The summer solstice is happening tomorrow. I’ve been wanting create my own sense of reverence and gratitude for these larger seasonal movements, so I made some notes about what this one means and ways to celebrate…
– The calendar shows June 21 as the first day of summer – the season of beach trips, bare feet, and popsicles.
– Tomorrow the northern point of the Earth’s axis, or the North Pole, will reach its maximum tilt towards the sun, and everyone north of the equator will experience more than 12 hours of daylight. It will be the longest day of the year, and the day when your shadow is the shortest.
This is when we experience the most direct sun rays and therefore the most intense solar energy. After the solstice, daylight hours begin to decrease as we move towards the fall equinox.
Interestingly, this intense solar radiation doesn’t correspond to the hottest time of the year. There is a temperature lag of a month or so while all that solar energy heats up the oceans.
– This is a time of high energy for the Earth and for us. The shift to summer means we are fully out of winter hibernation mode, feeling the fullness of our bright, extroverted energy. We’re motivated to spend more time outdoors and move our projects and plans forward.
If there is something you’ve been wanting to do or create, now is the time to take action!
– Going a bit deeper, it is the consistency of cooperation and harmony between Earth and Sun that allows us to experience the overall cyclical nature of the seasons. The Sun always shines and the Earth orbits at an angle that allows the incoming light to shift. This harmonious relationship allows us to eat, breathe, and be alive. But it also provides a framework for us to notice and chart our personal seasons of growth, from winter to summer and back again in a perfectly timed and ongoing cycle.
So how does one celebrate the summer solstice? I have some simple ideas to start with…
- Decorate your home with yellow and orange flowers. Sunflowers and marigolds are popular choices. To take it a step further, you could also light some candles.
- Eat strawberries! In the eastern U.S., they are traditionally the first wild berries of the season and are ripe around the time of the solstice. This is why the June full moon is called the Strawberry Moon.
- Spend some time outside energizing yourself with those intense solar rays. (Feel free to wear a hat, and be sure to check out the size of your shadow.)
- Sit down with your journal and reflect on this time. What do you love about summer? Do you notice yourself feeling more energized and motivated? Is there something you want to take action on right now?
- And finally, take a moment to think about what this solstice event means on whatever level seems appropriate. Let the magnitude of it inhabit your heart. And send a silent thank you to the Earth and Sun for their love and support.
Enjoy your day and share photos of shadows and flowers if you take them!