At Stonehenge, the Solstice is the day when the Sun rises over the Heel Stone and lands smack in the center of the Altar Stone. It’s preceded by Midsummer’s Eve, when magic abounds and the little folk can be seen.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna describes the Summer Solstice as the way out of the physical world and into the spiritual realms. It’s a time when the veil is so thin that it separates you from non-physical reality, and can be easily pierced. And it stays that way for days before starting to slowly fade.
We are in the midst of it now!
The next six months will see a daily diminishing of the light, so ritual fires are lit. Great bonfires to hold the sun’s heat, to honor the power of the Sun, to reflect the fire in the sky…or a candle on your altar or hearth.
It’s a time to do rituals and ceremonies that celebrate your connection to the Great Father Spirit, and to take stock of where you are and what you want to accomplish in the months leading up to Winter Solstice. It’s at this time that there is the most light in the sky, so take advantage of its radiance and reflect light on whatever you need to transform in your life.
Fire transforms wood into ash, ice into water, water into steam. In your body, there are transformative processes — like digestion — which take the food you eat and burn it into life energy. The solar energy also is associated with the light within, the light of consciousness. So, look inside: the light is bright at this time of year. As St. Francis of Assisi has been quoted as saying, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
The Sun has traditionally been considered masculine (Father Sun as opposed to Mother Earth), so it’s a good time to look at any issues you may have with masculine energies.
- Are you overly competitive?
- Stuck in logical rational thinking to the exclusion of your intuition?
- Are you courageous enough to speak your truth?
- Are you willing to take action?
Male or female, you want your masculine and feminine attributes to be in balance. It’s not Mars vs. Venus, it’s both/and.
All ancient spiritual traditions venerated the Sun. In Egypt, the head of the Sphinx is crowned by the Sun on Summer Solstice. The ancients knew that the journey the Sun makes each year can be seen as the journey of enlightenment, with the Sun standing for the Spirit in each of us. The Winter Solstice sees the birth of the Sun (the Son); the Spring Equinox sees the solar hero’s death and resurrection; followed by ascension at the Summer Solstice, the highest point when the Son reunites with the Divine. (The Autumn Equinox is the plunge into the regenerative darkness that will nurture the rebirth of the Sun at the Winter Solstice.)
When you become aware of the power of the cycle of the Sun and the seasons, you can align yourself with cycle of natural energies that help you connect to your own radiant spirit.
So, swim with the sunrise, walk in forest glens, gaze into the fire outdoors at night, but remember to use the light to shine on and fire up your relationship to your brightest and best self.