Summer Solstice – The Celebration of Life

stonehenge3“HRAM-HRIM-HROOM-HRUM-HRAIM-HRAUM-HRAHA,” one of the many chants, rituals, dances, traditions you will hear and see during the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice. This is the Bija mantra for the Sun, the light of light, our awareness. It brings forth the life-giving power that comes from the Sun and is our life force.

The Summer Solstice is the time when Earth is at its most incline towards the Sun. The Northern Hemisphere tilts towards the Sun reaching for its life-sustaining nourishment of warmth and light as all life celebrates and bows in its honor. It is the longest day of the year reminding us that without this Star, all life as we know it would not exist. It is to be revered and honored for its power.

From the days of our ancient ancestors to today, this day has been marked with great celebration throughout the world. There are numerous cultural rituals honoring the Sun. It can be said that the Summer Solstice is a day that truly unifies us as humans living on this incredible planet that is the result of such an intelligent design. It is a day when everyone, everywhere celebrates that which is the life-giving energy of the Sun. We celebrate the abundance it brings us as we see the crops that were harvested in the spring begin to produce. We celebrate its vitality, light, warmth. We dance and sing. We feel alive. Mother Earth is producing and we rejoice!

People around the World celebrate this day in so many different forms. Thousands flock to Stonehenge every year on the Summer Solstice to watch the Sun rise and set, though in reality, it is neither rising nor setting but just our illusion as the Earth rotates and completes its daily dance with the Sun. People gather and play music and dance. Others will engage in rituals of building bonfires and spending day in prayer. Whatever the methodology or place, it is a collective honoring of what the Ancients actually considered a god…..Ra….the Sun!

Midsummer is also celebrated at this time and is associated with not only the Summer Solstice but the nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Though this is said to be celebrated on June 24th, it is honored between the times of the 21st and the 24th as there is this idea by some that the longest day of the year is not, in fact, the 21st but the 24th. And so they honor Saint John during the festivities of the Summer Solstice as John the Baptist, according to Christian beliefs, was the giver of life, the “light of awareness.” He brought to us the light of the Spirit through Baptism.

And so it is that when we honor the Sun we honor the light and the life within ourselves. That vitality and force that is of the same element of the Sun and other Stars. As Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “we are all made of “star stuff.”” When honoring the Sun during this time in whatever manner you do, honor yourself and your own creative expression of Universal consciousness!

The Summer Solstice brings the Sun into the Tropic of Cancer, which is the energy of unconditional love, compassion, and forgiveness. Its purpose is to provide security. Cancer is the giver of life, the Mother that births. It is the nurturer and healer. It is our intuition and our feelings. When we look to the Dalai Lama, a Cancer, there is an understanding of just how deeply compassionate, forgiving, and loving this energy is. Develop this acceptance, forgiveness and compassion for yourself as this translates into compassion and acceptance of others.

Cancer is our home! So during this time, connect to family and to childhood memories. Enjoy summer activities with your family laughing and loving. Look towards the Sun with its promise of warmth.

Sunflowers One of the most beautiful symbols of the Summer Solstice, at least to me, is the Sunflower! It bends and stretches and dances its way into the most direct position in front of the Sun as a symbol of unwavering spiritual faith and worship. It is the happiest of flowers and grows tall as it stretches higher and higher towards the “life-giver” showing its reverence and loyalty to the source of all warmth and Light. All creation on this Earth honors the Sun. It is the source of love, vitality, and life for all. The Sunflower is symbolic of reaching for our highest Spiritual knowledge.

In meditation (reflection or whatever method you use), try to bring yourself back to a time when maybe you did something that required compassion and forgiveness. Bring yourself back to that moment and really “feel” it. Bring forth compassion for yourself and then forgive yourself. Accept and love yourself, and then apply that to your family and to the world around you. Practice mindfulness to develop intuition.

In yoga for the Summer Solstice, make it your intention to do as many Sun Salutations as you can, a practice of Surya Namaskara. Focus on sun energy for the first week of Cancer and then switch to a more lunar practice and connect to your inner emotions, intuition. Give yourself a nurturing ground for healing.

I wish you all light, vitality, warmth, and spiritual attunement! Enjoy the Video!


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