Summer solstice is upon us! What are you doing for your summer solstice celebration? No clue? Don’t want a public drunken, rowdy bonfire? Here is a suggestion that will keep is sacred and simple.
Prepare by gathering what you want for your altar. Think about what this time means for you. Summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the peak of masculine energy. Do certain colors bring this idea out for you? What about things that represent the sun and the fiery element of summer, like candles? How much light is too much? What about solar symbols? What’s growing right now? Would you like to add any food elements, either for decoration or as an offering?
Do you want to bring in the idea of duality? Yin and yang; earth and sky; fire and ice; the god and goddess; oak and holly? What other things represent this time for you?
To Dress or Not to Dress?
How do you want to dress? Is this a formal, sacred celebration where you ritually bathe and don special clothing or is this a “come as you are” event? Either is fine. If you choose to wear ritual clothing, you just may want to decide that in advance so that you are prepared.
Flame or Blaze?
For this observance we are going to need fire. It can be a long lasting candle, many candles, a small camping fire, or a bonfire. Again, it’s your choice. You may need to plan ahead just to make sure you have what you need. Bigger isn’t better. It’s just a personal choice.
On the eve of the solstice, set up your altar. Purify your body. Don your apparel. Bring out some water and/or other libation. Create your sacred space – hopefully in a place outside where you can see the sunrise.
Now you are either going to take a nap and get up by 11:45 p.m. or not go to sleep. You want to start before midnight.
For this observation, sit up through the night, contemplate the energy of the sun, the seasons, the land, and Nature herself. Let your mind stay open and empty to whatever the elements want to say to you. As you do this, you can stare into the flames, sing, dance, or do whatever you feel called to do that doesn’t put you in your thinking mind. You want to stay in a place of open wonder and contemplation. This doesn’t have to mean that it’s solemn. It can be joyous, pure, and vulnerable. You just don’t want it to be about entertainment, a spectacle, or a performance.
Watch the northeast sky for a break in the horizon. As the sun lightens the night sky, give gratitude for the warmth, food, and life that it brings. If you can’t see the actual sun disc, just face in the direction that it would be if you could see it. Once it’s fully over the horizon, drink a toast to the sun. Speak your gratitude and make an offering of your libation on the ground.
Close your ceremony by saying something like, “This sacred ceremony of the summer solstice is now closed. Thank you, Sun. Hail and farewell.”