Summer Solstice happens on the 21st of June. This day is the biggest and funniest summer holiday for all the inhabitants of earth since ancient times. Today I’m sharing ancient Summer solstice rituals, meaning and magic.
Summer solstice – the shortest night and the longest day
It is that time of the year, when there is the longest day and the shortest night. That is the beginning of the astronomical summer. Summer Solstice is when one of Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. On the summer solstice, Earth’s maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°. The sun is at its highest and farthest point from the earth. It will be in this position for a week.
Summer solstice rituals
The summer solstice is also known as Midsummer. The significance given to the summer solstice has varied among cultures. People hold celebrations and rituals around that time with themes of nature or fertility. Midsummer has always been about the spirit of vegetation personified in greenery. This day is all about flourishing, prosperity and maturity.
Summer solstice has close ties with nature. The ancient ancestors believed that the herbs collected on the eve, water, and fire has an extraordinary power on this longest day. That’s why summer solstice rituals have been performed with herbs, water, and fire. Our ancestors used these rituals to strengthen their connection to nature.
Old but good customs
There is saying in folklore, that there are nine types of herbs: St. John’s wort, chamomile, Melampyrum pratense etc. Our ancestors were using herbs as medicine and in rituals.
The girls collected herbs on the day of the Summer Solstice. People were treated with those herbs for illnesses, they protected from anger and bad things. They were used as a house decoration and to make wreaths. The women were collecting and tying herbs into a big bouquet without using any additional threads. This bouquet made from the herbs was a festival symbol and it was attached and lifted onto a long wood pole. To make the bouquet it was necessary to use nine different herbs, to collect them from three different places, three types of herbs from each place, making three steps in every direction. That’s how the Summer solistice – Midsummer was starting.
All sources has been decorated with flowers and tree branches. Girls were decorating their heads with wreaths and giving it as presents to their beloved ones. Decorated wreaths were left to swim in the river, as there was a belief that this will help to get an attention from the guy a girl has an eye on.
Nature gives magical power
Men were burning bonfires close to livestock pastures. People believed that fire helps to get rid off all bad things and celebrated this day in nature by singing and dancing around till the morning. Anyway, the night is very short, only lasts a couple of hours. There was a belief that this night is magical and you can get powers from the nature. If you would get a bunch of nature’s power, you would be able to see where the hidden treasure has been hidden, to read other people’s minds and understand what animals and birds are saying.
The water becomes alive
During the summer solstice the water becomes alive and magical. Even scientists admit that water actually changes its properties. The entire energy of the Earth changes during this time, energetic structures and the geopathogenic zones change from negative to positive. Hence the water changes as well. Its positive energy grows to infinity. This type of water has a positive effect on human well-being, his emotional state improves and all his energy points get charged.
Let’s celebrate like our ancestors did
You won’t find the beauty of nature and you won’t see the charm of the sunset in cities surrounded by tall concrete buildings. It is necessary this shortest night to spend in nature, by the ocean or by the river, to watch the sky and the stars. The sun is at its highest zenith point, and after the summer solstice it starts to travel down. The nights become longer, the days become shorter and it lasts until the Winter solstice, which is on the 21st of December. Then it will swap: the days will become longer, the nights will shorten.
All summer solstice rituals and magic faded away these days, but we choose how to celebrate the summer, so let’s create the festival of Summer solistice ourselves.
Let’s thank mother nature for everything she gives us, for the food and for the medicine. Make a wreath of the herbs and wear it as a crown. Let’s pick herbs from the flowering meadows. Let’s take a bath in the river or the ocean. The most important thing is – to honor the Sun which is travelling towards the winter side. Let’s thank her for the light and warmth. Let’s escort her with love so that she would come back to us next year. There is a saying, that the Sun is washing and decorating itself with wreaths before this journey.
Have a lovely summer, joyful Summer solstice and the meadow full of flowers!