Happy Summer Solstice!!! Today is the longest day of the year and is often celebrated as the first official day of summer (yay!). The word "solstice" comes from a latin word that can be translated as "the sun sits still,"-- with 15 hours of daylight today, it sure feels like it! Solstice is celebrated in numerous cultures around the world with festivals, shows, rituals, prayer, music, dancing, and food. Most notably in England, thousands flock to stonehenge to see the sun rise perfectly through the rocks (a site that's definitely on my bucket list!). Celebrating Solstice stems back to Pagan times (and probably earlier) when it was believed that on this day the "veil between this world and the next is at it's thinnest, making spirits there most powerful." Don't you love it? Tons of warm daylight, peak season for summer foods, and heightened spiritual powers made so by our planet's ever-steady cyclical movements? Count this tree hugger in.
We could shorten this all with one word: fertility. Or maybe even... life. Summer Solstice is about celebrating the Earth's fertile grounds. Mama Gaia sustains us with her lush vegetation and seasonal gifts and TODAY is the day to say "thanks mama!" Just as you are fertile, generous, and constant, so am I. For every Summer Solstice there inevitably follows a winter. This is just as it should be. Our life patterns closely mimic those of our Pachamama and frankly I'm taking it as a damn good sign. We're in good company.
So, how shall we celebrate this Solstice? As an energetic herbalist, I love making medicine on this day. <3 This year I'll be harvesting some vibrant Lemon Balm that is just exploding in our backyard. I'll be giddy yet still, humming along and thanking the plant. Her leaves will dry in my kitchen for a few weeks, making me smile every time they catch my eye. Then I'll likely tincture some for my apothecary and keep some dried for tea. Every time she get's shared, we'll all be sippin on bright sunshine energy. Love it!
So, how will YOU embrace the Summer Solstice today? It's as easy as connecting with the Earth in any way that feels good to you. This could be done by spending time outdoors, communing with plants, eating fresh plants (holla!), prayer/meditation, and I think by embracing our sacredness as women. We are fertile beings who can sustain life just like the Earth (coincidence? I think not! It's a fractal world out there). I believe by tapping into these qualities within ourselves and/or outwardly honoring the Solstice, we get connected and grounded. And grounded women can move mountains.
Here are a few ideas to help you get outside today to connect with the Solstice elements. Take these ideas and choose something that resonates with you. Make it your own, and make it personal.
1) Get outside. With so much daylight, it's the perfect occasion for some outdoor recreation! Hiking, biking, paddling, strolling, a pick up game, ANY outside game!, play music outside, have a picnic, make art, write in your journal, take a swim, cuddle... anything that brings you joy... bring it outside!
2) Commune with plants. Solstice is widely celebrated as the Earth's peak of fertility. If you or someone you know has a garden, go get your hands dirty. This could also be the day you START your garden (potted plants on a deck or windowsill count!). Or simply take a walk around the block and be keenly observant of all the plants around. Who else lives in your hood that you haven't noticed? Think of it as a walking/observing meditation.
3) Eat fresh, healthy food. Did I mention that today marks the peak of peak season? We're talkin berries, stonefruit, greens, squash, peas, roots, the list goes way on! Dank produce is in season baby! Fix your sweet self a new veggie dish, sliced fruit, a crisp salad, or your old favorite made with insanely fresh ingredients. If you're busy working you can even swing by a health food store and put together your own super Solstice salad (I challenge you to try at least one new ingredient this time!)! No matter what you munch on, give gratitude.
4) Get feminine. Feed your own softness and strength by embracing the feminine energy of today. This might mean feeling sensual through a bath, loving touch, wearing silky clothing, self expression, etc. Tap into your body to get connected and recharged.
5) Pray/meditate. Give thanks for the abundance we enjoy today. Expressing gratitude increases our abundance and keeps our blossoming cycles moving forward (sort of like zee solstice cycle, no?). Give thanks in a way that feels sacred, real, or fun to you. Consider using one of the mantras below.
"My body is as fertile as the ground beneath my feet."
"Today I choose abundance."
"Thank you for these sweet gifts of summer."
"I am a part of the cycle of life and this sustains me."
"I am open to creative connection/expression."
"Summer solstice fills my soul as I feel her light."
There you have it darlings! Feel free to leave a comment below sharing your plans for Summer Solstice to inspire others. Thanks and have fun getting outside today!