The solstice arrives today, June 21st as the sun enters the sign of Cancer. The solstice occurs exactly (10:16am for West Coast) when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined toward the sun. Although the solstice is an instant in time, the whole day/week is usually celebrated in most cultures. In the northern hemisphere, the Summer solstice is the longest day of the year, marking the first day of Summer in some cultures, and a overall separation in seasons. In the plant world, Spring’s fresh new growth grounds itself in Summer’s seeming boundless energy, warmth, and abundance. Veggies planted in the Spring have firmly taken root, set fruit and are starting to ripen. Vines that have been planted young in the Spring, are tightly clinging to their trellis and in full bloom. And flowers that were spindly the past couple months, are full of hardy green growth and are blooming up a storm. This time of year, expresses nature’s rich abundance, fertility and fullness of life.
Historically this day is celebrated by festivals, big and small, all having to do with honoring the sun and nature. Check out solstice rituals and celebrations from across the world… here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
I am celebrating the Summer solstice by having a few friends over for a dinner, and forcing them to be a bit more pagan then they’d probably like to be. Incense, sage and cedar will be burning, food and flowers will be in abundance, and Champagne will inevitably be flowing. Hippy music might be playing faintly in the back ground. I’m planning on wow-ing them with my esoteric and slightly pseudoscientific Summer solstice facts, then having them join me in mandatory garden tours. Nothing like secretly pushing your agenda on your friends, while disguising it in yummy food and slight drunkenness.
What is your agenda, you ask?
In a nut shell, a little extra gratitude and amazement toward this seasonal change and in nature in general.
If it’s not your style to dance around naked honoring the sun, lay in the dirt and intention your ass off (this means make intentions, not intention your ass to be smaller, however it could be one in the same), or meditate with a crystal on every square inch of your body – then a simple nod of gratitude to this fabulous planet we live on will suffice.
Go outside, soak in the sun, and talk to a plant or ten… Happy Summer Solstice.
“Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.”
– William Shakespeare – Acknowledging the Magic of This Time…A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream