The Summer Solstice is almost upon us, bringing with it the reminder to celebrate the nourishing light of the sun, as well as the light within each of us. As the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, it gives us the longest day of the year. This marks the second phase of the Earth’s journey around the sun, which began with the Spring Equinox. The invitation of summer is to nourish the seeds planted in the first phase.
Several years ago I visited Stonehenge in England. When the Sun’s light first breaks through the darkness on the day of the Summer Solstice, it hits this ancient monument directly in the center, lighting up each pillar like a magical horseshoe. During the Winter Solstice, the sun sets directly between the largest stones of this mysterious piece of history. It is just one example of the importance civilizations throughout history have placed on the phases of the Sun. It causes me to wonder about the significance of these annual phases, that people would dedicate their whole lives to building something to honor them.
The cycle of the Sun represents the cycle of our lives and reflects the natural flow of energy moving inward and outward. There are times to grow, times to pause, times to shed and times to learn. While the Spring Equinox begins this journey and represents new beginnings, the Summer Solstice represents the next phase of this divine rhythm. The Summer Solstice reminds us to turn inward and find the nourishment needed to grow and evolve. It is a time to pause and wait for the energy planted in the Spring to reach full bloom. If the Spring represents action, the Summer represents patience. We must develop confidence and trust in ourselves that what we set in motion previously is true, even if we go through some difficult times. We have planted the seed, we just need to nurture it and find purpose within its process.
The Summer Solstice represents the transition from action to nourishment, which is exactly what the Sun gives us during the long nights of summer, both to our actual crops but also to the journey we continually travel from darkness to light. Summer reminds us that there is hope all around and that the light within us can spread and inspire others. We have the capacity to nurture others, just as the Sun nurtures us. Summer becomes a time to work on ourselves and our ability to be the light and find meaning in our journey, even when it seems uncertain. This is the rhythm of nature; new beginnings transition into a period of uncertainty. During this time, it is easy to fall prey to anxiety and worry. Seasonal shifts can cause old energies to surface and darkness can easily take over our mind. Summer is the time to cultivate faith in our life, squash the darkness with light, and trust that just like the Sun, we will rise each day no matter what life brings us.
Through honoring this day of light, we just might set in motion a period of awakening which lasts all summer until the Fall Equinox. Here are some ways to align with the Summer Solstice and harness its power to build the light within you.
- Set Summer Intentions
The Summer solstice is an energetically charged day and an important one to set intentions. Direct your intentions on the themes of this phase, which are patience, nourishment and trust. Create powerful “I am” statements that reflect these qualities and the development of them. Include “reception” statements that open you up to receiving what this season of life has to offer. Examples: “I am open to receiving nourishment and growth” or “I am able to receive the energy needed to develop trust in my life.” Set your intentions and continually remind yourself of them all summer long.
2. Honor the Four Directions
The four directions; east, south, west and north, represent the seasons and their corresponding Equinoxes and Solstices.
Consider using four candles each positioned at the four directions. Light each candle as you face that direction while closing your eyes and meditating on that direction’s prompt. Allow information to flood in, continue through all directions, and then journal about what each one brought to you.
- East is represented by Spring and new beginnings. Reflect on what you’ve started the past 3 months and what new opportunities have come your way.
- South is the direction of Summer, rest, finding your purpose and direction. Reflect on the bigger meaning of your life and where you should focus your energy and refine your attention.
- West is the direction of Fall, where the Sun sets, representing a time to go within, detox and shed. Ask for wisdom of knowing when to let go, when to release and when to hold on.
- North represents Winter, wisdom and protection. Ask what wisdom is needed for your journey. Reflect on your past and the road you have traveled thus far.
3. Make a Prayer Stick or Prayer Tree
Write or draw specific prayers for those who need healing on it. Make a prayer for the return to peace where there is no peace, for vibrancy and good health in areas of the world where there is now poverty and scarcity.
Practice these rituals on the Summer Solstice and feel yourself nourishing the light within you. Carry this feeling throughout the summer, as you align with the journey of the Earth and the Sun. However you choose to celebrate this day, be sure to spend some time feeling the Sun’s rays on your face and standing fully in the light as you learn to recognize and stand fully in the divine light within.