The longest day of the year fast approaches, this Friday, June 21st.
The word solstice comes from two Latin words meaning ‘sun’ and ‘stoppage’, this will be the day that the sun stops moving North and reaches its highest point of the year.
The Solstice represents a time of newness, nourishment and sustenance – an opportunity to turn our attention inward and cast light on the shadows.
Cultures all over the world and throughout history, have celebrated this day. They observed that the expansion of consciousness opened through meditation, practice and ceremony on the Solstice is magnified in a very powerful way. Taking pause on this special day can be a very potent experience.
There are many ways to celebrate this special day, here are a few suggestions:
- Be intentional and turn off all your devices for some part of the day. This helps you align into the frequency of your chosen ritual.
- Prepare a home altar with colours of the sun – brilliant golds, red and oranges. Use candles, flowers, food and anything that brings thoughts of brightness and radiance into your being.
- In a journal or in meditation, reflect upon your journey over the last 6 months. What has transpired for you in the first half of the journey around the sun this year?
- Place a jar or bowl of water out in the sun early on Friday to be energized with the Solstice sun. Drink in the later day to receive the vitality of the most important of cosmic entities.
- Write a list of your intentions for the next 6 months. Bury these intentions in your garden to grow with you over this next cycle of light.
Most importantly, play, have fun and remember all that you’ve generated this year & honour what has burst into creation!
If you have a particular ceremony or practice that you use to celebrate the Solstice – please share it on my Facebook Page. I would love to know how you honour this special day.
The longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere arrives tomorrow when the sun stops moving North and reaches its highest point of the year ~ the Summer Solstice. Cultures all over the world and throughout history have celebrated this day. They observed that the expansion of consciousness opened through meditation, practice and ceremony on the Solstice is magnified in a very powerful way. Taking pause on this special day can be a very potent experience.
The Summer Solstice is celebrated at this time of peak bloom, and of great appreciation for the bounty delivered by our earth Pacha Mama. As Cait & Maura acknowledge:
“Summer is a festival of this inner fire/power, the power that makes abundance and nourishment grow from tiny seeds. The power that brings things to fulfillment, and expands and brightens our lives, that makes good things come from seed ideas and plans. And as we watch the ripening and flowering and fruiting all around us, we can’t help but be moved by and grateful for the generosity of the Earth Mother, who gives says what we need so unstintingly. Summer is a perfect time to discover our earth connection; by receiving her gifts with respect, taking only what we need, and doing what we can to minimize our impact on the delicate balance of the planet, we strengthen and nourish the bond we were given a birth with the great parent who sustains us all.” – ~ Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw from Celebrating the Great Mother
We can honour the balance between what Cait and Maura call the ‘intense activity and lazy, idle hours doing nothing” by celebrating this magical day tomorrow with this easy Summer Solstice Ritual:
- Go out into nature, whether forest, beach or park, and allow yourself to bask in the delicious feeling of nothingness for an hour (or at least 20-30 minutes). Let your toes slip through grass uncovered, do cartwheels among the trees or even take a dip in some brisk water. Celebrating the bounty of nature’s beauty through our simple enjoyment is one of the most powerful ways of appreciating our Mama Gaia.
- During your time, make a nature altar giving thanks. If you’re at a beach, gather and organize water plants, rocks, and sticks into a beautiful altar on the shore. If in the forest or a park, stack twigs, leaves, flowers and fallen debris into an installation celebrating the beauty found in mother nature.
- Sit back and open to the joy of seeing or imagining someone discover your creation!
Play, have fun and remember all that you’ve generated this year & honour what has burst into creation!
love & pranams,
Today is the Winter Solstice, also known as Yule. On this day the tilt of the Earth’s semi-axis is furthest away from the Sun, creating the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a sacred day that predates Christmas by thousands of years, and is the day where we welcome the merging of the darkest time of the year and the emergence into the newborn light. The word “solstice” comes from the Latin solstitium, meaning “point at which the sun stands still.”
If you are like me, you may find that you tend to move hastily through life – from one thing to the next, one project to the next, one year to the next and so on. And in this haste we can so easily neglect the empty moments in between.
We forget the pause, the empty space between tasks, or even the empty space between thoughts. But today, when the sun stands still, we are reminded to not overlook the pause, but to savour it.
Despite living in a modern world, deep in your consciousness may be an ancestral memory, a part of your spiritual DNA, that still senses the cosmic significance of this day.
Take a moment to imagine that this celestial pause becomes an opening, a sacred portal. An opportunity to witness all the parts of ourselves that may have been in the shadows over the past 6 months, or longer. The thoughts, beliefs, emotions that are longing to be heard, seen, felt and realized within. Feel deep in your bones that you are exactly right just as you are. True consciousness comes from embracing both the darkness and the light.
Today the mystical forces of transformation are deeply present. I invite you to accompany me in creating space on the darkest day of the year to pause. Light a candle, write a few notes in your journal, close your eyes and breathe deeply, step into the sacred cosmic portal. Give yourself space to simply be still.
Won’t you join me?
love & pranams,
The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the true beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, beings Wednesday, December 21st at 2:44 am PST. The word solstice means ‘standing still sun’. It is the turning point of our two major seasons – summer and winter. The Winter Solstice celebrates the rebirth of the sun and the return of light. Throughout the year there is the dance of dark and light, and at the winter solstice this dance is at its most intense and pronounced – with the longest period of darkness and the shortest period of light.
Our ancestors, without the advantages of electricity, looked to light to provide a reminder that winter would end and the rebirth of spring would once come again. Bonfires, hearth fires and candles reminded them that light would return. Cultures all over the world over centuries have been celebrating the rebirth of the sun that occurs on this day.
We exist in a universe that is a matrix of consciousness. This universe is composed of an infinite number of patterns, cycles or dualities such as: birth/death, day/night, inhalation/exhalation. The winter solstice and the celebrations of the sun’s return are festivals of light that remind us of this vital spiritual principal. We come and we go. We descend and we ascend. We inhale and we exhale. We give and we receive. But we are always seeking the point of equilibrium, of stillness, of balance and self-awareness.
The Winter Solstice is a powerful time to create new intentions – an excellent opportunity to mindfully and powerfully release old baggage that no longer serves us; habits, ways of thinking, dark and stuck energies. It is said that the next six months represent a very potent spiritual period. As we move into the expansion longer days and more light, we can let the energy of this expansion feed the seeds of intention that we plant at this time.
I encourage you to take some time to slow down and make some space for reflecting on your past journey and where you want to go, especially in the next 6 months. Here are some questions to help:
- Take a review of the last six months and all that you have planted since the summer. Affirm what has transpired and feel what is still also growing and becoming – which can also be part of the unknown and the transition point. And taking a moment in sacred review – write down what has transpired over the last 6 months.
- As we head into the next 6 month period, what new growth are you committing to? What do you feel is the real important focus for you in these next 6 months in a general way?
- On the level of your body, are there any habits to be released? Any patterns that are affecting your health, affecting your vibrancy in this next 6 month cycle. What is thriving and what is calling for your continual attention and care. What wants to be cleansed and what wants to be enhanced?
- Are there any shadow tendencies, thought-waves or patterns that you really need to be aware of to sustain the power of the flow that you are generating? Please listen and see what arises.
- What are the new ways of seeing and being that are asking to be nourished at this time?
And finally, it is very beneficial to create a Solstice San Kalpa. This is a dedication that you offer at the beginning of your practice or a journey. So write a San Kalpa for the next 6 months – inspired from everything that you have written, please cultivate a solstice intention that you will take with you as you move into the fullest expression of light and potential within. You can take this paper and tie it to a tree, bury it under the snow or in the ground, or offer it to the fire. Find the right ceremony for you that helps to seal this sacred intention and help you move forward on your new path.