Solstice comes from the Latin Words Sol, (sun), and Sistere, (causing to stand still). Midsummer marks the peak of the growing of the days, the sun rising a little higher in the sky each day until on the day of the solstice it seems to stand still above us for a short while. All pagan religions have marked this time with rituals and celebrations that commemorate the changing of the seasons, the turning of the Wheel of the Year.
While Ancient rituals are incredibly beautiful and to be invited to take part in one is a privilege. They are not always relevant to how we live our lives today. So how can we mark the Solstice in our modern lives?
The Summer Solstice was, and is by many Pagans, considered to be the time when the Lord and Lady joined together as equals. Their sacred marriage was what set in motion the slow turning of the wheel through Autumn and back to the resting time of Winter again. This is one of the reasons why June was considered to be the best month for weddings (the other has to do with the Roman Goddess Juno).
This Solstice is the time of greatest abundance of growth in nature. This the perfect time to capture that growth energy by starting something new. If you have been making plans for anything, now is a great time to set those plans in motion! The Solstice was also the time of year when the calendars would be set. It was a marker that divided the year between the planting of crops and the harvesting of crops. Herbs and flowers harvested on the longest day are believed to have magical properties.
We can capture this energy by celebrating the fertility and abundance in our lives. This can be as simple as lighting an orange or yellow candle and pausing a moment to focus on gratitude and saying a simple “thank you' to the Universe.
Most of all, the Summer Solstice is a fire festival, bright fiery energies abound all around us. Wearing the fire colors of yellow and orange will help to accentuate that vibrance in our lives. For jewelry, lean towards the fiery carnelian and its vitality and creativity boosting energies. Because of the focus on fire and yellow at this time, it is the perfect time to work with your Solar Plexus Chakra and its mantra of “I manifest”. Citrine, Tiger's Eye and Yellow Tourmaline, added to your Carnelians will help brighten the energy of this chakra.
If all that seems like its too intense for you, even just taking some time out of your day to step outside, let the Sun warm your face while you give thanks for all the blessings of this season of growth and abundance. Perhaps spend some time weaving a wreath of freshly picked flowers and herbs to bring some summer magic into your home.
What is important is taking the time to acknowledge the season and its blessings, this helps to attune our bodies back to the cycles of the Earth and give thanks for what she provides us.