility. This is also the time when many believe that the
Faeries come out to play and that
they speak in the human tongue. For many, this is the
Faerie high holiday.
Wicca is often seen as having a
basis of the spiral of life, representing the never ending
circle of death and rebirth. The
duality of our religion encourages us to be aware of that
which balances. Many of our high
holidays remind us that dichotomies do not really
exist. Where there is death, there is
life. Where there is Light, there is Dark.