The Wheel of the Year is turning. It feels like Bealtainne was just yesterday, and yet today in the Northern Hemisphere we welcome the Summer Solstice (also known as MidSummer, Litha and Alban Hefin), and our friends in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate Winter Solstice (also known as MidWinter, Yule and Alban Afghan).
The Solstice — from the Latin for “standing still sun” — arrived today Thursday, June 21st at 10:07 UTC Universal Time, 3:07 AM here in Vancouver, Canada.
This “sun standing still” appearance is with us for a few days on either side of the actual solstice point and you can celebrate Solstice any time during this period.
In current times, the June Solstice marks the first official day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
But to my Celtic and English ancestors it was a Fire Festival in the ever-turning Wheel of the Year, a time to welcome the Faerie folk, dance, light a bonfire, and a time to celebrate the Celtic gods and goddesses associated with summer:
• Lugh (loo), he of the fiery spear, and known to some as the Sun god
• Daghda (pronounced dag-dah) the father-figure to all the gods who controlled life, death, weather, crops and the seasons
• Belanos (aka Bel, Belenos, the “Shining One”) birthed at Bealtainne, and whose power starts to wane at Solstice
• Áine (meaning “brightness”, pronounced aw-nyuh), the Celtic Goddess of Summer, also soon to pass
How will you celebrate this longest day of the year?
1 Embrace yellow, the colour of the Sun — wear it, create with it, decorate with it, eat it. There are lots of nutritious yellow foods to choose from such as bananas, peppers, lemons, pineapple, squash, Yukon gold potatoes, beans, tomatoes and more.
2 Light candles in the colours of Fire and Sun such as red, gold, yellow and orange.
3 Walk in the sunshine and/or watch the sunset.
4 Collect fresh flowers and herbs for a solstice bouquet, and place in a doorway or on a home altar. Sunflowers would be perfect, or any yellow or orange blossom in season.
5 Make a faerie garden in a container or home garden (some lovely examples here).
6 Meditate with yellow or golden-hued crystals such as amber, topaz and citrine, and yellow varieties of jasper, tourmaline or quartz.
7 Charge up your sacred tools with the power of Father Sun, by placing them in the full sunlight all day (and only if it is safe for them to be in full light).
9 Use the traditional down time of solstice to Pause and Reflect (our theme for this lunar month) on how your year has gone so far . . . and where you are going until the December Solstice.
10 Pull some cards from your favourite oracle or tarot deck for a Solstice card reading (image below).Click here to download the PDF.
🌞Blessings on the Summer Solstice 🌞