Summer Solstice

“Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Summer solstice: the longest day of the year, the pinnacle of the sun’s presence, and the kickoff to one of the most joyous seasons.  People have been marking the solstice for hundreds of years.  To those in tune with the earth, it’s a time to celebrate fertility, life, and renewal.  Even if you’re not the spiritual sort, there’s something about this day that fills you with energy and anticipation for the days to come.  Some see this as a shift in energy from yin to yang, a tipping point.

Maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe you’ve Tweeted “Happy summer solstice!” to your followers.  But what if you want to connect that little bit more?  Remember, you are “a spirit that vibes and creates energy on Earth, and that energy affects all of the people who come into contact with it.”  This year, on June 21st, maybe you want to do something different.  Here’s a few ideas:

  • Watch the sun rise.  Put some strong coffee or green tea (or mead) in a thermos, wrap up a few slices of solstice cake, and pick up a few friends; make your way to a peaceful spot with an unimpeded view of the sunrise (and be sure to check the weather the night before!).  Be joyful, but be respectful, too, of anyone else nearby who may wish to watch in peace.  Close your eyes and take in the dawning of a new day, a new season.
  • Be kind to the earth and its inhabitants.  People have come up with eco-friendly ways to celebrate the solstice.  Perhaps you can recruit others in your area to turn out the lights for an hour (or more!).  Work in a community garden.  Volunteer with a community for the homeless.  Some of us do these things anyway but it can’t hurt to harness the power and life force of this auspicious day.
  • Yin and yang.  Remember we talked about this earlier?  Yang energy flourishes at this time of year but it can also wipe you out: “Drink plenty of water or dive into a pool. Eat foods that have a coolness to them like mint, basil, and juicy fruits and vegetables. … The earth is also characterized by yin energy, and connecting yourself to it will help you feel balanced. Go barefoot, try your hand at gardening, or let your friends bury you in the sand.”
  • Ready your home.  Gold candles and sunflowers go a long way towards lighting up your home sweet home as the days slowly begin to wane.  Clear the corners of dust bunnies and throw out or recycle the objects that have been clinging on to you for too long.  While some spring clean, others may find the solstice more inspiring for a clutter overhaul.
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However you decide to welcome the summer solstice this year, do it with an open heart.  You never know what wonders may rush in!