We had our Summer Solstice last week and the energy is still present. Have you ever wondered how solstices came to be? How is it that on what most often is the 21st of certain months, the Solstice occurs?
The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol”, meaning sun, and “stitium”, meaning still or stopped. On this day, the Northern Hemisphere receives more daylight than any other day of the year. The summer solstice marks the start of summer and the tipping point at which days start to become shorter and nights longer.
It’s hypothesized that Neolithic humans created the summer solstice as a marker to discern when to plant and harvest crops. For people living in those times, life was focused on the seasons and how they related to planting crops. The ancients noticed that as summer progressed, the sun stopped moving northward in the sky, then begin tracking southward again as summer turned to autumn.
Living in this time, solstices take on a different meaning; we can use these times to look inside and reflect on how we are doing in our life in this moment. The solstice reflects the energy of the season and the summer solstice has an energy of its own, very different from the Fall or winter solstice.
The weather is warmer, people are outside more, it’s easier to travel and socialize with your neighbors and it’s easier for your energy to be outward oriented. If you use what was happening for the ancients as a metaphor for us, this is a time of planning and planting.
How does that translate to now?
In my previous house, I turned the backyard into a large organic garden where I grew all the vegetables my family and friends needed. I would start to prepare the soil for planting and plan what vegetables I wanted to plant just as the Spring Solstice occurred. Thousands of years later, we are not so different from the ancients.
The planning can be seen in how you organize your summer. Before I had my daughter, I remember going to my friend’s house who had children and noticing that in March they would be planning what their children would be doing in the summer. I thought they were ridiculous to do it so early-until I had my daughter and realized the organization it took, as we were also a working family.
Honoring the Solstice Time
One way of honoring the Solstice is to reflect on your life as it is now.
What visions do you have that when you think about them, bring you excitement and joy? Think about what you would like to create for yourself over the next four months and what steps you could take to make that happen.
The other side of that is what parts of your inner being are in your way?
Make a list of what you no longer need, parts of yourself, attitudes you may have, that you realize are holding you back. The ancients would gather and have bonfires; gathering with friends for a “barbecue” might be as close to a bonfire as possible for you now. Throw your list into the fire, or if a bonfire is not an option, you can make the list and then tear it up!
The important thing is to get in touch with the unique being that you are and create the inner space for your vision to become reality.