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The Spirit of the Summer Solstice

Midsummer, the Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year and, therefore, the shortest night. While there is much celebration of the heat and passion associated with the sun and summer, there is an underlying sense of the pending darkness that begins the very next day as the days begin to shorten and the nights begin to lengthen - darkness begins to overcome the light.

And so, during the peak of the light, we can take time to celebrate the things we have done while also taking account of the failures - acknowledging and learning from every misstep along the way. That definitely doesn’t mean we are getting lost in the failures. Instead it is an opportunity to look at our failures as part of the growth process and delight in the ebbs and flows of life when we take the time to grow beyond our comfort and consistently find our edge.

A running theme that we have heard in the conversations in the yoga and wellness community is the sense of longing for pleasure and play. This Summer Solstice, use the energy of life, love, and pleasure to lean into the power and vitality that the sun shines down directly onto you at the height of its journey across the summer sky. And if you are wanting to celebrate the Summer Solstice, try these fun rituals or activities!

  • Journal about what you notice an abundance of in your life (bonus if you do this at sunrise).

Abundance is everywhere - so whether you are aware of an abundance of wealth and health or an abundance of mire and muck, use this time as an opportunity to be intentionally aware of where abundance lies in your life.

Is it pleasing? Then celebrate with your favorite movement practice, a cold plunge in a large body of water, or toasting the sun.

Less than favorable? Then celebrate that you caught it and do some spell work and/ or goal setting to change what abundance you focus on and call in. Starting with the longest day of the year and all that the shining sun represents in abundance is a great place to be.

  • Enjoy summer activities!

Play out in the sunshine! Go swimming or play in the water! Bust out that slip-n-slide or water park pass and find your inner 10-year old ready to go nonstop on the energy of summer vacation.

See the sun as an ally - if even for just one day - and take in all of the energy and power it has to offer.

  • Write down what you are grateful for (bonus if you do this at sunset).

Yes, count your blessings. This is a great opportunity to reflect on the things, people, and experiences that bring you joy and remind you of the beauty of this life. There is something so powerful about absorbing the sun and the reminder it provides of life.

And then, watch the sun go to sleep in the West and use the short night to meditate on the light (outer focus) and dark (inner focus) and the cycles they represent in life, you, and the world around you. Everything has a beginning and an end. Take time to reflect on the benefits of acknowledging the cycles.

Some things you can add to your ritual for the Summer Solstice:

  • Symbols:

    • Fire, sun wheels, flowers, sunflowers, fruit, and seashells

  • Herbs:

    • Chamomile, rose, lavender, thyme, mugwort, fennel, ginger, lemon, basil, and St. John's wort

  • Incense:

    • lemon, myrrh, rose, wisteria, sandalwood, fennel, ginger, frankincense, saffron, thyme, and verbena

  • Oils:

    • Chamomile, fennel, frankincense, ginger, rosemary, lavender, lemon, rose, mint, ylang ylang

  • Spell work:

    • abundance, wishes, love, healing, and prosperity

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