Summer Solstice can sometimes feel like a very long time coming.
We know that this day has been revered for at least as long as there have been records kept – some of those in the form of stone monoliths – because of it’s enormous power to re-affirm life.
It’s the day on which we receive the greatest presence from our Sun, our life-giver: our true source of light, which is the ultimate source of all we can see manifested around us.
For our ancient earthly ancestors, this presence was real cause for celebration!
And in the same way that the arrival of the Full Moon signals our monthly opportunity to pause and give gratitude; the Summer Solstice brings a larger, more all-encompassing and solar-centric embodiment of this same principle.
The Summer Solstice is our signal to appreciate the fullness of life.
The days of winter release and retreat are a lifetime away. Spring’s budding and emergence and has worked its magic. And we have finally arrived in the centre of the season to submerge ourselves in the joy of what has unfolded around us!
Some of the cyclical, seasonal festivals are definitely more suited to ceremony and ritual than others, and of course some traditions demand it. But I’ve always felt that this one demands only a little more than our party heads! Too much seriousness and rule following can risk detracting from the raw, celebratory essence of the occasion. But, there is one particular focus that I like to bring to the Summer Solstice that can often be denied, or simply overlooked during other festivals, and that is the honouring of the Masculine.
Our Sun is the instigator of some of the most powerful and necessary divine masculine qualities that feature here on Earth, those such as assertion, courage, strength, provision, responsibility, clarity and focus.
We can easily forget the vitality of the divine masculine, as for so many thousands of years, its presence has been misused, and eventually almost lost, so that now it is mostly only the shadow qualities that remain within our experience. So rather than expressing those pure and divine aspects described above, we instead think of the masculine as dominating, competitive, controlling and manifesting as an unwelcome patriarchy.
But as much as we encourage and desire the current rise of the Divine Feminine in our co-created reality, so too the Divine Masculine is re-emerging! Let’s not allow this to slip through our net of awareness, and welcome his presence too!
The Summer Solstice is a wonderful opportunity to do this, as an integral part of your celebrations.
Here are a few suggestions of how to mark this midsummers day:
- Rise with the Sun, to honour the day in its entirety.
- Sun gaze. This should only be done at sunrise and at sunset, as the Earth’s atmosphere means that only rays of the lowest ultra-violet index are visible. Be very careful, and just gaze for a few seconds at a time, unless you are well practiced. Sun gazing is an ancient practice known to bring clarity and connection, and is believed to help de-calcify the pineal gland and reduce our dependence on food for energy. If you’re interested then seek out more information about this before leaping in! But for Solstice, it is a beautiful momentary practice to greet the longest day.
- Make a Solstice tea infusion. Fill a large glass jar with a lid (like a mason jar) with clean fresh water and a few handfuls of whichever edible herbs and flowers you would like to infuse. Gorgeous additions may be mint, lemon verbena, chamomile or hibiscus flowers. Add tea leaves or bags if you like too. Screw on the lid, and leave in the direct sunlight for 3 -5 hours, or until your infusion has reached the right strength for you. Your tea will contain wonderfully invigorating energetic codes, absorbed directly from the Sun. Add a little honey or slices of lemon, or ice if you prefer a cooler infusion, and enjoy!
- Write a gratitude list. What have you manifested so far this year? Spend some time re-visiting the past six months and bring into your consciousness all that you have to appreciate. Give gratitude to the Sun for being the ultimate life-giver and enabling your journey!
- Light a summer bonfire! By making this a symbol of our Sun, we’re reminded of its constancy and power. Invite your friends to dance around it with you, and recognise your movements as mirroring the movements that our Earth makes each year around this awesome celestial body.
- Invite your menfolk to join you in any ceremony or celebration you have. Circles are so often exclusively attended by (and aimed at) women, so break the gender divide! Allow them a glimpse of the ritual and its magic, and include them, by honouring their presence.
Summer Solstice is a marker, one of those pivot points around which we shape our journey, and it may need to take an entirely different form in your life. But I urge you to bring to the fore the intrinsically celebratory and appreciative quality of the day!
Wishing you a wonderful, bright, blessed midsummer,