Setting Up Your Litha Altar

Litha Altar Outdoors
Decorate your Litha altar with solar symbols and bright sunny colors.

Patti Wigington

It's Litha, and that means the sun is at its highest point in the sky. Midsummer is the time when we can celebrate the growing of crops, and take heart in knowing that the seeds we planted in the spring are now in full bloom. It's a time of celebrating the sun, and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Try to set up your Midsummer altar outside if at all possible. If you can't, that's okay -- but try to find a spot near a window where the sun will shine in and brighten your altar setup with its rays.

Colors of the Season

Orange candles
DanielTaeger / Getty Images

This sabbat is all about the sun celebration, so think of solar colors. Yellows, oranges, fiery reds and golds are all appropriate this time of year. Use candles in bright sunny colors, or cover your altar with cloths that represent the solar aspect of the season. If you have the opportunity to do an outdoor altar, consider painting a piece of furniture, such as a table or cabinet, in bright colors to reflect the solar theme. Don't forget the lights—candles, citronella lamps, and even twinkly string lights are available in every color, so bring that solar energy out even when it gets dark in the evening!

In chakra work, the color orange or red-orange is related to the sacral area, which is associated with creativity and inventive ideas. Using colors in orange tones is a great way to revitalize your passion for art, music, and other creative ideas. Yellow is tied to the solar plexus, and our need to develop a healthy self-esteem. If you're doing Litha rituals or working to improve the way your feel about yourself, and give your confidence and personal power a boost, you can't go wrong with shades of yellow!

Solar Symbols

Sun Mask
Brasil2 / Getty Images

Litha is when the sun is at its highest point above us. In some traditions, the sun rolls across the sky like a great wheel—consider using pinwheels or some other disc to represent the sun. Circles and discs are the most basic sun symbol of all, and are seen as far back as the tombs of ancient Egypt. Use sun masks or equal-armed crosses, such as the Brighid's Cross, or even the swastika—remember, it was originally a good luck symbol to both the Hindus and Scandinavians before it became associated with the Nazis.

Think about some of the other things that represent the sun to you. Are you growing a garden? Pluck a basket of fruit, or a bowl of vegetables, sun-warmed and fresh, to place upon your altar. Are you creative? Use watercolors to paint an image of the sun, flowers in a field, a beach, or other images that represent the sun's power and energy to you.

A Time of Light and Dark

Surface Level Of King Chess Piece Fallen On Chessboard
Leopoldo Pura / EyeEm / Getty Images

The solstice is also a time seen as a battle between light and dark. Although the sun is strong now, in just six months the days will be short again. Much like the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, light and dark must battle for supremacy. At this sabbat, darkness wins, and the days will begin to grow shorter once more. Decorate your altar with symbols of the triumph of darkness over light—and that includes using other opposites, such as fire and water, night and day, etc.

Other Symbols of Litha

Pick some midsummer flowers from your garden—or buy them from the local farmer's market—and display them in bowls and vases around your house. If you've got outdoor flowers of your own growing, great! Make sure you give them lots of water on hot sunny days.

Make some Gods Eyes in sunny colors to hang up around your home, and on your doors to greet your guests. They're easy to make, and you can use any color you like. Reds, golds, yellows, and oranges are seasonally appropriate this time of year.

Are you growing Sunflowers? They'll be well on their way to being tall by the time midsummer arrives, so harvest a few to decorate inside your home. Be sure to leave some outdoors though; birds love sunflower seeds as a summertime snack!

Oak trees and acorns are associated with solar power and energy, and they'll be flourishing at this time. Get out there and pick leaves and acorns, and bring them indoors to decorate your altar.