The Wheel of the Year – Summer Solstice

19 – 23 June

The sun is at its highest – and about to begin its slow decline – during the longest day of the solar year, the Summer Solstice, occurring between 19 – 23 June when the sun enters the sign of Cancer. The Summer Solstice, Midsummer, or Litha is an important and symbolic fire festival.

In ancient times customs included farmers lighting torches and parading them around newly ripening crop fields. The intention of this ritual was to drive out harmful spirits that may cause illness in their communities. It was also aimed at preventing weakness in the harvest.

In terms of symbolism, the Summer Solstice holds a wealth of it. Viewing the sun’s annual journey through the skies as representative of our own lives. Midsummer communicates a vital message. Symbolically the midpoint of summer as the midpoint of human life. At its height of power at Midsummer it is also beginning its declining. A natural metaphor for our own lives as we face midlife.

As the wheel of the year turns to Midsummer how do we react to our mortality? This challenge cannot be solved with strategies or planning. For many people, mortality is faced for the first time during the well-known midlife crisis, a time often marked by frantic activity and thinking to turning back time or to changing life directions for the better. Behind all this is the natural fear of death.

Nature provides an answer within the sun’s activity. The sun, whilst at its zenith, is also starting its decline but it doesn’t let go of its power, it doesn’t try to g backwards. It shines fully – just as it is – fading slowly into the darkening year. In our lives it symbolizes accepting our lives as they are in the moment without fear. The celebrations of Midsummer open our consciousness to living each moment to its fullest.

In love and light
Raven )O(

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