Wise Women, I feel suspended.
As I write this the full moon has begun to wane and yet the sun continues to the climb toward the longest day. This time feels a bit liminal for me. And magical. And wild. The jasmine and rose are in full bloom and everywhere I go the scents of summer evoke a longing for more time out of doors, more time with hands in the dirt and naked toes on the grass and stones.
Even with the energy of the waning moon inviting a move inward, the sun’s power is inviting us to come out and PLAY! Summer Solstice/Litha, is the longest day of the year and although it is often called midsummer, it marks what the calendar calls the first day of Summer. In the San Francisco bay area the actual date is June 21st and the time of the solstice is 8:53 am.
This is the time when the earth is beginning to burst forth with her abundance. The crops planted as life began to quicken in the Spring are coming into lush being. Once upon a time, when we were more reliant on what was planted in our own crops for survival, this was a time of celebration for this growth.
Last night my women’s circle gathered at the coast for our annual walking of a labyrinth. Some years it feels festive and fun and some years our journey in and out of the patterned ground feels deeper and more inward. Last night I felt the balance of both. In sync with the polarity of a waning moon and growing sun, I felt the journey to the central altar deep in my being and yet I smiled the entire way in and out. (For those of you unfamiliar with a labyrinth, the short description is that it is a maze like pattern that has a singular path inward and outward. There are no dead ends, just a journey). This particular landscape has been decorated with offerings left along the way, so that the pathways are lined with painted stones, jewelry, pottery, coins…the list is vast. And at the center there lies an altar. 30 years of offerings piled atop each other. Many in memory of those now gone.
Although our group intention was “Opening up and Receiving the Gifts of the Sun” my own experience was that the fog filled sky, damp air and the labyrinth itself called me to a place of remembrance. I felt into the gifts that my passed loved ones have given me through love, and the lessons I received because of my relationships with them, and then began to feel into the relationships I have at present with those that are still here. I felt nourished in my journey and the smile that wouldn’t leave my face was one of joy and gratitude and love. My celebration was of a recognizing of my own integration and growth (Earth my Body) and the earth was present all along the way with her grasses and flowers and thistles and blackberry vines beneath my bare feet.
I share this with you Wise Women, because Summer Solstice is a time to celebrate abundance and growth. Yet I also want to remind you that these things can take on many different forms. You may be abundant in the love and relationships in your life. Perhaps your garden is in fact full and flourishing. Maybe your abundance comes in the form of family. Maybe it is money. Maybe…the list goes on.
Below I am offering you a few ways you might choose to celebrate the Solstice. Some ritual ideas to do with friends or in a solitary way.
But ultimately, the ritual you craft for yourself, and the elements you bring from your heart and your creativity will be the most sacred and powerful magic you can bring forth on this Summer Solstice.
Blessed Be Wise Ones!
Summer Solstice celebration ideas
Summer Solstice is about the SUN! Bring the sun into being through the use of fire. You can light a candle on your altar to represent this or have a bonfire (if it is safe to do so where you live). If you have a gas fire pit light it up and sit back.
You can use the fire for some fire divination exercises.
Soften your gaze, breathe deep and allow whatever images come during your fire gazing to make their way into your journal and then free write about these things. You may ask a question while you do this divination or just stay open to what comes.
Make a “sun wheel”. I read this somewhere (I wish I could remeber where!) and love this idea. With a group of friends or family pass around a wreath made of sticks or vines. Using cotton string, tie pieces of
paper with prayers, intentions or wishes to the wreath. When everyone feels complete., burn the wreath to allow the fire to release the energy into the ethers. If you do not have a fire at hand you can also bury the wreath and allow the earth to transform it (grow the prayers) into being. (Alternately you can make a prayer wand using a stick instead of a wreath)
Dance! Get outside and move your body under the sun (or the moon). Feel that high vibration of the sun moving through you. Remember when you were small and would spin until you fell down and then laugh ad laugh and do it again?! I am not suggesting that you fall down (I know I certainly don’t fall as well as I used to and the ground is much further away) but I am suggesting you move your body in a way that brings laughter to your lips. Feed the sun your joy!
Welcome the dawn! Say goodnight to the day! Get yourself out of bed early and watch the sunrise. Then say goodnight as you watch the sun set that night. This allows you to present for the beginning and end of this, the longest day.
Make sun tea. Do this with an intention. When I was a kid my mom would often stick some Lipton tea bags in a large jar of water and we would watch it transform throughout the day. Taking turns to “check the tea”. You can do this now! Perhaps Lipton isn’t your thing, but you can use any tea or herb blend that speaks to you. Set an intention and write it down placing it beneath the jar. As the tea brews infused by the sun (and your intention) it becomes ripe with what you are wanting to manifest. As you drink it be sure to take a pause to invite this sun infused intentional energy into your being.
Harvest! Maybe your veggies aren’t quite ready or your fruit isn’t quite ripe, but perhaps your flowers are ready for picking. Go outside and see what you can bring indoors to energize your space with the essence of the season. If all else fails pick up some flowers at the supermarket.
Enjoy the longest day Wise Women, wherever you might be in the Northern Hemisphere.
Send a thought out to the other women in this community on the Solstice. I will be sending love to all of you. Even when we practice in solitude we are not alone.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT