2023 Summer Solstice

How to Celebrate (and Make the Most of) The Summer Solstice

2023 Summer Solstice

Ancient civilizations were keenly attuned to celestial events. They had to be. Agricultural or hunter-gatherer in nature, these people relied on their ancestors’ knowledge of the predictable changes that seasons bring to the land. Each season compelled precise “marching orders” that needed to be completed to help ensure their survival!

Among the longest-observed and celebrated astronomical anomalies were two solstices (two dates during the year when the sun appears to stand still) and two equinoxes (“equal-night” events).

2023 Summer Solstice

Today, we call these four days the first day of summer, autumn/fall, winter, and spring) and today’s farmers and subsistence hunters and gatherers continue to regard them as crucial dates because nature’s relationship with the sun changes ever-so-slightly (but crucially) during these times.

Those who live in rural and suburban areas can easily witness the changes that the four seasons bring, especially if we live in the northern part of the northern hemisphere: Seattle, Boise, Kalispell, the Great Lakes region, and the like.

In the spring, buds erupt from the ground, leaves erupt from branches, and robins return to pull juicy earthworms from newly warmed soils. Before too long, baby rabbits, birds, mice, rats, moles, and shrews begin to make their appearances. The environment comes alive with vibrant colors, sounds and activities.

As spring progresses toward summer, plants begin to ripen and living beings begin to mature. The land and air get warmer and natural water sources become scarcer. Field irrigation becomes necessary.

By the time summer solstice rolls around, the sun is beating down on the planet as many as 16 hours a day in the northern hemisphere (as opposed to the scant eight hours or so that it receives during the winter solstice). Abundant fresh produce floods farmers markets. Life is good. In fact, life is great! “If only this could be the status quo year-‘round,” I’m sure many of our now-long-dead ancestors wished!

But they knew better. They knew that summer was the last gasp as far as abundance went. They knew they needed to continue preparing for the cold, barren, bleak winter months ahead; they couldn’t rely on international commerce, as we do, to deliver what they would be needing to sustain their lives during the exceedingly lean months that stood between them and mid-spring the following year.

2023 Summer Solstice

So, it should come as no surprise to learn that they acknowledged, with enormous reverence, the value of Sol. Stonehenge and other solstice-specific monuments dot the globe, bearing mute testimony to the reverence our ancestors paid to their life-sustaining environment and to its chief benefactor and influence, the sun.

2023 Summer Solstice

Ancient Greeks

In Greece, the people celebrated the agricultural god Cronus during the Summer Solstice. During this festival, the social policy was reversed and enslaved people were served by their masters or treated and addressed as absolute equals.

Ancient Romans

For days before the summer solstice, ancient Romans attended a festival honoring Vesta, goddess of the hearth. This was the sole annual opportunity for married women to enter the temple to submit offerings to the goddess in that sacred space.

2023 Summer Solstice
2023 Summer Solstice

Ancient Chinese

The ancient Chinese honored the earth, femininity, and yin during the summer solstice.

Other Ancient Cultures

In Northern and Central Europe Germanic, Slavic and Celtic tribes greeted summer by building immense bonfires. The tradition continues to this day in several countries.

2023 Summer Solstice
2023 Summer Solstice

Vikings

Nordic mariners met to discuss legal matters and resolve disputes during the summer solstice. They also visited wells that they believed possessed healing powers and built bonfires around them.

Native Americans

Here in the Americas (North, Central and South) ancient Indigenous tribes took part in centuries-old midsummer rituals, some of which their ancestors continue to this day. Some scholars believe that Wyoming’s Bighorn medicine wheel aligns with the summer solstice sunrise and sunset and served as the site of their annual sun dance.

2023 Summer Solstice
2023 Summer Solstice

Maya and Aztecs

Although not a lot is settled about the ways ancient Central Americans celebrated midsummer, the impressive ruins they left behind point to the significance of the summer solstice to them. Many of the temples, public buildings, and other structures that remain today are precisely aligned with the shadows cast by summer and winter solstices.

Druids

Celtic high priests (today called Druids) very likely led ritual celebrations during midsummer, but it’s unlikely they took place at England’s famous Stonehenge site. This conjecture hasn’t kept modern Druids from gathering at the monument during the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes, though.

2023 Summer Solstice

Solstice Facts

The term solstice comes from two Latin words, “Sol” (sun) and “Sistere“ (“to stand still”). During both annual solstices, ancient astronomers noted that only during two widely separated days each year (in June and December) did the sun appear to be stationary in the sky.

A solstice marks one of the two times each year when the sun is farthest away from the equator.

This year in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice will take place on Wednesday, June 21st at exactly 10:58am Eastern Time / 7:58am Pacific Time.

Summer and winter solstices happen at precise times; they are not day-long events, although these moments have been celebrated throughout the same day for thousands of years.

This year’s winter solstice in the northern hemisphere will occur at exactly 7:27p.m. Pacific Time/10:27PM Eastern Time on Thursday, December 21.

Here are ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice Where You Live

In addition to bonfires, fairs and festivals, some people use the occasion to restart their lives, let go of what no longer serves them, and/or open up to meaningful change. Following are examples.

2023 Summer Solstice

If you’re into yoga, start the day with a sun salutation to calm and center yourself.

Set new goals/intentions. Cast off whatever no longer serves you so you can open space in your life to laser focus on new goals and intentions. Perhaps start with what’s in your closet and/or bonus room, even if your goals aren’t physical items. Doing so will reset your mind to realize that you’re completely capable of creating the life you want.

Create a summer bucket list. Make concrete arrangements to do whatever you feel you must do to feed your spirit before summer’s expiration date.

Make A Flower Crown: In a folk tale from Finland, a young woman collected seven flowers under her pillow on Midsummer night (aka the Summer Solstice) and lo and behold, her future fiancé appeared in her dreams! Whether you’re looking for a mate or just for some creative fun, making a flower crown is a delightful idea!

2023 Summer Solstice

Start A Summer Garden (Or Add To Your Existing One) But only if you love gardening. Many people feel renewed and/or meditative when working the soil.

Throw a Summer Solstice Party. Get outside with great friends or family members. Build a bonfire, sing songs, play instruments or your favorite music, and eat your favorite foods.

If you can’t be at Stonehenge, watch the livestream to witness the sunrise through the center stone during this year’s summer solstice.

If you’re in the far north (Alaska or Iceland), play a midnight sport (baseball in Alaska, golf in Iceland).

2023 Summer Solstice

Take a hike. Climb with a friend to an alpine meadow, waterfall, or some other natural wonder.

Play some lawn games. Lawn darts, bocce ball, horseshoes and other lawn games are great fun.

Stargaze. Get outside of big cities and into sparsely populated areas to rediscover a night sky filled with an uncountable number of stars.

Go berry picking. Harvesting wild, edible berries is a favorite pastime of a lot of outdoorsy types.

Catch the wave! Go surfing (board, body, or wind) or waterskiing. It’s exhilarating. (Remember the sunscreen!)

2023 Summer Solstice

Go camping. Whether you employ a tent or a camper, camping is where it’s at for those who want to surround themselves with nature.

Take an evening swim. If you can swing it, swim naked in the dark with a romantic partner. Love is in the air!

For many reasons that are now clear, the Summer Solstice has been an all-important day throughout history. It is also a day of equilibrium and powerful celestial energy. It’s an ideal to pause and think about where you have come in life, and where you want to go. And if you feel as though you have much to accomplish, like you are ready to step into the person you were put on this Earth to be, then you should consider our year-long Master-in-Training program. It’s our most intimate, powerful, and exclusive program. A program that drives the time of life transformational in a year that most people couldn’t imagine in a decade. And the doors for registration are now open.

If you’d like to learn more about the types of transformations people experience in this program, you can watch our recent free Open House and hear directly from the people who experienced it. Click here to watch it now >>

If you’re ready to reserve your spot for this life-changing program, then do so by clicking here >>

Winter Solstice

Vedic Fire Ceremony: Commemorate the Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is upon us. We’re at a turning point as our planet Earth makes its annual rotation around the sun. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the next 24 hours will be where we get the shortest amount of sunlight because the sun is lowest in the sky. In fact, the sun appears so low in the sky (because of the tilt of the Earth on its axis) that it seems to set in the same place as it came up—an illusion that makes it look like the sun isn’t moving at all.

That’s where the term “solstice” comes from. The Latin solstitium translates as “the Sun stands still.” Solstice has been a special moment in time even during the Neolithic era, as seen in ancient sites like Newgrange in Ireland, which is aligned with the winter solstice sunrise, and Stonehenge in England, which is aligned to the winter solstice sunset. Back then it was a time for feasting before the famine months of deep winter set in. Cattle were slaughtered so they wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter; the wine and beer brewed from summer’s harvest were now fermented and ready to drink. So, the heart of Solstice was family and friends getting together to feast and exchange gifts, just as we do today.

Winter Solstice

And because the event heralded the beginning of the return of the sun, it was the time to celebrate the birth of the sun god in cultures around the world. The birth of Jesus was set as December 25th because it was the date of the festival of Sol Invictus, the sun god of the Roman Empire, and to incorporate indigenous Yule traditions into a Christian framework.

The Romans did it up in grand style, honoring the god Saturn with the festival of Saturnalia in the days of solstice. Businesses would close down and there would be big banquets, music, gift-giving, and nonstop parties—with an abundance of candles symbolizing the returning power of the sun’s light.

What does Saturn have to do with solstice? Solstice begins on the first day of the astrological sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn. That heavy planet is known as a spiritual teacher, preparing you for the obstacles you have to surmount on the path to liberation—like getting through the long dark night of the soul.

In the Vedic tradition, the winter solstice is called the dawn of the year, knowing that the budding flower of time will unfold over the following year. According to Vedic Astrology, the Sun gives access to exploring your future with strength and courage. The sun is the eternal atman, the spiritual life principle of the universe, and the source of much of your energy. It sustains and empowers life through the balance of the seasons. 

Winter Solstice

Just like the first two hours of the morning are when you receive the seed principle of the day, the returning light of the sun at solstice will help you receive the seeds you need to plant for new growth over the coming year. It’s right now, and not January 1st, for the time for New Year’s resolutions.

Winter Solstice

Join me today in a Vedic fire ceremony for winter solstice to revisit the past year and reflect, without judgment, on what you need to cast off, and to invite in a focus for setting new goals that will help you move in the direction of your dreams. The energy of the solstice supports you in letting go of old habits and beliefs and opening up a fresh chapter in your life. The Sun God starts to rise again, and your soul ascends to spirit.

On the winter solstice, the sun reaches the dark zenith of the underworld, where true light is reborn stronger than before. It points to achieving peace, prosperity, and wisdom. 

Since the start of the solar year celebrates the rebirth of the Sun, it’s a wonderful time to meditate on darkness and light, and what they mean for you.

So close your eyes, and take in a deep breath and exhale any tension in your body, then let your breathing become slow, deep, and easy. It is the dark of the longest night of the year. The dark of deep space between the stars and planets. The dark of the depths of the seas. The dark of the womb.

Imagine you are walking alone in a dark forest. It is dusk and there is no moon. You walk slowly on a barely visible path, past trees shrouded in gloom. Your heart is heavy.

Winter Solstice

You have been through a challenging year and you worry about what might be coming in the next year. You made mistakes, you suffered loss, you had pain. You tend to be hard on yourself, and all you can see are your failures—the times you closed your heart, the times you reacted in anger, the times you saw someone in need and turned the other way. A new year lies ahead, and you know there will be new challenges and new uncertainties.

Not far away from the dark woods you know that people are caught up in a whirlwind of activity. They may have lost sight of the meaning behind the holidays—the rebirth of the Light.

Winter Solstice

It’s a time of depression for many. Maybe you’re dealing with a difficult diagnosis, or you went through a traumatic event this past year that you’re still reeling from. Or, like so many, you may be feeling the pain of the world—there are so many in desperate situations who are dealing with poverty or war or persecution. Or you may be feeling the pain of the earth as mankind continues to deplete her resources.

You keep walking as night takes hold of the bleak beauty of the wintry forest. The darkness grows deeper.

The darkness holds your unseen worries, the anxious thoughts that circle endlessly in your head and don’t let you rest, the fears for yourself and those you love. Will you be safe? Will you be healthy? Will you have enough sustenance—not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually?

You may wish for the darkness to dissipate, but the darkness is necessary. It is the womb of your being, where the seeds of your future germinate. What have you planted deep inside yourself? What plans are being formulated for your future? Are you feeding your potential for spiritual growth? Is a desire to serve others, to relieve the suffering of others, ready to emerge?

Let’s take a moment to plant seeds of focused intention. These seeds will grow to be the gifts from the darkness for you. Success lies in finding the solution to a problem. Whatever issue comes to your mind, know that there is a solution waiting for you, that you can find that solution today as you bring more light into your awareness.

Create in the light that arises from the darkness. When you allow yourself to go deep into the darkness, to explore its depths and its edges, you honor both the dark night of the soul and the rebirth of hope and vision. 

Winter Solstice

An old teacher of mine used to say, “You have to kneel before you can leap.” Think about it. If you want to jump up in the air, you first have to crouch down to get the momentum you need to spring up. The same is true for spiritual growth. You have to stop fearing your own inner darkness, the uncertainty of life, the depths of your emotions, the dark night of the soul. You have to embrace that which is hidden and honor all the parts of yourself—the high and the low, the powerful and the weak, the light and the dark. 

Are you ready to release whatever no longer works for you?

Winter Solstice

Are you ready to shed whatever is taking up too much of your internal space? Is negative self-talk overriding your hopes and dreams? Are you letting your light shine brightly, or are you hiding it? Are you tired of not living up to your potential?

Set the intention you need right now to release whatever no longer serves you and get ready for rebirth and renewal.

Feel how those good intentions are lifting the darkness a bit. Join me as we breathe in the crisp night air and inhale the invigorating scent of cedar and pine. The first stars are breaking through the darkness of the night and we can now walk more confidently by starlight. There are sounds of rustling in the forest, but it all seems so benign as we suddenly see through a gap in the trees to a spot of light in the distance.

We come to the edge of the clearing and we see someone who beckons us forward – we feel welcomed. A faint glow seems to emanate from the fringes of her robe, it is a woman, with a wrinkled weathered face peering out from the hood of her robe. She is tending the small fire and invites you to sit with her on the blanket that is laid out on the ground. Join her and warm your hands at the fire, then sit and stare at the flames as the sweet smell of burning cedar perfumes the air.

Winter Solstice

She tells you her name is Brigid, she is the early Celtic goddess of healing, poetry, and fire, from the ancient lineage of Druids. She has woven ribbons of red, green and white, the colors of the Druid holiday season, into her silver braided hair. She speaks to you gently, slowly, thoughtfully, as she continues to watch the fire, saying:

“You have nothing to fear from the darkness, for she is your mother and the mother of the Light. Forget your burdens for a while. Take rest here. The light cannot return until the darkness is complete.”

You watch as she reaches into a bag and takes out some herbs. She holds the plants to her lips and murmurs a soft chant in a language you don’t recognize, then throws the herbs into the fire. Pungent smoke washes over you, and you grow sleepy. The old woman advises you to lie down and enter a dream state. You feel yourself pulled into a semi-sleep. As if from a faraway land, you hear her voice.

Winter Solstice

“It is time to be magical, my dear, in this sacred clearing. You are here to honor the gods of the coming light, whose power gives life to everything which is alive. She says:

“We all come from the Goddess

And to Her we return

As our ancestors worshiped Her

On air, land, and sea.

Mother, I feel you under my feet.

Father, I see you where the eagle flies.

You shall reach us, you shall teach us

And reveal our fate!

Burn bright, flame within me,

Kindled in the eternal fire.

In your dream-like state, you feel that deep peace, the peace of spirit that passes all understanding. Knowledge arises within you of how to proceed in life. You gain the wisdom that is the gift of the difficulties you have encountered and overcome.

Winter Solstice

Slowly you wake up. Looking up into the night sky, you see the stars, twinkling in the dark sky.  Brigid says, “See the turning of the wheel, the endless cycle that connects us all. May you be guided to the returning light.” And say with her: I am both dark and light. I am both dark and light. 

Slowly you rise from the blanket and offer your sincere thanks and gratitude to this ancient woman who has gently given you such solace, such relief from the sorrows you were carrying alone in the dark. You have received the blessing of the ancients and a spark of new life and can carry on. You feel connected to the Source of all life and can sense the swirling nurturing energy of the dark. 

You remember the ancient Vedic prayer for illuminating your life, a famous chant from the Upanishads.

From non-being, lead us to being

From darkness, lead us to light

From death, lead us to immortality

And may the infinite light arise within you.

Winter Solstice

The Vedas are ancient texts that hold the keys to personal healing, self-fulfillment and enlightenment. Within the Vedas, you can find the Sutras – mystical phrases that hold within them immense transformational power.

Right now, you can experience the “seeding” of these 20 sacred phrases in your consciousness — and transform your personal energy field.

The Shift Network has bundled Deborah’s bestselling Sacred Tools for Modern Master course – in which she teaches the Sutras – with three other offerings. Right now, you can get all 4 bundled for just $98! And you can pick it up by clicking here >>

Light & Dark

The Cycle of Light and Dark

Light & Dark

I wake in the early morning hours, when I can still see the stars, to bring in the light of day with meditation. It has always been important, in all the ancient spiritual traditions, to greet the dawn of a new day, to give praise for having come through the darkness yet again.

The ancient Egyptians believed the Sun God, whom they called Amun-Ra, created and then sustained life itself, and ruled as the first king of Egypt. Each day Ra arose as a beautiful child, climbed into a boat and swept across the sky. At the zenith of the day, high noon, he was at the height of his manhood and strength. By late afternoon, he was exhausted, and by sunset he was a feeble old man. At night, he entered another boat and the gods took him through the 12 perilous provinces of the underworld, the hours of the night, when the serpent monster of darkness threatened to swallow him in his weakened state. Somehow, Ra always survived the battles of the night and emerged once more into the brilliant light of a new day. Praise be!

If you look at the cycles of your life, they are much the same as Ra’s daily journey. You come through whatever darkness strikes at your heart—whether that’s depression, or illness, or financial difficulties, or any distress or unhappiness—and, with the help of energy medicine, are born again into the light of day, where you grow stronger in wisdom and inner illumination as you get more connected to your inner Sun, your Higher Self.

Light & Dark

In the cycle of light and dark, the dark symbolically evokes negativity and the unknown, while light conveys the positive aspects. The Bible is full of light as the symbol of divine presence and salvation. Jesus became the “light of the world,” while Satan, originally an angel of light, became the prince of evil and darkness and ruled the underworld.

But many thousands of years ago, the Vedic seers in ancient India saw the cycle of light and dark in a much “bigger picture” way—as a vast cycle of time, a great spiral of creation that brings mankind and our planet close to the source of light, then we move farther away into the darkness, and finally return to the light again in great cycle composed of four yugas (great ages). These ages are based on the movement of our solar system within our galaxy—a 12,000-year “descending” time period when our solar system is moving away from the galaxy’s center of magnetism and the strongest light, and 12,000 “ascending” years when our solar system slowly returns to the point closest to the “central sun.”

Stay with me. I know this may seem complicated, but it’s worth understanding because it relates directly the spiritual awakening that is happening these days.

The four yugas are: the Satya yuga, the Golden Age with its direct perception of spiritual truth; the Treta yuga, when spiritual perceptions are less clear; the Dwarpara yuga, when humankind is focused on conquering space and electrical energies; and the infamous Kali yuga, when humanity is not able to perceive anything beyond the physical, material universe.

Light & Dark

According to some modern spiritual teachers, well-versed in astronomy and mathematics, we started to cross the threshold into the ascending Dwarpara yuga around 1700 AD, the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, and now we are finally starting to come out of the Kali yuga, which darkened humanity’s knowledge for 2,400 years. It’s the journey to more light, more consciousness, and more awakened beings on the planet.

If you’ve wondered why you have a certain pull towards spirituality now, why teachings about energy medicine are starting to enter mainstream awareness, and why so many of the patriarchal beliefs and institutions that came out of a Kali yuga mentality are now crumbling before our eyes, it’s because we are on the path back to the light. Sort of like Amen-Ra, we are waking up as children of the light. We’re taking our first steps into higher consciousness, or we’re here to guide others along in their awakening process. Enlightened beings, after all, are those who have merged with the light.

Light & Dark

As we leave the Summer Solstice behind us, it’s a good time to think about these cycles, what season comes next, and what part we can each play individually to bring the world closer to harmony, balance, and enlightenment over time.

While it may not seem like it, this is the general trend of the world (although sometimes it’s two steps forward, one step back). But we each have a part to play to make it so.

What will be your part?

If you have a hard time answering this question, consider joining our flagship Level I program, which provides an introduction and base for LifeForce Energy Healing.

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Christmas star conjunction

The Great Conjunction

Hi Friends,

Today is January 5th – a day that many people around the world celebrate as Epiphany or Three Kings Day. For Christians, it celebrates the day that the 3 wise men followed an unusually bright star in the sky to lead them to Bethlehem.

Today, I want to talk to you about this star. More importantly, I want to talk about how stars can be our guiding lights.

It’s not entirely clear what exactly the Star of Bethlehem was. Some suggest it was a supernova – the explosion of a very large star. Others say it could have been a comet. But one really neat idea is that it was the alignment of two planets in the night sky – so closely aligned that they appear to be one very bright star.

This is called a conjunction. And we just had a very great one last month.

On December 17th, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn aligned in the Southern sky so closely that it appeared to be a single star. True, in reality, they are two planets that are millions of miles apart, but to us on Earth, it appears as if two bright objects slowly combined together before drifting apart.

Isn’t it sort of funny how these planets aren’t even touching, but for us: they put on a dazzling show that won’t be replicated for hundreds of years? I love to think about that. I love to think about how we have navigated by the stars, planted our crops by the stars, dreamt by the stars, and kept record of our stories by the stars. All the while, these stars exist so far away from where we stand, that it baffles the mind to comprehend.

We, here on Earth, are the recipients of the particular position and light that these stars cast. Nowhere else in the Universe do the stars look quite like they do on Earth at night.

Some might look at this reality and suggest that putting emphasis on these astronomical events is misguided – that it is only an illusion from our viewpoint on Earth. I don’t believe that. Just because the Stars exist independent of us does not mean they don’t serve as guides for us.

Think of the Sun. It rises in the East. If you wake and follow the Sun, you will walk East. It has guided you. Does the Sun exist solely to guide you? Doubtful at best!

It’s the same as how the trees are dependent upon the Spring warmth to bloom. Without Spring, the trees will not flourish, but that does not mean the Spring exists solely to make the trees bloom.

This is how I felt watching the Great Conjunction last month. Yes, I know that these planets are fixed in their orbits, and that they are millions of miles apart, but they have created an alignment for us to view on Earth that is worth pausing and taking in.

And the one thing I kept coming back to is: what could it mean?

What could that Great Conjunction be leading us to?

All I know is that I felt an urging, a sense of profundity, and of connection when I saw that Great Conjunction. I am hopeful, therefore, that this union of the planets might foreshadow a union of two great forces coming together to make something brilliant.

What that brilliance might be? Well, perhaps you need to look to the stars to find guidance of your own.

The stars are out there, friends. They may be lifetimes upon lifetimes away, but their light shines on the Earth constantly. And I encourage you to look to them for guidance and support. Their light has granted many travelers safe passage over the millennia – and I know they’ll do the same for you.

Trust in their light. It’s the same light that the sun brings down on all of us – the light that provides warmth, energy, and life for all of us. Their light is affirming, and powerful. And if you’re ready to take the next step to learn how to harness this majestic healing power of light and energy – the same energy that guides us from the stars – then I encourage you to join me on my transformative and empowering journey of Medical Intuition, where we’ll learn how to read and heal with the powers of light, intuition, and energy.

Find your guiding light.

Deborah

2020-5HealingRituals&PracticestoHonortheSummerSolsticeBlog

5 Healing Rituals & Practices to Honor the Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice is coming up fast, and now is the time to decide how you want to celebrate…

On June 20, we honor this major celestial event in the Northern Hemisphere — a magical time when you can connect with the sun’s vital power and usher in spiritual initiation and CHANGE.

What exactly IS the Summer Solstice?

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “standing still.” On the 20th, the sun will reach its highest position as seen from the northern half of the Earth, and it will appear to stand still as it marks the height of long days and the abundant aliveness of Nature. Summer Solstice also marks the longest day and the shortest night of the year. And of course for folks in the southern part of the planet, the reverse is true: Winter Solstice comes at this time, bringing the regenerative darkness that nurtures the rebirth of life. (We are thinking of all of our students and friends Down Under)

In ancient cultures around the world, Summer Solstice was considered the turning point of the year. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna describes the solstice as the way out of the physical world and into the spiritual realms. It’s a time (as is the Winter Solstice) when the veil that separates you from nonphysical reality is so thin that it can be easily pierced. Especially if you’re highly attuned to the cycles of the Earth, you might be able to feel this shifting of energy. It offers a powerful opportunity for renewal that stays open for several days before and after the actual occasion.

Summer Solstice rituals & ceremonies

Just as the ancients held special ceremonies on the solstice, you too can connect to the sun’s heightened energy at this time, and take advantage of its radiance to shine light on whatever you want to transform in your life or the world. Plus, if you’re starting to shift out of shelter-in-place, this is an optimal time to explore more deeply what you’re thinking of stepping into.

So let’s take a look at some simple things you can do to celebrate your connection to the sun, and take stock of where you are and what you want to accomplish.

5 healing rituals & practices to honor the Summer Solstice

  1. Call in your highest intentions for your life or the world. As we birth a new consciousness across the Earth, harness the energy of this day to help usher in change for the better. Light your favorite yellow or orange candle. Call in your angels and guides. Journal about or pray for what you’d like to see come to fruition. Summer is the time of flowering, so let the warmth of the sun help you grow the seeds of your intentions into an abundance of health, happiness, wisdom, peace, and justice.
  2. Take a gratitude sun bath. Try watching the sunrise on solstice, or do Sun Salutations, and give our life-giver your gratitude for gracing the Earth, for bringing warmth and helping seeds grow. And while it can be hard to keep in mind that good things are happening on Earth, acknowledge a change that’s come that you’re happy about. For example, this week we saw a historic national ruling in the US that protects LGBTQ workers. Another example is that more and more companies are honoring Juneteenth as a paid holiday. While we’re bombarded by bad news left and right, it’s crucial to honor everything you view as positive. That’s one of the keys to uplifting consciousness — and higher consciousness uplifts our physical reality.
  3. Meditate on this: What role will you play in evolving your community and our global family? This is the time to ask yourself: “What can I do now to welcome the change I want?” This year more than ever, people have felt like everything is out of our control, but the truth is that you always have the power to start working with the universe toward meeting a goal. What steps — even if they seem small — can you take now to uplift your workplace, to change a law in your community, to ensure justice, to shift a broken system, to help someone who’s struggling
  4. Visualize yourself crossing a threshold. See the place you’re crossing from as what you’re ready to leave behind. See the place you’re approaching as what you’ve been longing for. With the sun shining brightly ahead of you, will you enjoy more nurturing relationships? Make a job change? Be more creative? Use this time when the sky is at its brightest to welcome more nurturance into your life!
  5. Recharge your life-force energy in nature. As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I make sure my ties to the sun, the Earth, the sky, the wind, the stars, the plants, and our fellow animals are always intact. I have my favorite places in nature that support my spirit and strengthen my knowledge of the unconditional love and universal connection we all share. Are you making good use of the power of nature to soothe and guide you? Choose a favorite tree to hug. Lie on your back under the sun with your palms up in a receiving position and watch the sky. Marvel at the absolute majesty.

Most of all, enjoy this magical time of year! The more open you are to new energy, the more you’ll increase its presence within you. Remember that like the sun, you can shine brightly, and you have the power to help bring forth the great new growth that’s so needed on this beautiful planet.

To learn more about tapping into powerful life-force energy, check out my master-in-training certification course here.

Work one-on-one with Deborah
2020 June Eclipse

3 Practices to Embrace Hidden Aspects Through June’s Full moon + Lunar Eclipse

This month’s full moon is INTENSE — but there’s hope…

Are you feeling it? Tensions are mounting, personally and collectively — and here in the US we’re seeing this energy play out with strong reactions to deep-seated issues with racial injustice and police brutality, to name just a few of the conflicts that have been erupting.

Full moons in and of themselves are all about illumination — both literally as the moon brightens the night sky — and figuratively as it lights up different aspects of our personal and collective lives…

And this month on June 5 or 6 (depending on where you live), our full moon is also a lunar eclipse. I’ll tell you about the significance of the lunar eclipse shortly, but first I’ll tell you that this week’s full moon is also in a T-square with Mars and Neptune.

In a nutshell, the T in T-square stands for Tension. Some of the manifestations of Mars include energy, action, and drive — and the tenser manifestations include violence and upheaval. Some of the manifestations of Neptune include oneness and deep sensitivity — and the tenser manifestations include deception and emotional turbulence.

In Vedic astrology, eclipses herald change. Combine that with Mars’s energy for making something happen, and Neptune’s energy for oneness, and we have a recipe for people gathering to create necessary change that’s long overdue.

This applies especially in America right now, but you’ll likely be able to see it wherever you live on one scale or another — perhaps with families and educators coming together to change the way we teach our children, or maybe in your personal life with a job or a relationship.

After all, we know that tension and conflict drive action, right?

As I shared in a post about transforming your perspective during the pandemic, there are different levels of perception — and with the God brain, we can see this as the potential to make the necessary changes that need to happen for us to grow, to change, to step ­up in consciousness, and to progress to higher levels of being.

Which is something we ALL need, right? You’re very likely seeking to step up personally, and I bet your intention — like mine — is to help humanity rise up from its current state.

As individuals, and society as a whole, if we make racial bias a moral issue, then no one will want to embrace their bias, because most people don’t want to be a “racist.” However, the truth is, we all exist in a society with inherent bias built into the system, therefore, we all carry bias — consciously or unconsciously.

The path forward is in embracing our bias… which means digging into our inner work and exploring our shadow aspects.

Fortunately, there’s tremendous opportunity for positivity that we can reap from this moon, which has the potential for great transformation — a potential driven by tension and drive, determination, and resolve.

Harnessing the Power of the Strawberry Full Moon Lunar Eclipse for Healing and Transformation — and Embracing Your Shadow

The strawberry full moon lunar eclipse? You read that mouthful right — the June full moon is traditionally called the strawberry moon or the rose moon — because strawberries are abundant and roses bloom in June. (There’s a little opportunity for some vibe-lifting, chakra-clearing gratitude!)

Because emotions are heightened during a full moon, it’s a perfect opportunity to acknowledge and release them.

Try these full moon cleansing strategies to access the full spectrum of healing energy from this cycle’s moon.

Journal to release racial bias and inherited imprints & beliefs
Want to see big benefits during the full moon? Journal to express your inner feelings and observations, write out your intentions for change, make decisions about what to do next, and channel tension into positive action.

Try these journal prompts to help you get started:

  • What does Black Lives Matter mean to me?
  • Do I hold any pain my ancestors experienced through racism? Do I hold any responsibility? (If you feel you do, call on your guides and the Violet Flame to help you release old wounds.)
  • What did I learn about race from my mom, dad, or family in general?
  • What is hidden or eclipsed in me? Are there experiences or beliefs I can release?
  • What are my deepest desires when it comes to racism and humanity?
  • What actionable steps can I take to help heal racism?

Meditate, meditate, meditate
In Vedic astrology, eclipses are caused when the North and South Nodes of the moon, Rahu and Ketu, swallow the sun and the moon. The moon at these times is not actually auspicious to watch with the naked eye, but going inward and meditating is extra beneficial.

I recommend meditating for 20 minutes twice a day with a mantra I give you. If I haven’t taught you yet, here’s a link to learn. Use this contemplative time to receive messages from your inner guidance, spend extra time grounding and connecting to the creative and generative power of the Earth, and open to the wisdom being revealed to you.

Your meditation and prayer time is also vital to helping every other sentient being on the planet. Dedicate your practice time to amplify vibrations of higher consciousness raising the unified field around all of us. Our world needs healing more than ever right now, and by consciously sending healing intentions into the universal field, you’ll help create the healing our planet needs so desperately.

Protest peacefully
If there are protests taking place in your community and you feel called to join, do so, guided by your heart. If you’d prefer to stay at home and drop in to the reflective time that lunar eclipses call for, watch this TedTalk with Damon Davis. Courage is contagious, he says, which could not be more true.

In everything you do this week and always, know that you can navigate turbulence with grace, and your thoughts, prayers, and intentions will help make this a turning point for upleveling consciousness — yours and the people in your life and the planet’s. You are never alone; call upon Spirit and your guides to help you harness this moon’s power for personal and collective upliftment.

Strawberry Moon Summer Solstice

2019 Strawberry Full Moon and Sagittarius: Summer Solstice to Follow

This week, as we move into summer, we are gifted two wonderful opportunities to experience the incredible healing energy of the cosmos.

First: The Full Moon

Take some time tonight or tomorrow night to sit outside and connect to the feminine energy of this week’s full moon, known as the sweetest moon of the year. Since ancient times, Native Americans have given very descriptive names to each full moon, inspired by what’s happening in nature at that time of year. They call this full moon in June the Strawberry Moon because it is the time of year when wild strawberries ripen and are ready to pick.

As you sit outside under the night sky, allow the light of the full moon to gently open your spiritual side. And listen to whatever fruitful guidance she may offer you. I’ve had some of my biggest spiritual openings outside, under the light of a summer full moon, feeling her energy and receiving her counsel. So head outside and let the moon do her magic on you!

Then you’ll be ready to make the most of the solar energy of solstice this Friday – you’ll be open to hearing what’s best for your body and how to restore and optimize your health, open to hearing the perfection of the now.

Next: The Summer Solstice

The Earth is closer to the sun this week than at any other time of the year, and we are bathed in solar energy. In summer, we celebrate the incredible bounty of the earth and the powerful energy that can turn tiny seeds into nourishment. The warmth of the sun can help you to grow the seeds of your inner being into an abundance of health, happiness, and wisdom.

For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, Friday, June 21st marks the longest day of the year. Ancient astronomical monuments like Stonehenge are aligned to the sunrise of summer solstice, celebrating the height of glory for the Sun King before the days start growing shorter once again. You can connect to the sun’s vital power at solstice during the extra hours of daylight and remember that you, too, can burn brightly and bring nurturance into your life.

Summer is the time of flowering, a time to reap the rewards of your spiritual efforts and grow in the Light. It’s also a powerful time to recharge your life force energy out in nature, seeing how everything is alive and vibrant under the sun.

Summer is a happy time of year, filled with incredible energy. Use the available energy to walk in the woods (and try Forest Bathing, see last week’s blog, swim in the ocean, or a lake, tend your organic garden (even if it’s just a pot or two on the windowsill) and relish the beauty of nature’s patterns in the vegetables and flowers you grow. Align with the influx of powerful solar energy as you swim or kayak across the water, the sun sparkling its surface and infusing you with joy.

Fuel Yourself Accordingly

It’s a good time of year to eat more lightly, and the perfect time to try eating a more plant-based diet with so much fresh produce readily at hand. Remember to stay well hydrated while out in the summer sun. There are so many luscious fruits available to help your liquid intake. Try blending chunks of watermelon into juice; it’s about 92% water with lots of nutrients and beneficial compounds that lower inflammation and improve your heart health as well.

The Light – It’s Here For You

When the sun is shining and your body is warming along with the outside temperature, and you’re able to sleep outside under the summer’s night sky, you are content in the moment and grateful to be able to serve the light – the moon light, the sun light, the star light, and the inner light of Spirit. So let the light of the full moon and the glorious sunrise of the summer solstice awaken you and guide your way.

Light Up Your Life

Light Up Your Life

Winter Solstice is a time of great symbolism and a time of reflection as the darkest and longest night of the year gives way to the return of the sun. Solstice actually lasts for 3 days, since the change in the Sun’s path is so slight on the days around the solstice that the Sun seems to “stand still.” The “high noon” of Solstice is when the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn. This year, that moment is on December 21st at 5:22 p.m. EST.

This is a great time to ask yourself: What in your life needs to emerge from the darkness into the light? What seeds have been nurtured in the depths of your being that want to find expression in the light?

All ancient spiritual teachers had some type of ceremony to honor the return of the sun, and they left us some vivid reminders. Stonehenge in England is known for its precise alignment with the movement of the sun and has been a sacred place to celebrate the solstice for thousands of years. The same is true for Newgrange, a burial mound in Ireland that is over 5,000 years old. It has a 62-foot passage leading to a chamber. During winter solstice, the rising sun comes through the top of the chamber and lights the room.

All over the world, there are festivals and rituals to mark the beginning of longer days and the return of the Sun, symbolized by Christmas tree lights, menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and Twelfth Night bonfires. Another of the ancient customs comes from the Druids and Pagans, who still call their celebration Yule and burn a yule log. The log, an emblem of the returning Sun, is a huge block of wood, meant to last for the 12 days of Christmas, turning night into day and illuminating the house.

There is something within us all that needs to know there will be light after the darkness of the longest night. So how will you celebrate the Sun’s return to greater light?

You could make your own yule log. Each type of wood has its own spiritual qualities, and the type of wood you burn in a ritual can indicate your hopes and prayers for the new year ahead. Aspen brings spiritual understanding; oak symbolizes endurance and strength, victory and triumph; pine (fir, juniper, cedar) can bring prosperity and protection; the yew tree connects with immortality and longevity; and birch is associated with rebirth and regeneration, as well as fertility.

You can decorate your yule log with candles and greenery. A sprig of holly ensures your family’s safety and brings good luck. And do you know the song about “the holly and the ivy?” Ivy lives on after its host plant has died—a reminder that life goes on. It symbolizes healing, protection, and the binding of lovers together, so it’s associated with loyalty and the powerful bonds of family and friends. And then there’s mistletoe, associated with peacemaking and the end of discord, not just kisses, although nothing wrong with them either!

Wrap your log loosely with ribbons of different colors. Here again, see what you want to symbolize. Red, which we associate with Christmas poinsettias, holly berries, and Santa’s suit, is used to indicate passion and prosperity and good fortune. Green, the other color associated with the Yule season, is a reminder of the evergreen tree, and therefore everlasting life. White symbolizes purity and truth and represents purification and spiritual development. Gold, of course, is the blazing sun. It was one of the gifts brought to the newborn “light” of Jesus by the Magi, and the first menorah was made from a single lump of gold. Gold ribbons invite in wealth for the coming year and a sense of revitalization. You can also decorate the log with pine cones, dried berries, cinnamon sticks (makes a lovely smell as the log burns), along with the ribbons and the cuttings of holly and ivy.

When you’re ready to burn your yule log, you can do it in a fireplace or outside in a fire pit. Write down an intention for how you will live in the light during the coming year and stick the paper in with the log. On the night of winter solstice, set up an altar with pictures of your loved ones and spiritual guides, and turn off all the lights in your house, and then meditate. At the end, and facing the altar, say a blessing for the return of the light.

It could be: “The wheel of the year has turned once more. Tonight, the darkness starts to retreat and the light begins its return. The sun returns to us once more.” Then light the log or some candles, and say, “The shadows vanish and life continues. We are blessed by the light of the sun, and the inner sun of our divine self.”

Rituals are reminders. This time of year, in the midst of the usual holiday chaos, align yourself with the solstice and mark the birth of more and more light in your life. It is your light that brings you immortality.