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Life got in the way of Litha this year…

I went back to work this week, which has been a much needed financial blessing (or I should say that it will be in about two weeks).  Since moving back to Virginia, we’ve been in that precarious position of either being able to pay all of the bills but not groceries and gas or to pay for rent, car and food, and let the rest be late…which only ever gets us further behind for the next payday.  Thanks mostly to the help of family and friends (and a timely assignment of night shift and overtime for the hubby), the fridge has stayed stocked, we now have a furnished apartment and we aren’t more than a week or two late on one or two bills at this point (and we *should* be back to normal and restocking the fiscal reserves by the middle of August, I hope).

Add the financial discomfort to my health problems (and lets not even think about the expense of two trips to the ER, for which I’ve only gotten one bill so far), and its fair to say that we’ve had a rough few months!

But whining over being broke (and being thankful for the help and luck that has kept us afloat) wasn’t really the point of this post… particularly when there are far more people in the world in far more dire circumstances.   The point was (or was going to be, before I started off on a tangent) that my new job, while fun and interesting, is also hot, sweaty and tiring (its mostly outside or inside a giant, historical, battleship without AC).  And that, like many Pagans, I worked on the holiday.

Sometimes life gets in the way of religious observations…but luckily, we are affiliated with a religion where that is perfectly acceptable!

In our family, we celebrate The Longest Day as a celebration of Summer and the height of solar power.  This puts solstice celebration as a daytime event in our family.  And usually, its an all day, daytime event…that happens outdoors.

I’m sure you can imagine my horror upon looking out my window and seeing nothing but cloudy and gray, ready-to-rain skies on my day off.

Okay, so maybe horror is a bit melodramatic…but it does alter the plans for the day a bit.

Part of our normal routine is making sand candles (and other candles), which we then use for Yule–bringing some of the Light from The Longest Day to The Longest Night.  We also try to do some cooking magic with a solar oven and we make Road Trip Ice Cream (which we color yellow, of course).  We also do a number of solar crafts (including my favorite, sun prints) to decorate the altar and house with and we tell the Litha story of the Sabbat Fairys (one of these days I’ll get around to typing in out an posting it, along with the other ones).  At the end of the day, we usually hold a family ritual thanking the sun, and eating our new favorite holiday treat, Sun Cake.

I’m not sure what all we will get to do today…but either way I’m sure it will be a long day (just not the longest).

Links for (Late) Litha:
About the Solstice (article)
Traditions for Litha (article)
Magic for Litha (article)
More about Litha
Pierced Sun Catcher (craft)
Woven Sun Disk (craft)
Solar Oven Sun (project)
Sun Medallion (from Disney’s Tangled) (craft)
Sun Catcher (craft)
Harvey Wallbanger Cake from scratch (recipe)
Litha Recipes