Summer Solstice

Stonehenge, Summer Solstice

SOLSTICE – Sun enters Cancer

– Wednesday 21 June (15:58 GMT+1)

This week is the Solstice week when the Sun moves into Cancer, one of the cardinal star signs. The Solstice and the Equinoxes are essential markers in western astrology as the zodiac is aligned with these four points in the astrological calendar. They are the foundations and cornerstones of western astrology. 

Sun Standing Still

This is the mid-point in the year which brings a change of season. In the northern hemisphere, this coincides with the longest day of the year and the official start of summer. In the southern hemisphere, it’s reversed with the shortest day of the year as the nights grow longer.

Solstice means ‘sun (sol) standing still’ i.e. the Sun is at its highest or lowest point before it changes into a new season.

Traditionally, the Solstice is the time of the year to honour the Sun. Many traditions include building bonfires as fire and heat are associated with the Sun. You could have a fire pit or light candles if the sun’s not blazing down wherever you are.

In our endlessly, celestially revolving world, the solstice beckons for a moment of stillness and reflection. Its etymology – from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) – indicates that almost miraculous point of transition, sandwiched between cycles of movement.

Looking from earth, the Sun has reached its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator and then, after “standing still”, reverses course.

It is the longest day, the triumph of the sun, a celebration of midsummer and a marker that the balance of day and night will begin to shift. For a fleeting moment the entire year is on hold, a moment of flux and suspense.

Solstice Rituals

  • Use this moment in the year to stop and deeply connect with yourself and the universe. You might plan a sunrise walk or sit in contemplation as the sun sets.
  • Perhaps, you want to find some time in the day to be quiet and listen to your inner voice. You could stop at the exact moment of the Solstice – see date/time above.
  • You might write in a journal, explore what you’re grateful for and what your intentions are moving into this next three month chapter between the Solstice and the Equinox on September 23rd.
  • We are almost at the halfway point in the year. Therefore, you could reflect on how far you’ve come, where you’re heading next and why.

Ancient Times

The summer solstice once marked the beginning of calendars, the season of harvest, the ancient middle of summer: a time to celebrate fertility and the life-giving strength of the sun in a pre-industrial environment.

In today’s less rural world, for many people that ancient connection with the cycle of nature has been lost. Yet our fascination with the solstice remains curiously undimmed, as though deeply embedded in our ancestral memory.

There is something so hopeful about the Solstice. The ancient tradition of honouring the Sun connects us to the distant past and the comforting repetition of the Sun’s movement is a dependable anchor in our lives day in, day out.

Sunrise represents the symbolism of the promise of a new day, a new dawn. The quality of the moment when the sun rises and the light returns, brings with it hope and a feeling of peace that the dark hours are behind you. 

Many ancient cultures honoured the Sun and built temples in alignment with the Sun’s passage through the sky. One of the most famous is Stonehenge – see photo above – thousands of people will gather again to welcome this awe-inspiring sight.

How will you honour the Sun? Here’s one of my favourite poems by Hafiz, a reminder to be eternally grateful for the stars, the Sun, Moon and planets as they tirelessly and ceaselessly continue their dance with our earth.

The Sun Never Says

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.


May you have a blessed & enlightening Solstice experience.

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