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Summer Solstice 2015

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Summer Solstice 2015
The Summer Solstice is upon us, marking the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer! People from around the world and across cultures mark this momentous day with festivals, feasts and fire ceremonies. So what is this auspicious event anyway, and what does it mean for us?

 

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and coincides with the Sun’s transit into the sign of nurturing Cancer. Today, the Sun will reach the highest point in the sky relative to the equator (this point is fittingly named the Tropic of Cancer). The Sun will appear to stand still here, before heading back toward the equator over the next months. In fact, the word ‘solstice’ is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), literally meaning “sun standing still.” 

 

Summer Solstice Earth's Tipped Axis

 

After today, the days will grow shorter and shorter until they are equal length on the Autumnal Equinox. Then, the Sun will be over the equator, and will continue it’s southward descent to the Tropic of Capricorn, marking the Winter Solstice, or the shortest day of the year. The seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere where today is the Winter Solstice and the year’s shortest day. 

The Solstices and Equinoxes mark the changing of the four seasons, so they are sacred to those of us who still recognize the spiritual power of the natural cycles. Our ancestors celebrated the Solstice with big feasts and festivals honoring the Sun god as a bringer of light, harvest and abundance. Monuments such as Stone Henge reflect the ancient reverence for solar events through their perfect alignment to these celestial occasions. The mythologies of the Sun god or solar deities are numerous throughout cultures, including the son of God, Jesus, who shares many characteristics with the Sun gods of yore. 

 

Stonehenge at sunset

 

The fertile sunny half of the year is a magical time of miraculous creation as Mother Earth springs to life and flourishes in the plentiful sunshine. It’s no coincidence that today is also when the Sun transits into the sign of Cancer. Nurturing, protective and motherly, Cancer is a family-oriented Water sign known for its depth of feeling. This time of year can be nostalgic as we make memories with our loved ones and recall good times past. 

 

With the Sun pausing in the sky, we too are invited to pause for a moment of appreciation. Eclipses, Full Moons and retrogrades are ideal times for reflection and looking within, whereas the Summer Solstice is about sharing abundance, laughter and joy with one another. It’s not a time to be cooped up and pondering your problems, but to count your blessings and to revel in all life has to offer. So get out into the sunshine, raise a toast to the good times and tell your loved ones how you feel about them. 

 

Gather friends for a feast of Mother Earth’s freshest foods, and be sure to make an offering in gratitude. Share with those who need a little extra light in their lives. Dance and sing and make love: fully express the joy of being in a body that’s charged with free solar power.  

 

Perform a fire ceremony to give thanks to the forces of nature which sustain you and support your growth. Banish that which no longer serves you and plant seeds of your intention for the Summer. Do you want to find love? A great summer job? A sexy, fun fling? Whatever it is, write it down and cultivate the feeling of having what you desire before throwing your wishes into the flame. And be sure to add an extra totem—a stick, acorn or a simple drawing will do—that represents Mother Earth and offer your prayers and wishes for the whole planet and all its beings.  

 

Ultimately, while the Summer Solstice is full of magical potential, it’s best to use this time to express gratitude and thanks for all of the abundance that you already have. Sunlight shines on you and asks nothing in return, free oxygen fills your lungs, water falls from the sky and while money may not grow trees, food does! So thank your lucky stars for the simple chance to just be here at all and let the warm & fuzzy Cancer vibe bring you and your family, friends and even your foes closer to each other’s hearts. Happy Summer Solstice! 

 

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