Solstice – a time for a celebration
The solstice happens twice a year and, with the summer solstice just passed, I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain a bit more about what solstices are and why I think they’re an important time of celebration.
Coming from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), the two solstices signify when the sun reaches its most northerly and southerly excursions. In summer, the solstice signifies the sun reaching its highest point, and the winter one; the sun reaching its lowest point.
Solar based celebrations
Not all cultures use a solar based calendar – for example, the Islamic and Hebrew calendars – but those that do, look at the solstices, along with the equinoxes, as signifying the changes in the season. They’re a perfect time for celebrating personal change to, as the progress of the light (sun) is seen as illustrating the light of consciousness in ourselves, highlighting our potential, as well as our connection with Mother Earth and the entire Universe.
Solstice and the natural cycle of change
Everything natural goes through cycles and changes, and we’re no different. Summer, when the sun is at its highest point, is celebrating the splendour of, and the bounty we get, from the earth. Everything starts as a seed and, after nurturing and growing, we need to practice patience, to give our hard work and efforts time to flourish and reach their natural ripeness. It’s when our efforts are rewarded and we experience abundance and gratitude for what we now have. Our patience and hard work have paid off – illustrating how our inner light and power can have so much potential, if we put in the effort and reach for our potential.
The winter solstice is about returning to our roots, celebrating and emergence and a rebirth of all things new. It’s about starting our journey and planting the seeds of what we want to achieve, during the year ahead. We’re emerging from a period of dormancy, where we’ve rested and renewed our energy, now ready to put in the work and prepare for the next period of the cycle – a time to graft and get busy – if we want to reap a bountiful harvest in the summer.
How to make the most of each solstice
Celebrate what they signify. Learn to be in the moment, grateful for what you have and the potential of what’s ahead for you. Look to use the winter solstice to get rid of the old and prepare for the new, and the summer solstice, to celebrate the joy and warmth of the sun, the connection you have with nature and the chance to practice gratitude.
Bonfires are often used during the solstice, to cleanse, clear, energise and warm – the perfect opportunity to write down and let go of those things you’re ready to release. Dancing allows you to experience pure joy and celebration, whilst simply sitting and spending time with nature, affords you the opportunity to just sit and appreciate everything around you, within you and available to you. No matter what time of year it is, the solstices and equinoxes give us an opportunity to take stock, celebrate and move forward – embracing the sheer beauty and potential of this wonderful journey called life.
The summer solstice may have just passed, but we can still take this opportunity, between now and the winter solstice, to make our plans, celebrate the joy and abundance around us, and to learn to better connect in with the natural beauty and potential of nature and life.
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