There are some ideas from my last post that I want to further explore, but I’m just not in the proper frame of mind to do so just yet. In the meantime, I’ve promised myself that I will finish my ritual calendar posts before 2015 rolls around. So, six months late, here are some thoughts on the summer solstice. I feel like this needs to be fleshed out a bit more, but wanted to get the bones of it down.
June Ritual – Celebrating the Day
- Perhaps unnecessary to say, but this should be done on the solstice.
- Seasonal renewal
- Celebration of the solstice.
- Determine the time of the sunrise and sunset.
- If doing the full ritual, plan for outdoor activities and gather any needed supplies.
Ritual- Minimalist Version
- Go outside at sunrise and face the east. Acknowledge the rising sun and what it means to you.
- At the end of the day, go outside and face the west. Give thanks for the gift of light.
Ritual- Full Version
- Greet the sunrise by going outside and facing east. Offer an acknowledgement of the coming light in a way that you feel is appropriate (prayer, yoga, etc.). Confirm your commitment to celebrating the gift of sunlight throughout the entire day.
- Spend the day engaged in outdoor activities. If possible include a picnic or outdoor cooking (a solar oven would be ideal) and offer a part of the meal to any solar deities you feel are appropriate. Whenever you can, reflect on how the daylight makes your activities possible.
- If you can do so safely, use the sun to kindle a fire that will be allowed to burn throughout the night. If this isn’t practical, allow a candle to sit in indirect sunlight during the day to infuse with the sun’s energy. Light this candle before nightfall and allow it to burn through the night.
- At sunset, face west and offer thanks for the gift of daylight.
- As the darkness begins to descend, focus on the fire (or candle) you’ve lit, meditating on ways that you can carry light within yourself even in the deepest darkness.
Modifications and Notes
Outdoor activities can be adjusted to suit the abilities and needs of the individual practitioner. The point is not to cram as much activity as possible into the day, but to simply get outside and honor the gift of extended daylight hours.
Weather will need to be taken into account, of course, and modifications made as necessary. In the event that the weather absolutely does not permit outdoor time on the solstice itself, I’ll usually delay until another day when the weather is more suitable.