The summer solstice is the day on the calendar with the most daylight for those in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is the longest day of the year. This year is really special because the summer solstice is on 20/06, coinciding with the June full moon, known as the strawberry moon, and it is a “once in a generation” event. The days begin to shrink by seconds each day from Tuesday 21/06/2016, until the winter solstice. For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice is a time of celebration, of honouring the light, our connection to the sun and the earth.
The sun is our source of energy and light. Our ancestors have long considered the sun as the symbol of our existence. Modern society tends to overlook this fact, and perhaps takes for granted the magnificent power of the sun. Throughout the ages, across various places, cultures, and faiths, sun worship is registered in numerous places, and some of the greatest structures ever built (such as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid) have been built in alignment to the sun’s movements. Since ancient times, people gathered to honour and celebrate the sun during the solstice and equinox with special ceremonies and rituals. There are lots of variations on the rituals to celebrate this date; and to mark the turning of the wheel of the year, some rituals involve burning a yule wreath in a bonfire, dancing, singing, and praying. It can be a spontaneous act or a formal one, the most important thing is to attune people to nature, and welcome the season in order to renewal our soul and invite positivity to our lives.
Summer solstice marks the official start of the season. The solstices and equinoxes are astronomical events, and the most important thing to remember about an equinox or solstice is that they mark the beginning of a new season. At the summer solstice the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, while at the winter solstice it descends to its lowest point. The spring and autumn equinox’s mark the mid points in the sun’s movement between the two solstices. Every year has two equinox points (Spring and Autumn.) and two solstice points (Summer and Winter). Even though most people consider June 21 as the date of the June solstice, depending on the time zone, it can happen anytime between June 20 and June 22. The word solstice comes from the Latin: ‘solstitium’ that means “sun-stopping”. The point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set, stops and reverses direction after this day. The journey of the sun is represented by the twelve months of the year as the length of its life. The twelve signs of the zodiac marks the astronomical events during the sun’s seasonal movement in the sky each year. The coming of the sun is always hailed with joy; the time of its departure is viewed as a period to be set aside for introspection. Astrologically, the summer solstice usually occur on June 21st, coinciding with the start of the cardinal of cancer, when solar light is radiant and the feminine exuberance is everywhere. Cancer is a zodiac sign that is associated with the water element, representing deep emotions, family and nurturing. It’s a high spirited time. When fall arrives, the sun enters into the house of virgo, where its rays are shorter and it becomes weaker.
Stonehenge is one of the most famous sites for rituals for the summer solstice since ancient times. The way that the stones are positioned is said to be aligned with sunrises on the two annual solstices. This is a time of intensity, renewal and great potential. Many of us go on holiday during summer; and no matter what we do, summer is such a magical time of celebration. We live in a universe of spiritual, psychic, and physical energy. The energy coming from the sun feeds all living things, and by honouring the solstice, we are able to transform this universal energy into inner light. I believe that we can create activities that teach respect for, and connection with the sun’s great energy, and align ourselves with those powers in a very meaningful way.
The sun is assigned to the highest of the Gods and became symbolic of the supreme authority of the Creator Himself. Take the powers and principles of the sun into consideration when seeking fulfilment for your life. The summer solstice represents more than the beginning of summer. It’s the time of fulfilment. Use this opportunity to remind yourself how precious this season is, and create your own ritual in order to welcome light into your life, reinvigorate your goals, and improve yourself. Honour the sun, celebrate life, and during the summer solstice, remember that you have an inner light, a special glow that no one else has.