For me, the summer solstice represents:
- Strength (the strength of the sun being at its highest point)
- Happiness and physical health (both being quite “solar” things for me. The sun and the land are strong, vibrant and bursting with energy right now. As we are part of nature, I see that this is a good time to attend to those aspects of ourselves.
- Abundance – of daylight, of crops. of warmth, of colour, of projects, of creative energy, of power, of so, so much right now. Celebrate and enjoy!
- Celebration – of all this abundance, of everything at its peak, of our own creativity and, well,our very being. I see this as a time for standing as and individual or community, looking at all the “crops” before you – be they agricultural or metaphorical – and celebrating. Celebrating your work, attention, energy and resources that you’ve put in to make and nurture what you see. To celebrate its strength, beauty and almost-ripeness before the harvest time arrives. This is party time!
- Honey – in celebration of the bees and all the hard work they’re doing at the moment! I saw an interesting idea the other day to make a bee bath for them in hot weather – just marbles in a shallow dish filled with water. It could also be a lovely gift to the earth to plant bee-friendly plants.
- Seasonal food – salads, early soft fruit and peas and beans, herbs, elderflower.
- The round, pregnant belly of the goddess, not quite ready to give birth, not quite at that super-exhausted time that the third trimester brings. I see this celebration as her blessingway, where her friends gather to celebrate the life created and nurtured inside her that will soon be birthed.
- Fullness – those growing food are busy, busy, busy at this time. I feel the general energy too to be full; the headiness from the heat, the long days, the parties and gatherings, the strength of the sun. I wrote more about this – and counterbalancing it – last midsummer, here and here.
- Fatherhood – The prime of life, creativity, productiveness and the support that is needed for that to happen.
- Masculine energy – although I don’t believe that the sun has to be masculine (and the moon feminine), that’s how I connect with them in my spiritual perspective and practice.
- Preparation to let go – to let go of the sun and its warmth. light and the fertility of the land. Of those ideas, projects, creations and adventures nearly ripe and ready for the world The words “enjoy it while it’s here” come to mind, for the cycle continues and the time of turning inward and indoors will soon come round.
Tonight, I’ll gather things together for our family altar space and bake a honey cake to share tomorrow with neighbours and friends. I’m having a day to myself to enjoy some child-free outdoors time walking or meditating in the morning, honouring my health through some yoga, and then honouring my creativity through some craft time (probably beeswax candlemaking) in the afternoon. I may get up for sunrise: I’d like to but if it just clashes with the needs of my family then I feel it’s lovely enough to give a special greeting to the sun whenever I do wake up. (And if I have to ply myself with lots of caffeine that kind of loses the magical headspace for me). There’ll be a simple ritual in there somewhere and, in the evening, I’ll share celebrations with my husband and son – with yummy food and maybe a fire.
Happy solstice ♥
At the top is the sunburst I made today, inspired by The Crafty Crow (http://www.thecraftycrow.net/summer_solstice/) – loved the quite meditative experience of the weaving.