The Sun enters the sign of Cancer on June 20th at 22.44 BST, officially bringing the start of Summer to the Northern Hemisphere.
Another turn in the Wheel of the Year, known in the Pagan calendar as Litha.
The Sun reaches his zenith in the sky, he is at the height of his life giving power, bringing the longest day and the shortest night. It’s a time to celebrate, salute and give thanks to the Sun, reflect on the growth of the seeds planted in the earth, warmed by the Sun into maturity and abundance.
As well as contemplate our own seeds – our ideas, dreams and creativity – be grateful for everything that is flourishing, ignited and warmed by our inner fire and vitality, be inspired to activate our intentions for the future – use the invigorating, fiery energy of the Sun to illuminate and energise our inner strength and power.
When the Sun reaches his peak, as we give gratitude for the brightness and prosperity, we also acknowledge it’s a turning point, the start of the Sun’s descent and the gradual diminishment of light.
The Sun’s entry into one of the 4 cardinal signs marks the unfolding of a new season. In the Northern Hemisphere this is, Aries – Spring Equinox, Cancer – Summer Solstice, Libra – Autumn Equinox and Capricorn – Winter Solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere this is reversed, meaning today is their Winter Solstice.
The Word Solstice originates from the Latin words for “Sun” and ” stand still.” The Summer Solstice, for us in the Northern Hemisphere is when the Sun reaches its highest point north relative to the Earth, pauses, then begins to move south. This increased angle of the Sun in the sky is what enables us to bask in, and enjoy the heat, light and intensity of the Sun.
This point is measured in declination, which determines the distance north or south of the Celestial Equator (Earth’s Equator projected into the heavens) rather than the east-west movement along the ecliptic (the path the Sun appears to travel around the Earth). Throughout the year the Sun undulates between the Tropics which mark the furthest point north, the Tropic of Cancer (around 23 degrees 26′ north) or south the Tropic of Capricorn (around 23v degrees 26′ south) that the Sun reaches. At the equinox’s – Latin for “equal” and “night,” the Sun is at the Celestial Equator and 0 degrees declination.
The picture in the sky, with a Solar Eclipse occurring at 07.39 BST on June 21st just after the Solstice and 5 planets retrograde, connects powerfully to events that are unfolding in the world and our individual experiences of them. The world around us has, and will continue to change, and at the present time nothing is settled or certain, a clear view is yet to emerge.
On Summer Solstice it is highly beneficial to go outside to feel, connect and soak up the energy of the Sun. Find a moment to pause, light a candle – along with some incense if you like it (cinnamon, frankincense or vanilla all correspond with the Sun). Then sit quietly, relax, reflect on the past and seek inner guidance – illumination and inspiration – for the future.
Due to Covid-19, and the current restrictions on gatherings, Solstice Celebrations have moved online. For the first time Sunset and Sunrise at Stonehenge will be shown live on English Heritage’s Facebook page. Sunset is at 21.26 BST on June 20th and Sunrise is at 04.52 BST on June 21st, each stream can also be accessed after the live event. The Sunrise at Glastonbury will also be shown live starting from 04.30 BST on June 21st on the Glastonbury Information Centre Facebook page.
Wishing Solstice Blessings to all, X
Image ~ Glastonbury Tor – photo taken by yous truly!