Summer solstice celebrations aren’t just about Pagans, Wiccans, and Nordic women with garlands in their hair. While celebrations are often tied to religion, spiritual beliefs, and traditions, plenty of summer solstice rituals are for non-Pagans too.
Who doesn’t get a bit jazzed about the sun and its numerous spectacular displays? After all, we are all products of the sun. And, that’s, in part, why the sun embodies much healing and spiritual significance.
Let’s take a closer look at the summer solstice and why it’s worth celebrating.
What Is the Summer Solstice
June 21st marks the summer solstice or Litha (Pagan name) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer. It has the longest daylight and shortest night-time of the year. In fact, within the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t fully sink below the horizon on this day.
The east where the sun rises, the summer solstice, and summer all represent and support all of nature’s growth and productivity, beginnings of all kinds, and spiritual transformation.
In fact, the energies of the different seasons fit together in a recurring co-creating cycle. Winter invites you to go deep inside and reflect. Spring provides an opening, awakening, and gearing up. And now summer supports growth, movement, and manifestation. Following on, fall will welcome deceleration, withdrawal, and preparation for a new cycle starting with the new winter’s stage of rest and reflection.
7 Big Themes Associated With the Summer Solstice
While different cultures and individuals honor and celebrate the summer solstice in many different ways, seven themes seem to dominate.
- The sun
- Nature and the earth
- Water and cleansing
- Transmutation and transformation
Summer Solstice Rituals For Everyone
Engaging in some form of ritual makes sense. When we acknowledge and embrace nature and its forces, it tends to align with us and buttress our intentions. Plus, the open and joyful nature of the solstice permeates through us and gives us the vitality to act, cultivate, and manifest. Everyone can relate to this.
In fact, research shows that exposure to natural sunlight elevates your mood. When it stimulates the release of serotonin it calms and motivates. In a sense, it supports a state of flow.
Typical Ways To Appreciate and Celebrate the Summer Solstice:
- Sun salutations (e.g. Shamanic drums and song, Yoga, meditation)
- Witnessing the sunset
- Sundowners (cocktails and other refreshments) to accompany the sunset
- Lighting bonfires
- Lighting candles
- Making wishes while jumping over candles
- Gatherings of family and/or friends
- Diffusing natural scents
- Ritual bathing
- Witnessing the sunset over the water — the ocean, a lake, etc
- Picnics in nature
- Dancing in nature
- Creating energy grids
- Declaring intentions
- Expressing gratitude
As an earthling and product of the sun, tradition or no tradition, you can no doubt appreciate the significance of the sun in your life.
Pick a form of celebration that resonates with you and what the sun and summer mean to you. But be sure to include an element of generative play and joyfulness because this is a primary aspect and gift of summer energy.