The Power of Solstice Time
We are about to celebrate the Solstice Winter or Summer, depending which hemisphere you live in. A winter solstice occurs twice a year, once in December in the Northern Hemisphere (also called December solstice and Midwinter) and once in June in the Southern Hemisphere (also called June solstice).
The winter solstice marks the end of autumn and the beginning of winter in the hemisphere where it occurs and is one of four days (two equinoxes and two solstices) throughout the year on which a new season starts. The other days are the vernal equinox (also called spring equinox, beginning of spring), the summer solstice (beginning of summer) and the autumnal equinox (also called fall equinox, beginning of autumn).
For myself and my clients living in the Northern Hemisphere, we are near the Winter Solstice and my lucky clients living in the Southern Hemisphere it’s time for the Summer Solstice. I am not a fan of winter and enjoy the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.
A winter solstice is the moment in time when the Earth's tilt away from the Sun is at its maximum and the Sun's maximum elevation in the sky is at its lowest. In the Northern Hemisphere the day of the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year (the day with the least daylight and the longest night) and occurs every year between December 20 and December 23. While the winter solstice occurs at the same moment in time all over the world, the date and local time differ from place to place depending on the year and a location's time zone.
The history books across different civilizations to see where worshiping the Sun or performing Sun rituals played a major role.
Many ancient cultures had a deep understanding of astronomy and spirituality. Take my favorite time and place, Ancient Egypt for example, they viewed a divine connection between the winter solstice and creation itself. As such, they built the Karnak Temple Complex (the largest of its kind in the world), which allows for a spectacular alignment at sunrise on the winter solstice. Of course, it’s not the only one of its kind.
Temples in Ireland that existed thousands of years before the birth of Jesus have been built in such a manner that during the winter solstice, the sunrise lines up perfectly with a crucifix built into the inner chamber. The Pagans often celebrated the winter solstice as it marked the turning of the tides and the beginning of the slow road to summer. Even within Christianity we have nods to the winter solstice spiritual meaning. Jesus himself was born during the time of the winter solstice. The son (or sun) of God who would herald in a new age. It’s speculated that most religions have events that match up with events involving the sun which is why there is often spiritual meaning of summer solstice or winter solstice events.
Solstice of Earlier Cultures
Cultures around the world have long held feasts and celebrated holidays around the winter solstice. Fire and light are traditional symbols of celebrations held on the darkest day of the year.
Winter Solstice over time and cultures have had different names.
In ancient Roman times, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful, and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a week, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the fun. Also, around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome.
In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, on December 25. Mithra was an ancient Persian god of light. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year. In the later Roman Empire, Mithra blended with Sol Invictus, god of the “unconquered sun.”
Some theorists believe the early Roman Catholic Church may have chosen the same date for Christmas in order to supplant pagan rituals, though many Christian scholars dispute this.
Yule: The ancient Norsemen of Scandinavia celebrated Yule from the winter solstice through January.
In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which became known as Yule logs. They would set one end of these logs on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days.
The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new piglet or calf that would be born during the coming year.
The Inca Empire celebrated Inti Raymi when they payed homage to the sun god Inti at a winter solstice celebration called Inti Raymi (Quechua for “sun festival”). In Peru, like the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, the winter solstice takes place in June.
The Incas fasted for three days before the solstice. Before dawn on the day of solstice, they went to a ceremonial plaza and waited for the sunrise. When it appeared, they crouched down before it, offering golden cups of chicha (a sacred beer made from fermented corn). Animals—including llamas—were sacrificed during the ceremony, and the Incas used a mirror to focus the sun’s rays and kindle a fire.
After the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in the 1500s, the Spaniards banned the Inti Raymi holiday. It was revived in the 20th century (with mock sacrifices) and continues today.
St. Lucia’s Day: This traditional festival of lights in Scandinavia honors St. Lucia, one of the earliest Christian martyrs. It was incorporated with earlier Norse solstice traditions after many Norsemen converted to Christianity around 1000 A.D.
As a symbol of light, Lucia and her feast day blended naturally with solstice traditions such as lighting fires to scare away spirits during the longest, darkest night of the year.
On St. Lucia’s day, girls in Scandinavia wear white dresses with red sashes and wreaths of candles on their heads, as an homage to the candles Lucia wore on her head to light her way as she visited imprisoned Christians, carrying forbidden food in her arms.
Dong Zhi: The Chinese celebration of the winter solstice, Dong Zhi (which means “Winter Arrives”) welcomes the return of longer days and the corresponding increase in positive energy in the year to come.
The celebration may have begun as a harvest festival, when farmers and fisherman took time off to celebrate with their families. Today, it remains an occasion for families to join to celebrate the year that has passed and share good wishes for the year to come.
The most traditional food for this celebration in southern China is the glutinous rice balls known as tang yuan, often brightly colored and cooked in sweet or savory broth. Northern Chinese enjoy plain or meat-stuffed dumplings, a particularly warming and nourishing food for a midwinter celebration.
Toji: In Japan, the winter solstice is less a festival than a traditional practice centered on starting the new year with health and good luck. It’s a particularly sacred time of the year for farmers, who welcome the return of a sun that will nurture their crops after the long, cold winter.
People light bonfires to encourage the sun’s return; huge bonfires burn on Mount Fuji each December 22.
A widespread practice during the winter solstice is to take warm baths scented with yuzu, a citrus fruit, which is said to ward off colds and foster good health. Many public baths and hot springs throw yuzu in the water during the winter solstice.
Many Japanese people also eat kabocha squash—known in the United States as Japanese pumpkin—on the solstice, as it is also thought to bring luck.
Shab-e Yalda: “Yalda night” is an Iranian festival celebrating the longest and darkest night of the year. The celebration springs out of ancient Zoroastrian traditions and customs intended to protect people from evil spirits during the long night.
On Shab-e Yalda, (which translates to “Night of Birth”), Iranians all over the world celebrate the triumph of the sun god Mithra over darkness. According to tradition, people gather together to protect each other from evil, burn fires to light their way through the darkness, and perform charitable acts.
Friends and family join in making wishes, feasting on nuts, pomegranates, and other festive foods, and reading poetry, especially the work of 14th-century Persian poet Hafiz. Some stay awake all night to rejoice in the moment when the sun rises, banishing evil and announcing the arrival of goodness.
Native American Traditions: For the Zuni, one of the Native American Pueblo peoples in western New Mexico, the winter solstice signifies the beginning of the year. It’s marked with a ceremonial dance called Shalako.
After fasting, prayer and observing the rising and setting of the sun for several days before the solstice, the Pekwin, or “Sun Priest” traditionally announces the exact moment of itiwanna, the rebirth of the sun, with a long, mournful call.
With that signal, the rejoicing and dancing begin, as 12 kachina clowns in elaborate masks dance along with the Shalako themselves—12-foot-high effigies with bird heads, seen as messengers from the gods. After four days of dancing, new dancers are chosen for the following year, and the yearly cycle begins again.
Like the Zuni, the Hopi in Northern Arizona celebrate the winter solstice with a similar ritual. In the Hopi solstice celebration of Soyal, the Sun Chief takes on the duties of the Zuni Pekwin, announcing the setting of the sun on the solstice. An all-night ceremony then begins, including kindling fires, dancing and sometimes gift-giving.
Traditionally, the Hopi sun-watcher was not only important to the winter solstice tradition, as his observation of the sun also governed the planting of crops and the observance of Hopi ceremonies and rituals all year long.
The Phenomena of Solstices
A solstice is an astronomical event that happens two times in a year -- once at the beginning of winter and again at the start of summer. During a solstice, the Sun will reach its highest or lowest point relative to the celestial equator. The celestial equator is a fancy term for the giant imaginary circle that's on the same plane as our equator. The literal meaning of Solstice is "Sun stands still," and that's exactly what appears to happen during a solstice at a point from our perspective here on Earth.
The Importance of Shortest Day Or Winter Solstice The Winter Solstice occurs when the Sun appears to stand still at the southernmost point of the equator (the Tropic of Capricorn) and then slowly begins to move northwards again. Astrologically, it begins the start of the Cardinal zodiac sign Capricorn. If we see it from a spiritual perspective, the Winter Solstice is about celebrating the rebirth of life in all forms. From here, the days begin to get longer, and the Sun will shine brighter. Thus, it symbolises faith, hope and positivity. Winter Solstice Spiritual Meaning
Hope is the major word associated with the spiritual meaning at the winter solstice. Even though we understand how the solar cycles work and have a greater understanding of the ancient civilizations that viewed winter as potentially never ending, we still have hope that the darkness will end, and the light will begin. On a spiritual level this also works as a metaphor for life. In life we often must accept the darkness, whether it be darkness within ourselves, friends, family or just the world in general. Even though we have to accept this darkness we always hold onto the hope that one way or another the light will shine once again.
Solstice light and Darkness
From a spiritual standpoint, it can be incredibly beneficial to keep a mood journal of all your positive and happy days around the time of the summer because they work like an anchor during the long, cold winter nights, When the nights are long and the sunlight is cold, you often need help to embrace the winter solstice spiritual meaning. By having a journal to look back on, you can mentally relive those days around the summer solstice and reignite the energy you received. It also allows you to have hope if you didn’t already as you know what lies around the corner and you don’t have to worry that the winter might never come to an end. Darkness doesn’t have to be scary; it can be tranquil and peaceful. Make use of this to meditate.
The Winter Solstice or the shortest day (21st December) creates significant astrological influence on human life.
Solstices Are Related to Cardinal Signs
It should be noted that it's not an accident that the zodiac signs related to the equinoxes and solstices are all Cardinal signs. Cardinal signs begin each season and are associated with qualities of initiative. Be it an equinox or solstice, we celebrate the start of something altogether new. Each season has a specific and essential job that we rely on for our very existence.
The light of the Sun begins a new solar cycle at Winter Solstice. The rays shine into the dark and nurture the newborn life there to be cultivated.
In winter everything lies dormant in the silent earth, it is a sacred time of rest and reflection before the awakening and the slow build toward brighter days.
The energy of winter is that of going within. It's the darkness and silence out of which our soul's yearnings and new inspirations can emerge. As we consciously link our awareness to nature's cycles, our understanding of our own personal growth cycles begins to deepen.
We fear our own darkness and spend so much time suppressing and hiding it. When negative emotions come up and we feel them, they're inconvenient, uncomfortable, or worse, we make ourselves wrong for feeling them. When we fear our own darkness, we cut ourselves off from an essential source of our own personal power. It is better to preventing the darkness overwhelm our lives and our thoughts and to understanding that darkness can be one of the greatest catalysts for personal growth, transformation and even our way to enlightenment.
When we let ourselves feel our emotions and experience our own darkness, the darkness itself can become the spiritual cradle into which our inner light and new life is born.
Allow your feelings to guide you because your feelings are your truth.
So, you can view the Winter Solstice is the great stillness before the Sun's strength builds, and days grow longer. It can be a time to rest and reflect.
In Latin, solstice is made of two words: sol– meaning “the sun” and sistere meaning “to make stand.” Winter Solstice is one the most powerful points of the year as the axis of the Earth pauses, shifts and moves in the opposite direction. For three days around the solstice points we experience the power of the standstill point and the shift of direction. The sun standing still is a powerful metaphor for the energy available to us at the Winter Solstice to change the direction of our lives with intention and build on this energy as we enter the new year. After experiencing the longest night and darkest day, the nights grow shorter and the days grow brighter until the Summer Solstice.
Take this time to rest in the peace and silence of darkness, knowing the changing of the season, and the return of brighter days is ahead. Spend time in your column of light and be reminded that you are always connected to Source, and your inner light never dims.
You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year.
Whatever you choose to do to mark the end of the year, the coming of the new, and the rebirth of the light— whether pausing in quiet reflection, or celebrating with community, know that all over our planet, there are many fires burning brightly!
Ritual Acts Give Life Meaning
The longest night of the year is honored by many traditions as a sacred and rich time. Regardless of your holiday traditions, this time of year can be honored by reflecting on the past year and participating in your own personal ritual of light or Ending & Beginnings. When we make time to acknowledge the gifts of Spirit, we cultivate a greater capacity to receive our own inner light. By enacting a personal ritual, you can celebrate the dark and the light and invite balance and harmony into your life!
Ritual acts give life meaning. They also honor and acknowledge the unseen web of Life that connects us all. When we honor our personal cycles and the seasons of the year— we are reminded of the ever-changing flow of life that we are connected to.
It is suggested to take time 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the precise moment of the Solstice to open to the intelligence of nature all around you and to acknowledge your personal growth cycle. A simple ritual act done with intention in your heart is enough.
Since this time of year is associated with light — celebrate with string lights, sparklers and candles. Join in the Jewish tradition of the Festival of Lights, with 8 days of ritual illumination or participate in a community bonfire and burn your own Yule log, a tradition with roots in Northern European pre-Christian times.
Light celebrations can be reminders of our inner light, and the Divine Light that guides our way in times of darkness.
Fire Ceremony for Release & Rebirth
The winter solstice can be about looking inward and getting rid of the past you don't need to hold onto. Mystic Mamma suggests making a fire (outside or in a fireplace!) and gathering with loved ones (you can obviously do this alone, too). Grab a piece of paper, write down the things you want to let go of, then toss the paper into the fire as a symbol of release.
You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year.
Make an offering that represents the past and give it to the Spirit of Fire as a completion. Then spend a bit of time dreaming and visioning to bring into focus what you would like to experience and bring into being in the coming year.
This can be done as a personal ceremony or with a group. Begin by giving out small pieces of paper and pencils so each can write down what they want to release.
When all have written down what they wish to release, all can gather around a fire, and each can in turn come to the fire and throw their paper in.
After all have gone, you may want to end the ritual by going around the circle and each person sharing something they are grateful for, or you may want to make some celebratory noise by banging on drums, shaking noise makers, and using your voice to send your prayers off into the Universe with a celebratory song!
Winter Solstice Ritual
Fill up a bath with warm (not hot) water and light some candles or incense around the bath.
Next, you want to add cleansing herbs to the bath such as sage, chamomile, basil, peppermint, cinnamon, sandalwood, lavender or rosemary. You can add them dried, fresh or as essential oils.
As you sink into the warm water, imagine yourself being purified and cleansed from your feet all the way up to your head. Allow yourself to relax into the water and imagine all the old and unnecessary thoughts and feelings being washed away by the energy of the night.
Honor your shadow self and offer your fears to the Mother Moon. Allow her to give you the power to re-birth them
After the ritual, drain the tub water out completely and discard the herbs outside in the moonlight.
We are all connected to the Universe, the Sun, the Moon and Mother Earth, so no matter what ritual you choose to do on the Solstice, why not spend a few moments feeling and honoring this Divine connection.
Solstices are important and ritualistic days that were designed to celebrate the changing of the seasons and a new energy.
THE POWER OF THE SOLSTICE AND THE ENERGIES OF XMAS
In the 365-day journey of our planet around the sun, there are times of power which are celebrated in some form throughout all world religions, past, and present. The planetary year is quartered by four such major points of power, two of which are the autumnal and vernal equinoxes (fall and spring) which take place each year around the time of March 23 and September 23. These are the times in the year when the magnetic power of the moon is at its strongest as evidenced by the high tides which happen at these times. The pull of the moon is so powerful that it draws all liquids on earth towards itself and, when this pull is at its strongest, the evidence of this attraction can be most easily registered and even plotted in advance.
The two other major power points of the year are the solstices, which are the times of the celebration of the maximum incoming power of the sun. We now approach the time of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The increased effects of the pull of the magnetic power of the moon at the time of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes are easy to see because this power manifests more obviously in the physical worlds in ways that can be measured, such as in the rise and fall of the tides. The effects caused by the increase of the powers of the incoming energies of the sun at the time of the solstices tend to be more subtle. Thus, at the time of the Winter Solstice we see many celebrations taking place which were originally based in understandings of the heightened potency of the energy worlds at this time.
The effect of the increase in the incoming energies of the sun causes an increase in power of the energy worlds of the planet. This, in turn, causes increased energetic radiation within and around all forms of life.
Winter solstice healing practices:
1. Give thanks for the sheltering night
Meditate on the blessings of restful darkness when the busy daytime work is done. Reflect on the amazing spiritual gift of being able to restore your strength and energy whenever you need to. You can create light whenever and wherever you need it. Embrace the quiet, the calm, and the peace you have been given.
Send forth prayers for all who need rest, including yourself, and give thanks for the wisdom to recognize your need to reach out for loving assistance from the Source of All Being.
2. Reflect on the need to let go
At the winter solstice, the sun changes course and begins to move in a new direction. It’s a perfect time to think about the course of your life and decide if you, too, are ready to change direction. With the return of the sun and the longer days to come, what will you do with your “new light”?
Use your journal to reflect on ways you might deeply long to change course.
What would you do with a new chance to reinvent your life?
Do you need to let go of negative thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back?
Let go of fear and let feelings of love and gratitude rise and refresh your spirit.
3. Imagine ways to re-engage
The return of the light that follows the winter solstice has long been a time of awakening for higher consciousness. The growth of your inner light reflects the growing return of sunlight to a world in need of healing energy. The time is right for you to nurture your spiritual practice, to diminish your personal darkness and increase your light.
How will you move forward in the months ahead?
How will you contribute to your own healing and thereby help to heal the world?
Honor the solstice by spreading light to others who are in need.
4. Remember the natural world
What’s going on outside as winter begins?
Find time to observe the night sky and study the wonder of the stars in the cold, clear air. Look for bird and animal visitors to your yard and neighborhood. They may be looking for shelter and sustenance that you can help provide. Notice how the trees and plants adapt to a new season. Like them, you are connected to the cosmos.
Can you restore that feeling of connection by getting outside for a while each day?
5. Cultivate joy
From ancient times, the winter solstice has been a time of celebration. The dark that has been building will now retreat. Light begins its return with all the gifts that longer daytime brings—warmth, color, and the power to grow! The year-end gathering of friends and family, the food and drink, the music, and the traditions are all part of the seasonal longing to celebrate happiness and community. Taking good care of your spirit is part of the healing promise of a new season.
You can make your winter solstice a turning point and a time of renewal. Use these spiritual practices to shine your light of love and peace into the world!
Winter Solstice Meditation with Archangel Michael
Sit in complete darkness, and call upon Archangel Michael as you light a white, blue or black candle. Immerse yourself with Michael's rays of indigo blue and purple light. Feel his strength and powerful protection envelope you. With the candle as the only outer light source (or if you are outside, the moonlight), sit in quiet meditation and go completely within yourself. Relax your entire body and envision walking down a deep, dark tunnel. Take time with this. Do not be afraid, feel yourself as safe, protected, and at peace with Archangel Michael right there with you. Submerge yourself entirely in this tunnel of darkness, fully embracing this deep, dark space. Slowly walk through it. As you walk, reflect upon anything that you need to know or plan for your life this winter. Ask Archangel Michael to assist you with this. What is it you need to complete as well as materialize before the next cycle of beginnings? Keep walking in your mind, with Archangel Michael by your side. until you see a little flicker of light far, far away. As you walk slowly towards this light, you feel relieved knowing that you will achieve all your plans. After this, write down anything that you saw and experienced on this walk, including any thoughts, memories, feelings or ideas that might have popped up along the way. If you have a tarot deck, separate the major arcana cards and lay them out in front of you, face down. Ask Archangel Michael to assist you in choosing a card that gives you personal meaning to reflect upon this winter solstice. Once you have chosen a card intuitively, is meaning will represent your archetypal theme to work with and reflect upon during the next few winter months.
To my clients in the Southern Hemisphere, you are celebrating the summer solstice. This is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight. Within the Arctic circle (for the northern hemisphere) or Antarctic circle (for the southern hemisphere), there is continuous daylight around the summer solstice. On the summer solstice, Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°. Likewise, the Sun's declination from the celestial equator is 23.44°.
Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere.
Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures and has been marked by festivals and rituals. Traditionally, in many temperate regions (especially Europe), the summer solstice is seen as the middle of summer and referred to as "midsummer". Today, however, in some countries and calendars it is seen as the beginning of summer.
Since humans began using the Sun as a timekeeper, particularly when it came to the cycle in farming, the summer solstice has been marked with varying degrees of importance.
Perhaps most famously, the ancient monument Stonehenge has for some time been the centre of a ritual celebration. This comes from the fact the stones are lined up to frame the rising of the Sun on the solstice, perhaps suggesting a connection to the day and as a celebration of Sun. However, it isn’t clear if marking summer solstice was indeed its purpose. The stones also mark the position of sunset on the winter solstice, and so may instead indicate a place to request the return of the summer months.
In any case, many modern-day religions gather at the site to mark the occasion: it is also one of the rare times visitors are allowed to walk right up to the stones themselves.
Elsewhere around the world, celebrations range from the biannual appearance of the feathered serpent shadow on the pyramid at Chichén Itzá in Mexico to a range of floral-themed events in countries like Sweden and Latvia.
In the southern hemisphere, where the summer solstice occurs in December, the day is instead strongly associated with Christmas, having once been the day of its celebration until various calendar changes shifted the dates apart.
This is the day of the year where the sun is at the highest point over the Equator, so the farthest north. Energetically, there is an opening up, like a portal of positive celestial potential. Many ancient cultures such as the Mayans, Essenes, Druids and Egyptians, who understood the spiritual significance of this natural event, built temples or structures that captured the divine moment of alignment, and there they would participate in sacred ceremonies. An example of this is the head of the Sphinx at the Great Pyramids of Egypt, is crowned by the sun of the summer solstice. The powerful, revered sun brings in a plethora of intense, high energy light and warmth, which is also symbolic of the light of God, or the Creator. Pure life force energy. The summer solstice is a celebration of the return to light, and it so powerfully reminds us of the light within each of us and the full potential of our individuated as well as united light or Christ consciousness (our cosmic sense of unity). It is about awakening, or reaching enlightenment, as an omnipotent symbol of ascension and the ultimate triumph of light over darkness.
Celebrating the energies of the Summer Solstice The summer solstice is about acknowledging the part of the sun’s cycle and its impact on earth where rewards are reaped from the harvest. That is why it is the perfect time to spend outdoors to soak up powerful sun energy, show heartfelt gratitude and celebrate the abundance and blessings that are in our lives. This is about celebrating one's abundance and giving thanks to all that you have, from wealth to good health, and all that is in between.
Morning Glory Wake up with a sense of joy and light, and let that spread out to the universe before you even get out of bed. Step Outdoors At a quiet time that you can muster, simply light a candle and create a sacred space for yourself. Step outside in a meditative state and dig your feet into the earth. Soak up the rays of the sun's light. Call upon your guides, angels, ancestors and other beings of light (such as Ascended Masters & Goddesses) or loved ones in spirit that have meaning to you.
Breathe in the Sun Stand in the sunlight with feet apart, and palms / arms up in the air in a posture to receive. Absorb all the healing rays of the sun's light and warmth all over your body, let it penetrate every cell. Allow your heart to open fully and absorb all the rays. Breathe it in. Really let it sink and seep in, enjoying every moment and giving thanks to the Great Spirit. Honour the Four Directions Try standing in all four directions (North, East, South, West), breathing in the air and feeling its energies. Move your body and stretch, to activate your life force energy. Do anything you like that makes you feel sacred, alive, or connected. Solar Intentions & Expansion Set a clear intention that you want to bring in a feeling of oneness, transcendence, expansion and transformation in your life. Continue to focus on whatever it is that you would like expanded in your life, whether it is a quality such as love and joy, or an item / desire such as improved work situation, new home location or spiritual development. Feel it expanding outwards with the sun's rays, the universe bringing it to you right now in the present tense. You are ready to accept transition and change and are opening to all the offerings of the light! Give thanks with your heart and feel the bliss of the blessings being poured onto you now. Envisage all the wonderful things streaming into your life, and the promise of positive change and abundance. Fire Ceremony You could also light a candle or light up a safe fire in a flammable pot outside. Write down everything that you have accomplished in the year so far, read it out if you wish and then burn it in celebration and gratitude. You can do this as a group.
The Summer Solstice celebrates the longest day of the year, a day that is believed to hold the greatest energy, prosperity, vitality and strength.
In Pagan times, the Summer Solstice was referred to as Litha and rituals were conducted to honour the Sun gods, the Divine Light and the element of fire.
People would rejoice and energize themselves under the warm light of the sun, believing that because the Sun was strongest that day, so too was God.
Vibrationally, the Summer Solstice is a time when Yang energy is high as well as the Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakra.
Today, there are many ways that you can pay tribute to the sun including spending time outdoors, bringing nature into your home, setting up a fairy garden, doing yoga sun salutations, chakra mediations or lighting a candle.
Creating a protective amulet for the year ahead that is charged with the energy of the solstice is also a great way to capture the energy and vitality of the Sun. Here’s how:
Summer Solstice Ritual
Choose your favorite crystal that evokes feelings of strength, passion, fertility, prosperity, creativity, fire or any other energy that you relate to the Sun. Orange and yellow colored crystals work well for this.
Go outside and build a mandala of orange, yellow or red flowers. Alternatively, you can just create a sacred space and decorate it with orange, red and yellow fruits and vegetables or herbs.
Your sacred space should also include a small bowl of water to help balance the energy. Keep a space in the center for your crystal.
Place your crystal over your heart or stomach and set your intention- what energy do you want to bring in for the rest of the year?
There are no rules what intention you create, but because we are dealing with the energy of the Sun, try to set an intention that is based on taking action.
With your crystal either over your heart center or stomach area, say your intention out loud.
Place your crystal in the center of your sacred space or mandala and allow it to soak up the energy of the Sun- best done from sunrise to sunset.
To help your intention to be received, spend the day enjoy yourself and basking in the warm, prosperous rays of the Sun.
1. Show gratitude for nature
“When there is an abundance of solar light in the sky, we naturally will feel like spending more time outdoors and with the people we love. This is also in line with the fact that the summer solstice opens the gates for three signs—Cancer, Leo, and Virgo—that deal with your relationship to your environment.
“Go outside, Soak in the sunlight, get naked, swim, dance, breathe, wherever you are. Immerse yourself in the day and give thanks for the sun—our star—and the life it supports.”
2. Make time for self-reflection
Although the Summer Solstice is the middle of the year, it feels like the beginning of a powerful season of growth—a bit like jumping off the edge of a waterfall. Summer and fall feel like they move so quickly—so much growth happens during both of those seasons, physically and emotionally. The solstice is like a starting bell at the beginning of the race. Time to dig in and get going.”
Digging in starts with taking a good look at yourself. There’s nothing more empowering than understanding and truly seeing where you are and acknowledging what you may need to learn or change in order to evolve the way you want. It’s about sitting down and taking a look at how you’re going to start paying back that credit card from college. It’s not that different with personal development. Take stock of where you are, what you’re doing well, what you’re not doing so well, do a gut check to see if those ideas are true, and then start doing the work necessary to level up.
The solstice is a powerful time to tune into a more ceremonial frequency…something that supports a meditative, embodied, open-hearted, and joyful state.
A sun meditation helps you project the same good vibes you feel from the environment. This is a meditation of the inner sun to extend your radiance. Imagine and feel a radiant sun in the solar plexus of your body. See the rays shining equally and all around you. Breathe in and out of these rays surrounding you.”
4. Connect with your community
More of an extrovert? The solstice also provides the perfect opportunity to reach out to others. The summer solstice is a festival of light, an energy resurgence of the self, and a stepping into a greater awareness of one’s power in community and service. On a Shamanic level, it’s an awakening of deeper purpose [and] of your relationship to all things.
It’s a time where self-care, , creativity, and intentions can be advanced. As harvests bloom, the heart, too, should bloom and expand” to extend outside the self.training's
All astrological meanings aside, [the solstice] will forever bring up for me the freshly-out-of-school-for-the-year, beginning-of-summer-camp childlike energy that is imprinted in my soul. This moment in time is a pleasant opportunity to make play a priority. In the process, seek out learning something new, release the need to plan, lead with spontaneity…you now, summer stuff! Be spontaneous and celebrate. Spend time with people who bring out the childlike, boisterous qualities in you and really engage in the world outside of the confines of your own home, schedule, and routines.
6. Charge your crystals and call in the magic
The new possibilities of the solstice mixed with an implied relaxed work schedule plus those sunlit summer nights—always make room to call in some magic.
Take all your crystals out, soak them in salt, let them charge in the moonlight, and set your intentions around it. In this way, they become more like talismans or reminders that are charged with energy. For example, charge a smoky quartz for grounding, for staying in your body…Every time you hold that smoky quartz, it’s not the quartz itself that’s going to bring you into healing. It’s the intention that’s been set and the vibration of that intention that’s going to remind you of what is important and that’s going to feed your soul.
The best stones to carry during this time are citrine, for warmth and joy; garnet, for passion and energy; carnelian, to take the energy of the sun into your body; and tiger’s eye, to bring strength and motivation.
7. Unlock your creativity
This time of year, your soul craves creativity the way your body craves. Summertime holds a particular type of magic to it that somehow gives us permission to expand your thinking and creativity. We’re far more likely to visit museums, take vacations, go on adventures, and go out of our way to create ‘experiences’ during the summer—maybe because we’re mining for creativity.
8. Start a dream journal
If you’re at a loss for start by journaling your dreams. We all dream—every night! —and the best way to remember your dreams is to start leaving a notebook by the edge of our bed and simply deciding to remember. Write down what you recall as soon as you wake up and give your dream a discerning look. Promise, you will have some serious creative breakthroughs when you do.
Keeping a regular journal can also help you set an intention for the coming months. Reflect on the past two seasons of the year—winter and spring—and what you’ve cultivated. What is set to ripen, flourish, unfold in the coming season?”
End the day with a sun ritual
1. Draw a circle and dot in the center to represent the sun.
2. Put four candles in each direction of the circle. 3. Face south. Behind you, towards the north, place everything from which you are walking away. These can be written down or represented by objects. 4. In front of you, towards the south, place everything that is joining with you in power. 5. To the left of you in the east, place everything you want to learn and manifest in your life. 6. Once all the items are in place you are going to light the candles in the order of north, south, west, then east. 7. After they are lit, say these words: Power of the sun we now are one, shine forth all that is to come, release all that is done, now bring in the fun, for everyone.
While you can certainly perform the ritual solo, the more the merrier. It’s particularly nice to have a gathering with friends, music, dancing, and a wonderful healthy feast to close out the ritual.
Keep the good vibes going all summer long. Start by indulging in a day of rejuvenating self-care, then book a getaway for even more self-discovery.
As I am celebrating the Winter Solstice, I am sharing it with family and a special dinner.
HAPPY SOLSTICE BEAUTIFUL SOULS
Solstice a Cause for Celebration Since Ancient Times. National Geographic News. 6 Ancient Tributes to the Winter Solstice. LiveScience.com. Sol Invictus and Christmas. University of Chicago. Bull-Killer, Sun Lord. Archaeology.org.