It’s midsummer. Time of the summer solstice.
The word solstice comes from the Latin sol meaning “the sun” and sistere meaning “to make stand”. There are two solstices each year, summer and winter, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, giving us the longest and shortest days.
The summer solstice marks the longest day and shortest night of the year for us in the Northern Hemisphere. From here on the days get shorter.
Shakespeare wrote about the summer solstice in his play Midsummer Night’s Dream, writing that this is the night when fairies come out. It is the night when the veil between our world and the world of the fairies and nature spirits is thin. It is said that if you want to catch a glimpse of a fairy this is the best night. (Click here to learn how to have a happy fairy garden)
The ancient Celts were said to celebrate the solstices at the standing stones sites, like Stonehenge. Still today, hundreds gather at Stonehenge on the summer solstice to see the sun rise above the Heel Stone. You can watch the 2021 Stonehenge Summer Solstice Sunset here.
The summer solstice has long been associated with magic. In ancient times people would harvest wild herbs, plants and flowers at sunrise; making wreaths and garlands to hang on the front door to ward off evil. St. John’s Wort was a particularly magical herb on this day.
But does the summer solstice have any relevance in our lives today? I believe it does.
Summer Solstice and Self Care
Remembering to practice self-care can be challenging at times. Connecting a self-care check to an important date such as a solstice or equinox can increase your chances of actually doing it.
Take time on this solstice to evaluate how you are treating your body. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I eating healthy food?
- Are my emotions out of control?
- Do I drink enough water?
- Am I taking the proper supplements?
- Do I feel rested?
This simple check-in will help you to quickly identify areas that are out of balance in your life. The sooner you recognize the imbalances the sooner they can be corrected.
Summer Solstice Rituals
Get out in nature: Take advantage of the longest day and go for a walk.
Stay up all night: Watch the sun set and rise again. This shortest night is a time to celebrate the seasons and set intentions for the months to come.
Spend time with the flowers: Garden, buy flowers and arrange them in your home or explore a botanical garden.
Fire ritual: The sun is the symbol of the fire element of the solstice. Set your intentions with a fire ritual. Spend time around a bonfire. Burn plants like chamomile, mugwort, st. john’s wort or lavender for good health and calm. An indoor ritual can include lighting a candle, setting your wish or intention, and blowing it out.
Ground yourself with yoga or meditation: There’s strong sun energy brewing on the solstice, which can feel intense for some. Help ground yourself with meditative or yoga practices.
Ritual Bath: Solstice is a great time for a ritual bath. Light candles, fill your bath with salts, essential oils, bubbles or even flower petals.
You can choose a simple way to acknowledge the summer solstice or go for a more elaborate celebration, the choice is yours. Make this the year that you recognize the changing of seasons.