In just a few short weeks, the Summer Solstice will be upon us. The longest day of the year is a special occasion for Wiccans and Pagans, who mark our calendar by the movement of the sun and moon. Soon, Pagans all across the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating the peak of the sun’s light.
Summer Solstice is also known as Lughnasadh or Litha in Wicca. Lughnasadh is one of the four Quarters (or Lesser Sabbats) on the Wheel of the Year. It is the most powerful day of the year for the Sun God. In other words, Summer Solstice celebrates the blessings of life and love, made possible by our glorious burning star.
If you’re Pagan, perhaps you celebrate the Summer Solstice with a formal ritual at home, or a big public gathering. But you don’t have to dig out all your robes and candles in order to honor this special day. Here are six simple ways that Pagans (and non-Pagans) can observe the occasion of Solstice Day.
It feels strange even calling them rituals, because they are so simple. But when performed with intention, they are rituals like any other:
1. Greet the sunrise.
The most famous Summer Solstice gathering of all is at Stonehenge. Thousands of people come every year to watch the sun rise directly over the Heel Stone at the prehistoric monument—truly a stirring sight. But just because you can’t make it to Wiltshire doesn’t mean you’re missing out entirely. Find a local vantage point to watch the sun peak over the horizon on its holy day.
Check your local news sources to find the exact time of the sunrise in your area (usually between 5 and 6 am). We know, we know—we’re not morning people, either. But once a year at least, it’s amazing to watch the planet stir to life.
2. Make a summer altar.
If your altar is still decorated with evergreens from Yule, it may be time to do a summer refresh. The colors of Summer Solstice are bright and cheery: Orange, yellow, white, leaf-green, and gold. Bring in summer herbs like sunflowers, marigolds, and rosemary. A white or gold candle in the center of the altar represents the sun’s life giving energy. Got deity statues? Solstice time is the God’s time, so dust off Lugh, Apollo, Cernunnos, or Ra.
3. Enjoy the outdoors.
Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. (Even muggles know that means extra time at the beach, trail, or street party.) Everywhere north of the equator will have at least 12 hours of daylight on that day. Use them for your favorite outdoor activities!
Here in Texas where I live, it’s usually way too hot for Solstice camping or bonfires. But the long mornings and evenings provide ample opportunity to soak up some (moderate) sun.
4. Clean house.
The energy of the sun is immensely purifying. It shines its light into every dark corner, revealing the cobwebs and burning off the damp. What better time to clean up your living space? Throw out or donate old possessions, then scrub up with a bright Solar fragrance (like lemon). When you’re done cleaning, burn a white clearing candle in the center of your home to banish the shadows.
5. Do an energy balancing or cleansing.
Now that your home feels squeaky clean, how about your insides? Like the afternoon sun on an old dog’s bones, Solar energy is a gentle medicine. It helps soothe old hurts and loosen up energy blockages. Summer Solstice is a great time to give or receive energetic healing—preferably outdoors—and clear out the gunk. Pay special attention to the Solar Plexus chakra, which governs willpower and self.
6. Create Solar talismans.
Summer solstice is the most powerful time of the year for Solar magick. It’s your annual chance to charge your amulets and talismans for charisma, success, and purification. Elemental tools of Fire—wands or athames—may also be yearning to soak up some rays. For an added bonus, work your Solar mojo during the planetary hour of the Sun.
Okay, one more:
7. Take a risk.
Summer Solstice isn’t really a time for deep introspection or complicated magick. It’s a “go get it” moment for movement and ambition. Set intentions based on taking action. If there’s a project you’ve been waiting to tackle or a decision you’re hesitating to follow through on, Solstice Day offers you burst of energy to make it over the hump.
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