Illume Summer Solstice Rituals
“Let us dance in the sun
wearing wildflowers in our hair
and let us huddle together as darkness takes over
we are at home
amidst the birds and the trees
for we are children of nature.”
For those that live in the Northern Hemisphere, we are approaching Midsummer, the peak celebration of the Summer Season and the midway point in the solar cycle. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, in beautiful contrast to the dark Winter Solstice.
This seasonal shift in nature is a time to celebrate the fullness of life. It is an opportunity to raise our energy; to cultivate abundance and energize our intentions.
Not only do we acknowledge and honor our physical need for the Sun and everything that the Sun’s energy provides for us, but we honor all that the Sun represents. Warmth, illumination, life, energy, light, growth, etc.
Here are six illuminating rituals to slow down and connect to nature this Midsummer season.
Craft With Flower Blossoms
A beautiful representation of the fullness of life are blossoms that are now blooming before our eyes. They are promises of future abundance and a product of the sun’s warming rays. Crafting with flowers is a beautiful and creative ritual in honor of the midsummer day. Cut edible flowers from your garden and use them to make a delicious summer treat. Make frozen flower popsicles with lemonade, or add the edible flowers to a fresh homegrown salad.
These stainless steel popsicle molds and reusable bamboo popsicle sticks helped me create this zero waste summer treat. I’ll be enjoying delicious homemade popsicles all season (sans plastic waste)!
Host a Bonfire Gathering
A typical honorary ritual, for many natural milestones throughout the year, includes the making of a bonfire. This tradition dates back many centuries and transcends cultural differences. Fire, warmth, light, and energy is an essential element necessary for all life to continue. This ritual acknowledges our dependency and honors the blessing of life from the fire element. Create the fire and use it as an opportunity to gather friends and family. Dance, tell stories, and celebrate life around this transfixing element.
Follow the Sun
Just as plants move and turn their flowered faces toward the sun, use this auspicious day to orient yourself the great light in the sky. Greet the day with a sunrise meditation to welcome illumination into your presence. Later, watch daylight fade into twilight and enjoy the sunset reverie. When I look at the sunset and sunrise, I like to try to name the colors that I see. Hazy lavender, dirty lemon, periwinkle, peach rose, etc. Make it a game with those you celebrate the day with.
Embrace the full scope of the longest day of the year, by observing the shadows cast by the sun and watch how it changes throughout the day. Observe the temperature and brightness of light. Relax in the warmth of the sun and let they rays kiss your skin. Enjoy a moment of slow in nature.(Just remember to wear sun protection and stay hydrated!)
Make a Flower Mandala
Pick flowers from the garden and pull the petals off to arrange them in circular patterns. The act of creating a beautiful and intentional arrangement using plants is an opportunity to slow down and connect with nature in a new way. As you create your flower mandala, infuse it with your intentions for the season, contemplate your gratitude for life, and hold a vision of wellness for our planet.
Go for a walk in the woods and tune into the life that surrounds you this season. Rinse your hands in cool running water. Notice the smell of the plants and the temperature of the soil. Find a spot that you are drawn to, then be still in that location and listen to the sounds. Watch the shadows cast by the sun and notice what changes around you as you remain still. Close your eyes and breathe with the trees. Notice the variety of colors and textures. Touch the rough bark and the smooth leaves. Let the tranquility of nature envelope you.
Sing or Speak to Your Garden
Yes, I’m sure this one might sound a bit peculiar. This is no longer common practice during a time when we are not as in tune with nature as we once were. Despite how silly it might feel in the beginning, I promise you that it can be quite more enjoyable than you think (for you and your plants!).
In many native cultures around the world it was tradition for the farmers and community members to gather in the fields and sing to their crops. The intention of the ritual was to connect with the spirit of the earth and plant gods to encourage growth in their crops and ensure a robust harvest. It’s an act of acknowledgement of the interconnectedness of all beings.
Plants are known to physically respond to positive words, and thoughts, from their human caregivers. When you step into your garden, try speaking to your plants, either in your own mind, or aloud. Do it in whichever way makes you feel most comfortable. Tell them how beautiful they look as you touch their leaves. Give them a deep drink of water and sing to them while you water.
What is your favorite way to celebrate the Summer Solstice?