To be completely honest: I don't often use the word summer solstice. I'd much rather use the word midsummer. Probably because that's engraved into my wedding band.
And by knowing that - you might already know, that the summer solstice is a very important day for me. It stands for our relationship ceremony and a wonderful feast that we celebrated to honour our love.
But - what's behind the summer solstice?
Scientifically explained, the sun reaches its highest level in the sky on June 20-22 and brings the most light to the northern hemisphere. That means, the days are the longest and the further north you are, the longer are these days and the more light you have.
If you go back to the past a few hundred years, you will soon realize how important this light was to the survival of humanity. Only with enough sunlight plants grow, and that means, we have something to eat.
The further north you look, the more intense are the Midsummer celebrations. Often these are celebrations that last up to 12 days. The people celebrate the sun, the light and the fruitfulness of the earth.
A fire at Midsummer keeps the evil forces away
Of course, there are hundreds of different customs that are celebrated at the summer solstice - but one of the most important ones is the big fire.
The fire was traditionally lit to symbolize the sun and to banish the evil forces so that the harvest was good and would provide for the family.
There were wonderful traditions and ancient knowledge. For example, it was a good sign when the smoke from the fire moved slowely across the field. It meant that the harvest would be good.
A wonderful Celtic tradition is the wheel of fire. For that, you make a wheel of wood, that you lit on Midsummer. Now these wheels are lit and rolled down the hills while burning.
This was ment to symbolize the course of the sun. The better a young man could roll these wheels of fire, the stronger the symbolism. Of course, these wheels of fire were accompanied by the people who cheered on the "scooter" and rejoiced if he did well.
The summer solstice and the famous circles of stone
One of the most popular summer solstice rituals is the greeting of the sun in ancient stone circles. In Stonehenge, thousands of Druids, mystics and sunbathers gather at the summer solstice morning at the Stone Circles to watch the rise of the sun and celebrate it. The energy for the annual festival in Stonehenge is indescribably magical.
But not only in Stonehenge this kind of meeting takes place at Midsummer . All over Europe there are stone circles where the summer solstice is celebrated.
"The Druids welcome the sun in Stonehenge."
A feast to celebrate Midsummer
But what kind of rituals are recommended for the summer solstice?
A wedding is a great match for Midsummer, because it's a HIGH time. The sun is high in the sky and the days are long and bright.
But planning a wedding brings quite a bit of effort and I would like to recommend a few smaller rituals for you today.
Well, I have written a lot about fires in this post. And of course I would like to recommend that you lit your own fire at the summer solstice. A fire that you dedicate to the sun and the summer.
5 rituals for the summer solstice
- Ritual of Gratitude
Personally, I like to put little cards of gratitude in my summer solstice fires. In the days before the solstice, I reflect on what this year has already brought for me. The summer solstice marks the beginning of the second half of the year. The first half of the year is over.
This is always a good occasion for me to rethink, revise and reflect on my annual planning.
What are you grateful for this year? What goals have you already achieved? For what reasons are you proud of yourself? What are you grateful for?
These reasons to be grateful I write on small pieces of paper and put them in my fire. For me, it symbolizes that I am on my way, that my goals are still important to me and that I am prepared to continue working on myself and my goals.
- Ritual with herbs
Strengthen your clairvoyance with verbena and ground ivy
The women in the northern countries traditionally make flower wreaths for their hair. Previously, these wreaths were bound from verbena and ground ivy. These two herbs help to strengthen the third eye and thus also the clairvoyance. And because the women wanted to see at the summer solstice, what kind of luck the summer would bring them, they would decorate themselves with these herbs.
How about using these herbs as a decoration for your summer solstice ritual? You do not necessarily have to braid a flower wreath, but you could simply set it up as a decoration or put into your fire.
- Ritual with the fire
For my ritual, I also use essences and smokes, which I give into my fire. For exaple I really like Palo Santo, frankincense and also dried flower petals.
With the Palo Santo I consecrate the fire, with the frankincense I cleanse it and with the petals I refine the fire.
- The connection of the old, the new and the everlasting
When I stand by my fire, I connect intensively with my soul, with my spirit guides and with my ancestors.
The connection with the soul gives me the foresight to see what was celebrated hundreds of years ago at these festivals. I ask for pictures, knowledge and information about the feasts, as they were celebrated earlier.
I connect with the spirit of these festivals and with the energy. And then I invite the ancestors to dance with me around the fire and celebrate the light of the sun.
- Celebration with loved ones
A sun celebration is a celebration that - for me - is very intensively connected with loved ones. Only together we are powerful and strong. Only together we can change the world. Only together we can create, cultivate, grow and celebrate.
And that's how and why beloved people are part of my ritual.
Sometimes this would mean a group of people. Sometimes that's just one special person. But for me that is part of the story and I enjoy this time together.
- food and drinks
And just as we celebrate the sun, we celebrate life. Without the sun there is no life and without life we can not celebrate the sun. That's why a (small or big) picnic is part of my ritual. I think about what we would like to eat and prepare it, knowing that we will eat it beside our fire.
And so the ritual is simply turned into a wonderful feast.
How do you celebrate the summer solstice?
What kind of rituals do you love for Midsummer?
Do you like to share it in the comments with me? I would be very happy about it.
love & light,