The Summer Solstice falls between June 20 and 22 each year, and marks both the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Earth’s axis is at its maximum tilt toward the sun at the North Pole, resulting in maximum daylight.
It is also a powerful time of transition and energy, as we venture from Spring to Summer! Read on for 8 ways to acknowledge and celebrate the summer solstice, and connect with nature.
What’s the significance and why should we care?
First and foremost, we are not separate from nature. We are a part of nature, we coexist with nature, we depend on nature, we influence and are influenced by nature; We are deeply connected. And as nature flows through the seasons, it exhibits different qualities and energies which can affect how we feel in mind, body and soul. As nature shifts, we shift.
The Summer Solstice is a global moment in time that half of the world experiences together. Not only are we welcoming a new season full of new energies and focuses, this yearly occurrence is something that can allow so many of us to feel connected to nature as well as to each other on such a large scale. As we welcome all that summer has to offer, we know we aren’t alone in our experiences which can positively impact our mental and emotional health as we feel part of a whole.
What does the Summer Solstice represent and encourage us to focus on?
The Summer Solstice represents nourishment as we care for the literal and figurative seeds we planted in Spring, patience as nature encourages us to relax and let go and that we can’t rush the harvest, and trust as we learn to trust ourselves and the journey we are on. While spring represents new beginnings, summer is the next step and continuation of the action and path that was begun. It is a time to find meaning within our journey and to find purpose and trust within the process, even when uncertainty may arise.
As can be felt by simply standing in the sunlight, the sun is a heating and revitalizing entity. Not only physically, but it also fires our passions, and warms our hearts to all the potential of life and love. It encourages us to find, honor, and celebrate our own light and fire within ourselves. So soak in that fiery, warm energy and let it fuel you!
“It’s a good time to remember that we, like the sun, contain the power to nurture and sustain, and that we have a responsibility to burn as brightly as we can.”~ Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw from Celebrating the Great Mother
But don’t forget to rest and place some focus inward. Nourishment, patience and trust all require a certain sense of letting go, and can offer beautiful clarity. And if needed, a redirect of your energy and attention can follow suit.
8 Ways to Acknowledge & Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Since we are not separate from nature, the equinoxes and solstices are a great time to acknowledge, and celebrate the shift in seasons. And with maximum daylight on the Summer Solstice, this is especially a beautiful opportunity to give thanks to the sun and bathe in abundant energy it has to offer us.
- Soak in the warmth of the sun and all the power and energy it has to offer. Let it heal you in body, mind and soul, and breathe and reflect on your own inner strength and fire.
- Take advantage of the energetically charged day and set intentions with the theme of summer: patience, nourishment and trust. Create powerful “I am” statements that reflect these qualities and open you up to receiving the energies available on this day. An example might be “I am open to receiving (or I am able to receive) the patience needed to trust in my journey.”
- Express gratitude for everything that you already have and all that you desire. Journal, speak out loud, share with a friend, create a collage/vision board, etc. Choose to express it in a way that brings you joy and feels right for you in the moment.
- Get outside! Go for a hike or walk, go kayaking or paddle boarding, have a day at the beach or lake, etc. Most importantly, observe nature around you and notice the qualities and signs of summer; really immerse yourself and tap into all your senses.
- Make a flower crown and/or a sun wheel or mandala from flowers and things found in nature. Use this activity to acknowledge the connectedness of nature and the abundance of what is present in summer.
- Go strawberry picking. Find a local farm where you can pick your own berries, or purchase some to enjoy. This is a celebratory solstice practice enjoyed by many, and also correlates with June’s full moon known as the Strawberry Moon.
- Watch the sunset and give thanks to the sun. Just as the Summer Solstice is a day of peak daylight, reflect on what has reached its peak in your life and celebrate yourself.
- Have a bonfire. Continue to feed off the fiery energy of the sun and season of summer, and metaphorically burn away what is no longer serving you. You might also choose to write things out on paper and safely burn the paper for a powerful physical release.