Summer Solstice: Celebrating the Night

The summer solstice—the longest day and shortest night of the year—marks the beginning of summer and the full blossoming of bountiful energy and abundance.

This season is often understood as a time of masculine energy–shining forth and projecting brilliance, youthful vigor, green growing gardens, and abundant light, heat, and activity. Yet it is important to acknowledge that the solstice is also a time of stillness.

“Solstice” comes from the Latin solsitium, or “sun stands still.”  On the day of the solstice, the sun does appears to stand still on the solstice, as it reaches its highest point in the sky. And as the sun pauses in its lofty journey across the heavens, it is also a moment for us to pause within the busy circles of our lives. As the days grow longer, it becomes more important than ever to take time to rest—to take time away from the heat of the day, and to cherish the dark sacred coolness of the evening.

As the sun burns down with its full power, it’s easy to get burned. To balance the intense energy of this time, it can feel good to connect with the qualities of the Sacred Feminine—coolness, stillness, quiet, and darkness. At the height of summer, we have a chance to honor and appreciate the night, just as at the winter solstice we celebrate the light of day. As Louis Armstrong sings, both “the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night” are part of our wonderful world.

Take time to rest in the shade, and appreciate the cool evenings and mornings. Enjoy a cool dip in Nature’s waters, and appreciate how water, a symbol of the Goddess across most of the world’s cultures, helps transmit and balance the heat of living. Use the spaciousness of the long summer days to take time away from work, to rest, and to meditate on what’s been accomplished.

In short, consider taking time at the solstice to be grateful for the darkness as well as the light—after all, too much of either would spell disaster for the world.


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