Have you got any summer solstice rituals planned for Saturday? If not, read on for some ideas…
The darkness of the new moon combines with the light of the summer solstice this weekend, with an annular solar eclipse thrown in to boot! Now that’s what you call an energy portal!
Unfortunately, the eclipse won’t be visible in the UK but the energy-shifting power is still there and will be amplified by the other astrological events so it’s a great time to do some summer solstice rituals to harness the power of the sun before heading into some new moon intention setting the day after.
What is summer solstice?
With almost every culture in the world acknowledging or celebrating summer solstice and the fact that our ancestors have built many jaw-dropping structures to pay homage to the moment, it’s clearly a key event in our seasonal and spiritual cycles. But what does it really mean?
The word ‘solstice’ originates from the Latin words “sol” (meaning “sun”) and “stitium” (meaning “still or stopped”). They call it this because summer solstice happens at the point where the sun appears to stop moving and then reverses direction after this day.
In the northern hemisphere, summer solstice occurs when the North Pole reaches its maximum tilt towards the sun, giving us the longest day and shortest night of the year. It marks the official start of the astronomical summer.
The event always takes place between 20-22 June. 2020’s summer solstice will happen this weekend on Saturday 20 June. In the UK, the specific moment is at 22.43 but most people celebrate solstice at sunset and sunrise.
In the southern hemisphere, the dates of summer and winter solstices are the opposite of the northern hemisphere.
Summer solstice symbolic meanings
Magic and mystery abound at summer solstice. Our ancestors have celebrated it for thousands of years and it’s brimming with symbolism and folklore. Here are some of the common associations:
Bringing in the light
With it being the longest day of the year and when we get the most daylight, the summer solstice is a time to celebrate the light within ourselves and everyone else. Many believe we should bathe in it as much as possible and absorb its invigorating promises.
Fire, passion and drive
We are tilted as close as we can be to the sun and we’re soaking up all of its fiery, powerful energy. It feels good to be alive. Our favourite burning star is at the height of its power at solstice and its intense energy inspires action. We were hibernating during winter, awakening during spring and now our eyes are wide open as we move into the warming feel of summer.
The sun is, of course, a burning ball of gas so it’s a good time to pay attention to what sparks our energy and sets us alight.
Patience, slowing down and gratitude
Traditionally, summer solstice fell between the harvesting and planting of crops, so it gave farmers a chance to relax. That’s why the solstice is often associated with patiently waiting for the fruits of our labour to ripen. That’s why summer is often when people on holiday or relax. It’s also a time to pay gratitude to nature and be thankful for the growth and life it encourages.
Abundance, prosperity and fertility
All the intentions and seeds we planted in spring are about to come to fruition. Tap into the power of nature and reap the rewards of the seeds we sowed in spring.
Letting go and inviting in
The summer solstice is the gateway into the second half of 2020. It’s a peak time for manifestation and for using the light of the sun to attract what we want in our life. It’s the moment when light is most available to us and we should shine it on what we want to take with us (or not) into the rest of the year.
In times gone by, summer solstice was also referred to as ‘Midsummer’ and on its eve it was believed that the veil between this world and the next was extremely thin.
Summer solstice rituals
All over the world, people will welcome the start of summer by dancing, celebrating, visiting pagan places of worship and performing sacred rituals. If you’d like to join them, then why not do one of the following summer solstice rituals:
Watch the sunrise or sunset at an ancient memorial
Solstice is steeped in magical mystery and because of its pagan origins, there is no better place to celebrate it than at the iconic megalithic structure of Stonehenge in Avebury, Wiltshire.
Many believe that the famous stone circle was built to celebrate solstice because the rising sun only reaches the middle of the stones one day of the year when it shines on the central altar.
Unfortunately, due to coronavirus, Stonehenge is closed this year but you can watch the first ever live stream of the sunrise at Stonehenge on Sunday, June 21st at 04.52 (BST). Check out English Heritage’s Facebook page for more info.
What better way to go inwards and reflect than to immerse yourself in the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, drums and chimes. In the absence of in-person events, many people are hosting live online streaming this year. Just Google “Summer Solstice 2020 Online Sound Bath” to find some.
Do a meditation out in the sun, if possible. Be sure to focus on that all-important sunshine chakra, the solar plexus. Imagine breathing in glowing yellowy sunshine light and it filling your body, soothing away anything you don’t need and filling you with happiness and warmth.
Celebrate in nature
Watch a sunrise, watch a sunset or just take a stroll and connect with the nature around you. Make sure to appreciate that the sun helps keep us all growing, healthy and alive. It appears every day to do its job for us (even if we can’t see it) and we all too often take it for granted.
Or, create a sun wheel or a mandala from flowers, crystals or other things found in nature.
Hibiscus Moon has some great advice on summer solstice crystals.
Create a celebration altar
Pay respects to the iconic midsummer moment by creating your own summer solstice altar. Decorate it with sunflowers and yellow crystals such as citrine. Light a yellow candle and, as you light it, stare into the flame and dedicate it to your main intention for the second half of the year. For example, say, “On this summer solstice, I light this flame and dedicate it to achieving my goal of being kinder to myself and believing in my potential.”
At summer solstice, the sun has reached its peak before it starts the second cycle of the year. Reflect on where you have peaked during the last 6 months. Spend time writing about things that have brought you joy and filled you with energy and zest for life.
From this day onwards, the northern hemisphere will start to tilt away from the sun and the days will start to get shorter. We are beginning a new cycle so it’s a good time to think about what you want to release before going into this new phase.
Gather with others to sing songs.
Even better, sit around a fire while you do it. It’s a time of connecting to other people and appreciating life force energy.
Light a fire (safely of course!)
Fire is symbolic of cleansing. Burn things that no longer serve you. Look into the flames and be reminded of your connection to the fiery sun which helps gives us life here on earth. Think of the fire that burns inside you – what are you passionate about? What do you want to do more of?
And the easiest one of all…
Get out in the sun if you have the chance
Let its rays soak into your skin and charge you up for the second half of the year.
Happy Summer Solstice everyone! Do you have any summer solstice rituals you would add to the list?
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