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Nine Favourite Rituals to Embrace Midsummer

By Jo Royle

Litha, or the Summer Solstice is such an abundant time. Take the short walk to the pier (which starts on the footbridge just opposite The Selkie Collective) and you'll find yourself immersed in the sounds of birdsong and the buzzing of bees, beneath the vibrant green canopy of sycamore and ash.

Since Beltaine, the hawthorn blossom has come and gone, the cuckoo too; the ferns have unfurled their emerald beauty; the wild roses their delicate scent (I love to put my nose all the way into their blooms.. checking first for bees!).  We've made a transition from the blues and yellows of May to the pinks and whites of June... from bluebells, marsh marigolds and gorse to foxgloves, heather, cow parsley and ox eye daisies.  And of course we're in the time of light and long days, which in themselves brings a sense of abundance. 

I was talking to Emma at The Selkie Collective about Litha... and how I like to mark this time in the Wheel of the Year and the Selkie Collective have invited me to share some of my favourite rituals with you. So, here are my nine favourite rituals to embrace Midsummer…

1. Create a Flower Crown Find some willow to weave into a circle to be the base for your crown.  Gather some 'weeds' (or wildflowers 😉) from your garden, and beyond, to decorate, remembering to take what’s abundant and to ask the plant for permission first.  Once completed intentionally crown yourself.  I'm looking forward to seeing you sporting your flower crowns in the Co-op!

2. Build an Outdoor Fire and Watch the Sun Set Be prepared to stay up late!

3. Make an 'Altar' We can often think of altars as associated with religion, but women were making altars in gratitude to the earth long before Christianity. Find a place in your home or garden which can be an altar space; somewhere your altar can sit for 6 weeks (until the next festival). Clean the space to prepare and cleanse.  You might want to lay a cloth... add a candle bringing in the summer element of fire... and then add items you've gathered from nature and things which speak to you of the time of Midsummer... a jar of flowers from your garden; crystals of red, orange, gold and yellow; maybe a dish of strawberries or cherries; something to represent the bees, etc.  Sometimes less is more… and sometimes more is more!  When it's finished, take a moment to appreciate what you've created… giving thanks for its beauty... giving thanks to the earth... and giving thanks to yourself for this moment of honouring.

4. Immerse in Nature Take some time to fully immerse in nature… however you find a way to do that… maybe sitting with a tree; painting the view; dipping in the sea (or the pools if the jellyfish are putting you off right now!); or feeling the sun (or at least the wind!) on your face.

5. Walk a Spiral Solstice means 'sun standstill'. It's when the seasonal movement of the sun's daily path (as seen from Earth) pauses before reversing direction.  Walking a spiral at Midsummer is an opportunity to reflect on the 6 months since Midwinter and to look ahead to the next 6 months. You might make a spiral of stones or maybe even salt on the beach.  For my Summer Solstice spiral... I like to start my reflection from the centre of the circle... to represent Midwinter, moving to the outer edge which symbolises Midsummer and then back in again as I look ahead to Midwinter.


  • Starting in the centre... pause/standstill - how does it feel to be here?What was it like last midwinter? Take time to feel into it.

  •  Start to walk out - reflect on what it's been like to move into more light, more outwards activity, growth and abundance. 

  • Standing at the outer edge… How do you experience midsummer?  Take time to feel into it.

  • And turning… how does it feel to release midsummer to turn back inwards again?  Can you do it without clinging or wanting to stay in the summer?

  • Start to walk inward to the centre again…

  • How is it to move into the darkness, less outward activity, fruiting, harvest, and then release, death, decay knowing that its part of the cycle of life… How can you welcome the Autumn and winter?

If you don't want to make your own spiral, you'll find one in the village garden opposite The Selkie Collective!

6. Meditate Meditate to bring a sense of standstill at this time.  Pauses to rest are so important at this busy time of year.  If you don’t have a meditation practice, but would be interested in learning an effortless one which you can bring into daily life for wee pauses, check out my next Experience of Effortless Mediation Course

7.  Eat Summer Fruits Eat a bowl of sun-warmed strawberries or cherries, being mindful and fully opening all your senses to the experience. How do they look? How do they smell? How do they feel in your fingers, on your lips, your teeth, your tongue? How do they taste? What's the full experience of eating sun-warmed summer fruits?

8. Pull a Card I often do an eight card oracle reading at the Solstice looking at different aspects of my life… If you'd like to sign up for my Wheel of the Year Love Letter and drop me an email asking, I'll happily draw you a card for Litha ♡

9. Flower Blessing On a walk, notice all the different wildflowers you see.  You might start by counting the number of different types of flower you see... maybe you can name them, maybe not... it doesn't matter (although if you'd like to, I find PlantNet a useful app for identifying).

Notice the positive qualities of all the wildflowers you see and take note of them... ‘colourful’, ‘beautiful’, ‘delicate’, ‘strong’... etc.

Find somewhere to sit with the flowers and give thanks to them for all they are.

And now... taking your note of all the qualities of the wildflowers, write a list, making the positive qualities yours...

  • I am colourful

  • I am beautiful

  • I am delicate

  • I am strong

And as you read them (perhaps aloud) to yourself, see if you can get a sense of not only being blessed by the flowers, but being a blessing to the flowers... the flowers seeing you in all your colour and beauty, vulnerability and strength too ♡

Each of these rituals can be held in isolation, or you might choose to combine two or three, to create a ceremony.  Last year I had the pleasure of making flower crowns with Broadford Girl’s Youth Club at the Summer Solstice… and included the Flower Blessing ritual, which was beautiful and moving, with the group of teenage girls.

If you're interested in exploring ritual and ceremony, my new women's circle Exploring Life Through Ceremonystarts in the Autumn… I just have a few places left.

And if you're interested in coming together at the Wheel of the Year Festivals...

A few local women are gathering for Litha… for a fire and co-created ceremony on Ashaig Beach (or my yurt if the weather isn’t good) on the evening of Thursday 20th June.  If you’re a woman living in Skye and Lochalsh, join the Facebook group Women of Skye and Lochalsh for more information.

And join me at Samhain… for my Women’s Effortless Meditation and Wellbeing Autumn Retreat (grab a place before the EARLYBIRD pricing ends).

May you find the time to celebrate Litha, in the whirlwind of Midsummer and may doing so bring you into deeper alignment with the earth, with the seasons and the cycles, with nature, and with your own nature.

May you standstill at the solstice, resting, reflecting and anticipating - looking backwards and forwards, knowing we’re forever spiralling in and out.

May you open to the full experience of now… to sensual pleasure, beauty and abundance, to the sheer the joy of now… blessed by all and knowing you are a blessing!

♡ Jo


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