BLOOM - Summer Solstice
For the next several weeks due to the tilt of the Earth's axis, here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are the closest we'll be to the Sun all year long. This means we get longer days and are bathed in daylight for the summer season. Summer solstice takes place between June 20 and 22 each year. This year it falls on Tuesday 21st June with the sun rising at 4:43am and setting at 9:22pm. The solstice officially marks the beginning of astrological summer which ends on the autumn equinox on 22nd September. It might still feel like summer has only just got going, but solstice actually marks the mid-point as we tip towards the days getting steadily shorter.
Traditionally, the summer solstice fell between the planting and harvesting of crops, leaving the people who worked on the land with a time of repose. This is why June became the traditional month for weddings. Though it might seem that the middle of summer would naturally fall on the longest day, the summer solstice and Midsummer's Day are actually distinct events, normally a few days apart, this year being the 21st and 24th June respectively. Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired many festivals and midsummer celebrations all over the world. From the Ancient Egyptians using this as a time to worship of their Sun God Ra, to the Christian celebration of baptisms on St John's Day . Even now, many towns and villages still celebrate with village fetes, maypole dancing, bonfires and picnics. And of course, most of us are aware of the crowds who gather at Stonehenge too, to honour this ancient ritual.
Mysticism and magic are a common theme in midsummer folklore across the world.
In Pagan tradition, the God, as Oak King, surrenders his reign to his twin brother the Holly King and the descent towards winter begins. At Litha the bonfire is used as a means of celebration and represents the reflection of the Sun at the peak of its strength.
'Midsummer was seen as a time when the normal laws of nature of divinity could be suspended, when spirits and fairies could contact humans , when humans could exceed the usual limitations of their world.' - Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol
The chosen wood would often be Oak and aromatic herbs were scattered into the fire. People danced around the fires and through them. Mistletoe, although usually associated with Yule, is highly revered by the Druids and would also be harvested in ceremony. When it grows on the Oak, it is regarded as particularly potent and seen as growing between worlds of Heaven and Earth.
Tree worship has always played a large role in Midsummer festivities and trees near wells and fountains were decorating with coloured cloths. The Oak King who has ruled the waxing of the year represents strength and courage and endurance. The Celtic name for Oak is 'Duir' which means 'doorway' - we are crossing the threshold and entering the doorway into the second waning part of the year.
We’re currently being bathed in the fire energy of the Sun. The
Summer Solstice is approaching. That powerful planetary moment when the tilt
of the Earth brings us closest to our nearest star.
Here, at the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, we are fully awake.
Our spirits are alive, refreshed, renewed, energized; all that good, juicy, rich stuff
we feel in the Sun.
The Sun is, literally, all fire. And here in the UK we are enjoying a nearly 17 hours of daylight - just soaking up all that fierce, intense, electrifying, invigorating, exhilarating energy.
That means there is an absolute abundance of that rich fire energy available for you and me to soak up as well. We can use that energy to inspire up, to uplift us, to
energize us. To light our fires.
This energy is so powerful that it enables everything in nature to grow. Including you!
Right now, you can absorb this powerful Sun energy and use it to fuel your own
growth. You can use it to ignite your own inner fire. The part of you that’s
fierce, and confident.
Now is the time to shine as the truest version of you. Your most
authentic self. The summer solstice Sun can help you connect with that part of
yourself.) Now’s the time to let her drive the car for a bit, let her be in charge. Let her
shine. The Sun wants you to be your most confident self. To feel strong.
On the Summer Solstice, the sun reaches its peak and it completes its cycle of
growth. This makes the Summer Solstice an excellent time to reflect on peak moments
in your own life.
In celebration of Summer time, sit back and chill, or get up and dance to this Summer Chill Playlist.
Some journal prompts for you to ponder
Feel free to record these in your Wild Wisdom Journal in the seasonal section
Pause for a second and acknowledge that fierce fire inside of you. She often doesn’t get the acknowledgement she deserves. Celebrate yourself!
What would change about your life if you just let that go? What growth would that clear space for?
What accomplishments have you completed that you feel really proud of?
Summer is the ideal time to invite that fire energy into our lives – use that
fierce fire to burn away the things you’re resistant to letting go of.
Take a moment and literally draw in some fierce summer fire energy to
fuel the forest fire about to rage through your life.
Seriously. Pause right here and take 5 deep, belly breaths. Feel the fire entering your spirit with
• Now, what do you want that fire to blaze through? What is no longer
serving you that you are ready to burn down?
• What does your life look life after you burn down all the debris? What
does your life feel like with the illness scorched out? What rich new life is
going to take root? What will now grow stronger and more powerful with
all the riffraff burned away?
Liz and Susanna's Summer read
I have been a fan of Hollie and her poetry for many years, after stumbling across her poem The Battle to Breastfeed which is almost a protest anthem for a new generation. In her latest book (and it is a real tome, so you get good value for money!) she explores feminist issues and everyday observations in her beautiful down to earth style. There's a good smattering of sex, parenthood and of course periods, alongside the pros and cons of swiping the free custard creams from the hotel room.
A fantastic read - and if you can hear her perform live too, so much the better!
- Liz x