Ah, Summer Solstice a time celebrated for centuries to mark the longest day of the year, a time where the light of day outlasts darkness. In the Northern Hemisphere this date falls on or around June 21st. The Solstice ushers in the official onset of Summer and is seen as a time to celebrate abundance, promise and easier times. Looking back on the resolutions of the New Year, Solstice is an excellent time to evaluate the progress you have made and to reaffirm your commitment to your long-range goals.
Summer solstice is a time of fulfillment and renewal. There are many ways to mark the occasion and celebrate. Spend time outdoors to connect with the energy of the Sun and Earth. You could plan an outdoor feast or celebration, even an evening bonfire to gather and share stories with friends.
Focus on healing by harvesting and using herbs and florals. In ancient times, it was believed that medicinal plants harvested during this time period held healing energies far greater than any other time of the year. Honor this tradition by focusing on creating home brews of herbal teas to enjoy, or using fresh herbs in cooking, craft or medicine. Turn it into a celebration by gathering with a group to engage in these activities.
Summer solstice is the ideal time to honor the Sun and the light and life it provides. Spend time in a sunny location doing meditation or yoga. This is a celebration that can be deeply personal or shared with friends. Poses like the Sun Salutation are a great way to honor the season and reconnect with nature and your spirit.
In ancient Chinese traditions, the summer solstice celebrates the feminine principles of yin. It is a time to focus on fertility, femininity and the Earth. Today, many modern Pagan traditions also view the solstice as an ideal time to focus on environmental issues and to raise awareness. Attend a local festival, art fair, or event dedicated to the celebration of the Earth. If nothing like this exists in your area, consider planning it, as many others would love to attend.
Picnics are another idea for bringing the celebration of Summer and the Solstice to those who may not ordinarily acknowledge it. Picnics are fun for people of all ages. Many parks provide excellent pavilions that can accommodate a larger group. Bring balls, a frisbee, jump ropes or games so that everyone can join in activities together. Have everyone bring a dish to share and make it a potluck event. Light a white candle and share a prayer of gratitude for the abundance of the season and for the longer days to enjoy the company of all who are gathered together.
Other ideas that allow you to honor the Earth and celebrate the season include planting trees, starting a community garden, or even a recycling drive. There are many ways to embrace and honor the Earth and seasons. The Solstices serve as a reminder of the beauty of the cycles of life.