It marks the season of self-development and the blessing of the Sun’s energy!
The summer solstice on June 21st represents change.
It signifies the changing of the seasons, the way the Earth turns.
“Life is forever changing, and nothing ever stays the same. While our time under the rays of the warm Sun is beautiful and bright, eventually we will reach a point where we have harvested and expressed ourselves all we can, and the time will come to retreat within.“
Ancient Festivities During the Summer Solstice
In ancient Greece, the summer solstice marked the start of a new year and the month-long countdown to the Olympics. The Greeks also observed the festival of Kronia, in which they worshipped Cronus, the god of agriculture. During this time, slaves were given equal rights to their owners, who allowed them to participate in games and festivities, sometimes even reversing roles and serving them – it was undoubtedly a welcomed holiday.
In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice represented the coming of the brightest star, Sirius. Not long after, the Nile would begin to flood its banks, marking a season of abundance from the land. The Egyptians believed Sirius was responsible for the floods and considered it the start of a new year.
In northern Europe, Pagans celebrated the occasion with bonfires, believing they banished evil spirits and demons, and instead cultivated magic. Bonfires are a recurrent theme across various cultures’ summer solstice celebrations, which almost always involved feasting and dancing.
The Celts would also gather around bonfires, believing they opened a path toward the light. Launching oneself over the fire would purify the soul, and burn away impurities and problems.
Pagans also believed medicinal plants were most efficacious during the summer solstice, including St. John’s wort, verbena, and rue – a necessary ingredient to ward off fairies that lead you astray.
In ancient China, the summer solstice was represented by “yin,” or feminine energy, compared to the winter solstice’s “yang,” masculine energy. The Chinese celebrated the Earth with a number of festivities on this day.
The Summer Solstice is the marriage of Heaven and Earth on the longest day and shortest night of the year. This solar high point is a time of fertility and growth, heralding the long lazy days of summer. Don’t forget to tend your fields this summer and see what you harvest in the fall.