The Summer Solstice actually begins today, June 20th, at 5:43 pm (EST) here in the northern hemisphere. It is often referred to as "the longest day of the year." However, you and I both know that each day is made up of the same 24 hours. What that expression really means is that we will be experiencing the longest amount of daylight in our calendar year. Hence, making it feel as if the day is lasting longer.
What happens during Summer Solstice?
The Summer Solstice is considered the first day of the astronomical summer, therefore, marking the end of spring. Its season lasts for 93 days until the autumn equinox occurs. Each day we will begin to lose a little more of our daylight. I won't pretend I am an expert in this area. I am a total newbie when it comes to learning about the sun, moon, and seasonal phases. But I have always found it fascinating! The Solstice is known for its world-wide celebrations which is probably what initially peeked my curiosity.
It is observed in many different ways and for many different reasons historically around the globe. Most would agree it is a symbolic time for honoring the lush growth and rebirth the sunshine will create here on earth. The arrival of this seasonal phase brings about traditions and festivities that include bonfires, dances, rituals, and feasts. Many religious and spiritual groups use this opportunity to gather. One of the most popular worldly gatherings to honor this long day takes place each year at Stonehenge. Onlookers wait patiently to view seemingly magical sun rays through the opening of the "Heel Stone." Sadly, this ritual is cancelled for the first time due to our current health crisis. (Apparently it will be live streamed though!)
What can we do to honor the Summer Solstice?
I chose to bring this celebration to light because it compliments my last post of setting intentions for our upcoming summer days. We are all excited that the nice weather has finally arrived and given us the ability to get out and do things. But we also have the opportunity to think a little more long term here. While the earth around us is in full bloom, we need to think about and honor ourselves in the same way. We are half way through the new year and this is an opportune time to set intentions and reflect on our gratitude.
Here are 3 ways you can welcome the Summer Solstice!
Connecting with nature is something I myself am working on daily. Simply walking around barefoot. Stopping to smell the flowers. Appreciating sunsets over the lake water. All things I would normally take for granted. But it is so important for us to slow down and breathe in the beauty that is all around us. Consider planting some new plants or flowers. Or maybe re-do a garden you have neglected. Bask in the sunshine during a long walk. Go fishing at a pond. Schedule a visit to a berry patch for fresh fruit picking. Really take time to honor the earths abundant gifts.
Let's face it, the pandemic has been a shock to us all over these past several months. Perhaps 2020 hasn't been what you had originally hoped for. But... I am willing to bet, if you dig deep, you are going to find some amazing things transpired during these past 6 months regardless. Grab a piece of paper and try to list as many silver linings as you possibly can. Seeing it listed there on the paper will help you to put things into perspective. You don't have to be a writer. Just scratch out a bulleted list. Think all the way back to January when the world was still calm. Personally, I never would have had the chance to work so hard on writing my book. For that I am truly grateful.
Presently, the world is awakening and healing. This means we are, too. It is a great time to think about the remaining months of 2020. What will you do differently? How have things changed for you? What new habits are you welcoming in your life? Set some intentions from now until the end of the year. Re-evaluate those you had originally set and see where they could use some tweaking. Some people like to write these out and place them visually for a point of reference. Others suggest the ritual of burning your list in a bonfire, thus sending your intentions out into the entire Universe. Whatever works for you. Just do it! Be clear about who you are and where you are heading.
Use the Summer Solstice to your advantage. Try to complete these 3 tasks this weekend. We are also welcoming a New Moon on Sunday evening which is the optimal time for manifesting our hearts desires. What do you foresee happening for you? What are you willing to work for? Now is the time to make things happen!
Comment below to share ONE thing you are grateful for during these past 6 months. And best wishes for a fruitful remainder to your year!
Copy and paste this link for information to view coverage at Stonehenge!
(Thanks Roxanne M.!)