June 21st marks an important day in the year. It’s the Summer Solstice! If you don’t know what the Summer Solstice is, we have put together your guide to understanding and celebrating this ancient holiday!
Solstices vs Equinoxes – What is the Difference?
There can often be some confusion between the Solstices and Equinoxes. To understand the differences, we must look at each.
There are two Solstices and two Equinoxes. Each of these marks the beginning of a season: the Summer Solstice (start of summer), Winter Solstice (start of winter), Spring Equinox (start of spring) and Fall Equinox (start of fall).
Solstice comes from the Latin root word, Sol, meaning sun. The Solstices mark the time of the year where the sun is at its strongest and weakest points. During the Summer Solstice, the sun is closest to the earth, therefore being at its strongest. The day it at its longest. The Winter Solstice is where the sun is furthest from the earth, therefore at its weakest. The day is the shortest.
The word, Equinox, comes from the Latin words, aequi meaning equal, and nox meaning night. The Spring and Fall Equinoxes mark the halfway points between the Summer and Winter Solstices. Since the Equinoxes are the halfway points, the day and night of these two days is equal or the same.
Summer Solstice History
The Summer Solstice has been celebrated throughout the world in various cultures and traditions. Some cultures have used the Summer Solstice for practical reasons. Ancient Egyptians for example would use the Solstice to determine the annual flood of the Nile, which was used in agriculture and planting and harvesting crops.
In some Ancient Greek calendars, the summer solstice marked the start of the New Year. Ancient Northern and Central European pagan cultures, such as Germanic, Celtic, and Slavic groups, would celebrate the Summer Solstice by having bonfires to welcome in the energy of the sun.
Today, the summer solstice is celebrated a variety of ways. It still holds many ancient ties, such as connecting to the Midsummer festival, or inventing some of their own. For example, in Seattle, Washington, the Summer Solstice is celebrating by a parade of nude cyclists. In the United Kingdom, the Summer Solstice is supposed to be the day in which the restrictions and bans of the lockdown are lifted, giving multiple reasons to celebrate.
How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
There are a variety of ways to celebrate the summer solstice, both traditional and more modern takes. Here a just a few ways you can celebrate this day.
One of the easy and simple way to connect to the energies of the Summer Solstice is through the use of crystals. Crystals contain specific energies and can help one to align their energies. Here are some great crystals you can use to connect to the Summer Solstice.
A joyful yellow stone, Citrine connects to our Solar Plexus chakra and our own personal power. It brings in warmth and radiates happiness. Citrine is also a stone of success. Its solar energies never need cleansing, as it constantly is clearing negative energies. With this greater understanding of the Solstice, you can find the perfect way to celebrate this year. Connected to the Egyptian Sun God, Ra, Citrine has a long history associated with the sun. Other Ancient cultures believed that Citrine formed with the sun, and fell down to earth during a Solar Eclipse. Its solar energies cleanse the chakras, removing negative energies from the bodies. It promotes joy and warmth, and is beneficial for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Used by ancients as a talisman against ill wishing and curses.
Red Agate is great for manifesting, it is great to use to set new intentions for the summer months ahead. This stone holds the essence of physicality and strength. It is a stone of vitality and sexuality. It inspires, ignites and intensifies passions and emotions. If you are creating a Summer Solstice altar, you must include this stone.
Tiger’s Eye is also connected to our Solar Plexus chakra, bringing joy and the warm energy of the sun into one’s life. It acts as a self-confidence stone, increasing self-worth, and motivation. The Ancient Egyptians called Carnelian “The Setting Sun”. Associated with the lower chakras, it contains life-force energy and provides motivation and endurance. Its fire energy brings about passion, heat, and creativity.
Use Carnelian when you need to reignite aspects of your life or wish to be grounded in the present moment. The Ancient Egyptians called Carnelian “The Setting Sun”. Associated with the lower chakras, it contains life-force energy and provides motivation and endurance. Its fire energy brings about passion, heat, and creativity. Use Carnelian when you need to reignite aspects of your life or wish to be grounded in the present moment.
Other ways to celebrate
Have a Bonfire
Fires were seen as a symbolic representation of the sun. On Midsummer, people would stay up with the bonfire, as a sign of good fortune and blessings for the next six months until the Winter Solstice. Have your own bonfire in your backyard or park to connect to these energies.
Visit a Well
While the element of fire is very connected to the energy of the summer solstice, so is the element of water. Traditionally, people would find a sacred well to offer blessings and wish for good fortune. If you can’t find a well, try a river, creek, stream or other body of water.
Make yourself a Flower Crown
Crowns made of flowers were a symbol of the fertility and prosperity of the summer solstice. Make your own flower crown with traditional flowers connecting to the summer solstice such as St. John’s Wort or Gladioli.
Make a Stone Circle
In England, it was believed that if you stay up all night on Midsummer’s Eve in a stone circle, you will see the face. Gather your own stones and cast yourself a circle for that day.
There is a possibility that the 21st of June will also mark the time in the UK where lockdown restrictions are lifted. If this happens, we would like everyone to come together and raise the collective energy of the country. At 21:21 on the 21st of June, we would like you all to set a set a positive affirmation for the months using a crystal of your choice. Together we can lift spirits, hope and happiness.