The summer solstice has always held a special place in my heart. It is the longest day of the year, with endless possibilities of how to fill the extra hours of daylight. As a child, I remember going to the Downtown Summer Solstice Festival in Anchorage. The city streets would close down to make way for music, food, drinks, vendors, and celebration. The 20 hours of sunlight on the solstice added to the magic of the longest day of the year in Alaska. As a teenager, I would spend the solstice camping, enjoying the magic surrounded by nature, fishing, and socializing throughout the night. When I lived in Casper, Wyoming we would celebrate at Crimson Dawn on Casper Mountain where fairies, witches, and magic would come alive in a solstice celebration observed my adults and kids of all ages.
Many cultures celebrate the solstice and its magical possibilities. In some traditions, the summer solstice is linked to fertility, both of plant and human life. In ancient Greece, women would drink strong plant concoctions and then dream of their future husbands and lives. One of the largest Summer Solstice celebrations still happens every year in Stonehenge (happening Live on Facebook this year - see details below), where the stone altar aligns with the rising sun and white-cloak wearing druids gather to worship and celebrate the dawn and the longest day of the year.
As the years have passed, my excitement about the solstice has only grown. The solstice provides an opportunity to reawaken through ritual and celebration, it is in fact so magical for me...it has transformed and shaped my nutrition and herbal practices. Even though this summer looks slightly different, and we are not gathering in large celebrations or having large parties; there are still many ways to celebrate and honor the day and our own reawakening.
Show gratitude for the warmth, nature, and the sun.
Check out the Facebook Live of Summer Solstice at Stonehenge hosted by English Heritage at https://www.facebook.com/events/581183132524229/
Have an evening bonfire with snacks to cook over the flames - set your intentions with a fire ritual or write down the things that no longer serve you on a piece of paper and burn them in the fire. This is a great time to get rid of junk clogging your mind and start over fresh.
Take some time for self-reflection on your own reawakening journey.
Play Outside - in the water, at the beach, in the dirt, in the garden.
Make a list of your summer and fall intentions (you can make a new list during Winter Solstice for winter and spring intentions).
Try a new fruit or vegetable, recipe, or drink (Check out this Summer Solstice tea recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs - https://blog.mountainroseherbs.com/summer-solstice-tea).
Stay up all night on June 19th, dancing and celebrating - watch the sunset on Spring and rise in Summer. Talk about a great reawakening!
Buy a beautiful bouquet at the farmers market or from your local florist (they need your support, it's been a tough few months).
Get a manicure, pedicure, hair cut, or massage - splurge on some self-care and relaxation. Do you have a local salt cave that offers massages? Another great way to support the local businesses - check out ours in Abingdon - https://www.saltoftheearthabingdon.com/
Do you collect crystals? The solstice is the perfect time to cleanse and recharge them.
Go for a hike on a new trail (bonus points if there is a waterfall or lake to play in). It's all about joyful movement.
Start a new family tradition to celebrate the solstice for years to come. Pass on the magic of the longest day of the year to your kids.
How you celebrate the solstice isn't important, the crucial part is that you participate in some way, however that looks for you. It is time to start fresh, step into the sunlight, and breathe. The solstice is a time to feel empowered to take control of your wellness, move into healthy patterns, and make choices that support your purpose and passions. For me the Summer Solstice this year is about reawakening and relaunching into a new normal, personally and professionally. I invite you to join me in a transformation of increased well-being, health, and joy!