In Latin the word ‘solstice’ literally translates to ‘the sun stands still’.
In the Northern hemisphere we will enjoy over 16 hours of daylight – and thousands will gather at sacred sites around the world to witness the sun rising on this auspicious day.
In the UK this will happen in just a few hours, at around 4.40am. It may be evening still in many parts of the world.
Stone circles such as Stonehenge were actually oriented to highlight the rising of the sun on the day of the summer solstice, built at a time when our ancestors revered the sun’s power to sustain life and growth, and when the cycles of the earth, the moon, the stars, and the seasons – were honoured and harmonized.
The pagan festival of Litha honours what is known as the longest day of the year and celebrates the power of the sun over darkness. ‘Litha’ is latin for both June & July.
My ancestors were Celts, and it said they celebrated the Solstice or ‘Midsummer’ with bonfires, dancing, plenty of eating, drinking ale and giving thanks to the sun.
So today the tilt of the earths axis is the closest the North Pole gets to the sun, but when it ends, the nights begin to slowly close in, as the planet begins its rotatation away from the sun.
So Thursday 21st June – and in fact all weekend – is really a great excuse to party, celebrate and enjoy the long nights for the rest of summer – in just 4 months time we’ll be approaching darkness again as the cold weather hits and we lead up to Samhain. (Halloween).
I will do a little ritual today of counting my blessings and vow not to take the next few months for granted, as Winter always hits me hard.
Blessings everyone – wishing you a wonderful summer full of laughter and adventures, friends, love, and relaxation.