Southern Ill. Pagan Alliance celebrates Summer Solstice
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS. (KFVS) - Across the Heartland religious groups have suspending in-person gatherings due to the pandemic. After 18 months, the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance will come together to celebrate the Summer Solstice.
The Solstice, which is the longest day of the year, is celebrated by many religions and cultures around the world.
This year the Summer Solstice is on June 20. The Alliance will be hosting a Litha ritual at Shelter 4 in Giant City State Park at 2 p.m.
The gathering starts at 2 p.m.
Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance’s ritual will be following state and CDC guidelines.
The Alliance encourages carpooling and well behaved pets are welcome.
There will be a raffle, but there won’t be a potluck this celebration.
The event is free.
History of Litha
Litha is one of the eight sabbats celebrated during the year by many different pagan denominations.
For some Celts and Saxons, it is a celebration of the “battle between light and dark.” The Oak King and the Holly King battle for control each solstice. On Litha, the Holly King, who represents night, wins this battle until Yule. At Yule, daylight, the Oak King, takes over.
For some Wicca-based pagans, the holiday focuses on the God at his full power, and the Goddess bringing a greatest abundance of life. Often the Sun God’s Element of Fire is honored, but the Horned God of the forest and its wild animal life is also recognized.
In ancient times, Europeans lit bonfires and rolled burning wheels downhill into rivers. These wheels symbolized the sun setting, and the daylight becoming shorter.
For many modern day pagans, it is a day of inner power and brightness, rituals often include bonfires, and dancing.
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