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Words by WYLDE MOON staff writer
The term ‘solstice’ is often used throughout life, but what does it actually mean?
The word ‘solstice’ originates from the Latin words representing the sun (sol) and to stand (sistere). It refers to that certain time of the year when the sun (either setting or rising) appears to pause its movement along the horizon and occur twice a year.
The summer solstice typically falls on the longest day of the year, usually around June 21st and marks the official start of summer! For ancient communities, sunlight would have held great importance providing warmth for both the community and animals and aided in the vital role of growing their crops. This significant time of year has been marked by festivals and rituals for years throughout history and celebrated by all different cultures, It has also been traditionally referred to as midsummer throughout Europe which can be confusing as it is now mostly celebrated at the start of summer.
During the summer solstice, the Earth’s axis is tilted closest to the sun. Meaning, in the northern hemisphere the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. This day also marks the longest period of daylight and the shortest night of the year.
Why does it represent spiritually?
The Solstices represent the start of a new season, a fresh chapter of life, a turning point within the year. The Summer solstice represents a time of nourishment, reflecting how the sun provides us with both sustenance for crops and a journey from the depths of winter darkness to light during the long summer nights. Summer embodies a period of time when we experience a strong connection with not only our bodies but with the surrounding natural environment and Mother Nature. It’s a season of blooming flowers, ripe fruits, and abundant harvest. There’s a wealth of food, energy, and light all around for us to welcome into our lives.
It reminds us that our own inner light can inspire others and how like the sun and its nurturing presence, we too can nurture ourselves and others. Summer becomes a time to focus on self-improvement, to find meaning in our journey, rejuvenate your spirit and reconnect with ourselves and the earth.
How can you celebrate the Summer Solstice?
1. Watch the sun set/rise
Many people like to mark the occasion of the new season by watching the first and last light of the solstice, giving thanks to the light and all it is set to bring into our lives. You can do this anywhere, you don’t have to travel miles, your garden or window will work just fine.
The Summer Solstice brings the perfect time to reflect on the season that has just passed and to set ourselves goals for the upcoming cycle. Give thanks to what has been and look towards what we want to bring into our lives.
3. Immerse yourself in Mother Nature
Whether you find yourself basking in the sun, exploring the nearby fields, walking in the woodlands or paddling in water connecting with Mother Nature on this day can help you to feel that powerful, positive energy the solstice brings and absorbing it within yourself.
4. Light a bonfire
Bonfires are a significant part of ancient summer solstice traditions as they were once believed to ward of evil spirits. You can recreate this with a fire pit should you have one, invite friends round, play music, recite stories and perform the healing ritual of writing down your worries, anxieties and things you wish to let go of, then cast them into the fire. As you watch the flames consume these thoughts, you’ll witness them departing from you, allowing you to release their hold on your mind and spirit.
5. Create a summer alter/nature table
Alters can be a way of connection with your spirit and intuition whilst giving thanks to the solstice. Bring together everything you feel represents the summer season, fresh flowers, your favourite sun crystals like Citrine, Carnelian and Pyrite, artwork that represents the sun, seasonal herbs and veggies and your favourite candles. The colours yellow, orange gold and white are preferable for a summer solstice altar.
May you have a wonderful Summer Solstice and we hope this chapter is one filled with light and love for you in all aspects of your life.
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