As I sit here the day before Litha, I am contemplating the recipes that I’ll be making.  Some of them I’ll be doing as is, others I’ll be lightening up to fit into my new eating plan. What’s interesting to me is how I view Litha- a time to celebrate the light half of the year. It’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the year- where night is short. For me, it’s a celebration of astronomical significance and also a time to bring in the first harvests from springtime. Though I’ve had some harvests, these are my major things- potatoes, corn, peppers, etc. Luckily where I live has a year round growing time, but still I treasure this cycle when and where I can.

I’m also celebrating new life at this year’s solstice. My niece is due to arrive sometime next month in this world of ours and for that I give thanks. She’ll be a summer babe- one who loves all things warm and bright. That will be cherished as years go by and she gets older. She’s going to be a cutie and I’m hoping in some way, I’ll be able to share some of my knowledge with her, just like I do with my nephew.

My altar for Litha is bright as well– I have a bright yellow cloth covering the table itself with candles of various vibrant colours on it. I also place resin fruits and veggies in a basket on the altar reminding me of the growing season and the time of the first early harvests. I also pull out my daily tarot card and rune- giving me a moment to meditate on its meaning for me. This helps me to reconnect each day to what’s important- my sacred service to living life and to helping others. It also reminds me that Litha is a sun ritual.

Which brings me to my spells. I’ve prepared three spell castings that I’m going to work tomorrow. One is for my family- blessing and protection on this time of brightness and cheer. The second is for keeping me open to change- even if it means a change that I normally would ignore because it wouldn’t fit my preconceived plans of what should happen next in my life. The third one is a general spell for health in regards to the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill there is a huge tragedy, one that won’t go away in 5, 10, or even 15 years from now. It’s something that the earth herself can help fix, but only if we all pitch in to help. So, my spell is for that help to grow and come together to work towards that end.

My major recipe for Litha is also one I made for Italian day at work. It’s light, refreshing and takes advantage of the harvest going on currently.

Italian Veggie Salad

1 cup cucumbers, peeled, seeded, diced

1 cup tomatoes, seeded, diced

1 medium onion, peeled, diced

2 peppers (red & yellow), seeded, diced

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped fine

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine

4 ounces white balsamic vinegar

8 ounces extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp Splenda (or sugar)

1 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

(Optional– 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled)

Place first six ingredients in a large bowl that has a good tight cover that seals. Place 3-4 thick paper towels over the veggies, seal the bowl, then place upside down in the refrigerator. Every 2 hours, change the towels out for new ones. In a salad shaker, combine the remaining ingredients. Shake to combine. When ready, open bowl, remove towels, and pour dressing over veggies. Toss thoroughly to coat. Serves 10-12 people.