– by Danu Forest
The summer solstice, longest day and height of the solar year, falls on Sunday the 21st of June this year. This is a time of exuberance and fiery solar energy. Traditionally a time of faery revels, magic and great power, this is the perfect time to trust in your hearts desire and seize your destiny. We all have moments of fatigue in our lives, where we wander off track, and lose our sense of purpose or potential. This is the time to grab life by the horns and turn that around, or if you feel you are doing well right now to really kick back and celebrate the wonder of being alive- often the two go hand in hand, and taking the time to honour something bigger than ourselves can be very restorative and rewarding.
The sun is the greatest source of power in our lives, worshipped and honoured for millennia, to the Celts it was embodied by both male and female gods and goddesses, such as the goddess Greine, and god Lugh who was renowned for his skill and wisdom. To our Neolithic ancestors it was important enough to be marked by countless stone circles and henges- the most famous of course being Stonehenge, which is aligned to both the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset.
There is something passionate and instinctual at this time of year, a need to stretch ourselves, a need to gather and feel our wildness. To seize this moment out of time and acknowledge it is a spiritual tradition found all over the globe. The sun’s height in the sky is marked by a surge in life force, of fertility and abundance in nature and in our own lives if we take the time to align with its fiery empowerment.
Here are some things to help you mark the summer solstice in your own way.
1) Take back your power. We all have places in our lives where we let our attention and our empowerment slip. Places where we are less assertive than we would like to be, or where we let fear or lack of confidence steer our lives away from our own heartfelt dreams. Take some time out to reassess, and remember that you always have the right to change, the right and ability to steer your life experience in a different direction. Sometimes it is as simple as shifting our perspective, sometimes it is something more practical or physical, but remember every day is a fresh start if you choose it to be. Take back your power and take practical steps, one at a time, to lead your life where you want to go, to live in a way that fills your heart.
2) Greet the sunrise or the sunset. Even if it is not on the solstice day itself, take the time to notice the splendour of the sun. This daily spectacle is with us all our lives and gets taken for granted almost every day, especially if you live in a town or city. Look up; see the world around you is literally lit by a vast explosion lasting billions of years, out in the vastness of space. You know this already, but let it shift your perspective a little today. We really are ‘star stuff’.
3) Remember nature. Traditionally at this time, faeries and the spirits of nature, trees, rivers, flowers, clouds and sky are easier to sense, and animals and birds are at the height of their lives after winter’s harshness. Try to get out into the wild, if you can, visit a national park, or take a walk in the woods, and let a little natural magic into your life. Let some of its beauty seep in and ease stress and tension, as well as give you an inspiration and refreshment. Give an offering of cream to the faeries, by pouring a little at the base of a tree, or if you can, give back to nature by planting bee friendly flowers or shrubs in your garden.
However you choose to honour this sacred time, try to take this opportunity just to become a little more present to yourself and your life, take the chance to seek moments of silence and conscious connection to your soul. We are all unique, precious divine beings and taking the time to actively remember this can encourage us to live our lives to their full, impassioned and vital potential. The summer solstice reminds us that we all deserve to shine – imagine your body, your heart, mind and indeed your whole life filled with light and give thanks for the blessings of the sun.
About Danu Forest: Danu Forest wisewoman, witch, seer, shaman, walker between the worlds, healer, druid, priestess, teacher, writer, gardener, herbwife, stargazer, faery friend, tree planter, poet and wild woman…lives in a cottage near Glastonbury Tor in the midst of the Avalon lakes, in the South West of England.
Exploring the Celtic mysteries for over 25 years, and noted for her quality research, practical experience, as well as her deep love of the land, Danu writes for numerous national and international magazines. She has a regular column on seasonal celebrations and earth based spirituality for families in UK magazine ‘The Green Parent’ and is the author of three books; ‘Nature Spirits’, ‘The Druid Shaman’ and coming soon, ‘Celtic Tree Magic’ ( Sept 2014). She is a respected magical teacher with three online courses as well regular ceremonies and workshops in the UK.
The Magic of the Summer Solstice
Sign up for our newsletter to get an exciting series of podcasts, keep updated with our events and read new articles from our authors.