Sure, the summer solstice is a lovely time to celebrating the sun and the wonderful growing and blooming that its light and warmth enables. Arguably, all eight pagan festivals – particularly the equinoxes and solstices – celebrate the sun in some way, reflecting some aspect of its journey through the year. However, just because x astronomical event is just so happening on y date on the calendar doesn’t mean that the sun will oblige and show much of itself on the day – particularly here in the south-west UK. Oh no, like not turning up for your own birthday party, I’ve felt anything but summery on many a gloomy grey summer solstice! So when we do genuinely have a long sunny stint, such as this current heatwave, where bright solar energy is very much strong and abundant, it feels only right to me to slip in another little celebration. For us Brits, having moaned about the long cold winter and moaned about the rain, it is in our nature to now moan about how hot it is. However, I see this as a lovely opportunity to go with what our bodies and minds are begging of us in this heat. Sure, many still have to go to work, chase toddlers around or go out to buy food however much we don’t really feel like peeling ourselves of a reclining chair. Yet perhaps we can cave – a little – into that urge to slow down, rest, put what we can on hold (I just can’t bring myself to do the vacuuming in this heat which means that the house may be a bit dusty, but my argument is that if we’re spending most of our time outside, it doesn’t matter, right?!). And eat a little ice-cream.
It doesn’t always feel so pleasant being sticky with sweat or cranky with evaporated energy. It can feel like a pain to keep the plants adequately watered and coax yourself to do your work, be it office-based or outdoors. I still think the sun deserves a little thanks though. Thanks for giving the seedlings a growth spurt, thanks for making life easier by drying the laundry in a few short hours, thanks for, thanks for just making the right vibe for people to sit about in parks and gardens enjoying each others’ company outdoors.
How to celebrate?
- i love to spend a few minutes consciously enjoying the sun; really feeling its warmth on my skin, looking around to see its light, shadows, effects on the plants etc, stretching my arms up towards it and lifting up my heart chakra to it
- foods that represent the sun to me, like we do on the solstice. Oranges, apricots, peaches, carrots, fried egg (that’s a list of ideas, not a recipe!!)
- sun salutations! (yoga)
- I don’t often wear gold jewellery, or anything yellow, but I have a couple of things I save for times when I want to connect with, or celebrate, the sun
- decorating our sacred shelf
- creating something…like a simple mandala ♥