Seven Rituals to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
The Northern Hemisphere receives more daylight than any other day of the year on the summer solstice. This day marks the start of astronomical summer and the tipping point at which days start to become shorter and nights longer. Summer Solstice 2021 is Sunday, June 20, falling on Fathers Day this year, which is fitting as the sun also represents male energy (while the moon is female energy.)
The Summer Solstice is a time to reflect on the growth of the season. Seeds are planted in the Earth as well as the seeds of our souls. It's a time of cleansing and renewal, a time of Love and growth. This is the moment of our year when there is the most LIGHT available to us. In terms of consciousness, it is when we are the most present to ourselves and who we know ourselves to be (the Sun represents the "I am" consciousness.)
And just as the Solstice signifies the time when Mother Earth is at the fullness of her strength, fertility, and abundance, so we too can celebrate the strength in joining together, pollinate our spiritual consciousness through sharing, and do ceremonies of thanksgiving for the abundance in which we experience daily.
Creating a ceremony or celebration is a way for humans to give back to Creation some of the energy and blessings that we are always receiving. Mother Earth constantly provides all it's creatures a surface on which to place our feet, and the Sun's warmth provides the heat necessary for all living beings to prosper.
This has historically been a day when solar power is honored and revered, a day to connect to the Earth's abundance and magic, and to our own inner fire.
Seven rituals to celebrate Summer Solstice:
1) Take a sunbath. Meditate under the sun and connect with the revitalizing and reenergizing spirit of this sacred energy. Envision the suns' rays washing over you and blessing you, and the earth. Feel your feet on the grass, notice the smell of the soil or flowers, and the sound of the birds, the wind, the rustling trees. Send your own beams of gratitude back to this life-giving star known as the sun. Feel the sun's potent energy, intoxicating and vibrant, warm and fertile, an energetic big bang.
2) Celebrate by gathering plants and healing herbs as our ancestors did. It has been long believed that healing plants are at their most potent today. Five common Celtic sacred plants associated with Midsummer are St. John’s Wort, Vervain, Yarrow, Fern, and Mugwort.
3) Fire is the symbolic element that represents the sun, and abundance is celebrated at summer solstice. Set your intentions for abundance, and honor your inner fire with a fire ritual. Traditionally many cultures have celebrated summer solstice by lighting bonfires and dancing all night until the flames reduced to embers, finally jumping over the remaining coals to make their wishes for the months ahead. A more simple ritual can include lighting a candle, setting your wish or intention, and blowing it out (sound familiar? This is the root of birthday candles). If you are celebrating outside with a fire, throw in plants like sage, chamomile, mugwort, st. john’s wort or lavender.
4) Gather with others to create a circle or spiral. Exchange songs, stories, and poems with others. Dance, drum and celebrate.
5) Stand in the illumination of summer and ask what the light reveals. Create a Sun Wheel or mandala (a symbol of the circle of life and connectedness) made from flowers or things found in nature. Check out our Mandala page on Pinterest for inspiration!
6) Sage your home, and keep a sacred fire burning. You can create a big fire like a bonfire to celebrate with friends, but per the above, even a small fire, in the form of a candle or Altar of Light can be just as potent.
7) Watch the sunset. As the sun reaches it's peak for the year, and completes its cycle, we shift to moving back towards shorter days and longer nights. Honor your own cycle of growth and accomplishments as the sun sets on the solstice.
Do all of the above with an intention for something that you will do to improve life - bring light and love into this world in your own creative way and begin to carry it out.
Wishing you abundance and brightness this Summer Solstice!
Solstice image via @mysticmama.