Wednesday 21 June marks the 2017 Summer Solstice, a day celebrated by Pagans across the Northern Hemisphere for thousands of years. Here will we look at what exactly the Summer Solstice is and how it is traditionally celebrated.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer, is believed to be the first official day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year, and you can expect to enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, with the sun rising at 4:43am and setting at 9:31pm. The Solstice is the moment the sun is the farthest north and is shining directly above the Tropic of Cancer. After the sun has turned, the days will begin to get shorter as the year draws on and we head into Autumn, before celebrating the Winter Solstice in December.
How is the Summer Solstice celebrated?
The Summer Solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years. It is widely acknowledged to be a pagan celebration, however it is celebrated across the Northern Hemisphere by a wide range of people with different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs.
There are a large number of ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice, so get involved and mark the beginning of summer in style.
Pagans have always believed that Midsummer is an incredibly powerful day, because it is when the veil between this world and the spiritual world is at its thinnest.
The biggest and most popular way to celebrate the Summer Solstice is to make a pilgrimage to Stonehenge to watch the sunrise. Thousands of people flock to the ancient site every year to celebrate the day together with a number of different rituals.
Stonehenge is perfectly aligned to the solstices, meaning you have a spectacular view of the sunrise over the stones as it shines on the central altar.
Watch the Sunrise
Even if you can’t make it to Stonehenge, it’s still worth setting an early alarm to watch the sunrise, and to witness the breaking of the longest day of the year. Why not spend the night camping, so that you are outside and in nature when the moment happens?
Host a bonfire
A traditional Solstice celebration is a bonfire party, to honour and signify the fiery aspect of the sun. Why not host a bonfire party, and invite your family and friends? Buy some sparklers, and have everyone light them once the sun has gone down, to celebrate the power of the light in the darkness.
Another tradition is to bring something to burn on the bonfire, as an offering to the gods and goddesses. A popular choice is an item that represents a period of your life that is over, to signify new beginnings.
Spend Time in Nature
The Summer Solstice is a celebration of nature, so how better to celebrate than to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and make the most of the long hours of sunlight. Go for a hike, or a bike ride, or visit the beach and swim in the sea. Have a picnic, and eat traditional summery foods to celebrate the new season.
Another way to celebrate nature is to do something for the environment. Spend time in the garden, and plant some flowers, or even some fruit or vegetables. Or you could volunteer to help clean up a local area, or help out with a recycling project. Anything that gives back to the environment would be a great way to honour the earth.
Practice your spirituality
As it’s Midsummer, and the veil between this world and the next is believed to be at its thinnest, it’s the best possible time to get in touch with your spirituality. Meditation is the perfect way to do this, and you will most likely find that it is easier than usual to concentrate and feel deeply connected to your spiritual self.
Or, why not use this opportunity to have a psychic reading? We have a number of psychic readers available for you to talk to, so give one a call and see what they have to say.