How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

summersolstice

It’s almost here! Saturday, June 21–the first day of summer, or the summer solstice–marks the day with the most hours of sunlight; from here on out, the days get shorter as we wind down to the winter solstice. Ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Incas, Druids, and many other ancient cultures revered equinoxes and solstices, building megalithic structures to honor or correspond to these auspicious times of year.

Summer is a time of manifestation, when we’re creating, energized and expending lots of energy outdoors. The element of fire is everywhere: sunshine, summertime flings, warmer temperatures. During the summer we feel alive and powerful, playful and passionate–it’s the perfect time for action and focusing on our physical selves. Starting a new way of eating or work out routine, starting all kinds of relationships, networking for clients and completing projects will be extra potent this time of year.

Simply being mindful of this time of year is enough to harness some of this potent energy. Socializing, taking trips, enjoying daylight into evening hours, and partaking in languid, leisurely activities are all quintessential summertime activities that celebrate this time of year. And who doesn’t love an excuse to party? Here are a few ways more ways to pay homage:

Prepare a meal with seasonal food
Check out your farmer’s market for fruits and veggies that are in season. If you really wanna nerd out about it, get an ayurvedic list of foods to eat to balance pitta dosha (like this one here). Have a barbecue to incorporate the fire element even more.

Spend time with Dad
Summer rules the divine masculine, so is it any wonder Father’s Day is held in June? Find some time to bond with a strong male figure and appreciate all of the qualities of strong male energy: courage, focused intention, right action and healthy assertiveness.

Create a flower mandala
Have you guys seen these things? They’re absolutely stunning and just take a little time to create. Pick a few colorful summertime flowers with lots of petals, start in the center and then let your imagination run wild. Need some inspiration? Let’s consult the Pinterest.

Sip on a Sun Tea
A sun infused tea captures fiery solar energy and is super easy too. Rachel, an herbalist who I spent April interning under, made a fantastic one: rosa de jamaica and ginger. Find a big glass jar or pitcher, grate in a knob of ginger, add a handful of rosa de jamaica, or dried hibiscus or sorrel. They all have a delicate, slightly tart flavor that’s great as a cooling drink to tonify the kidneys and the blood. Cover with a lid and place in full sunlight as early as you can in the day. At sunset, bring it in and add honey to taste. Or gin.

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Get your hands dirty
It’s not too late to get your garden going, or plant new seeds now that the soil is warm. Greens give fairly quick gratification: think about planting mustard greens and salad mixes, and herbs that love to soak up the sun like basil, sage, marjoram, and thyme. Think about starting fall seeds too, like beets, carrots, kale and chard.

See the whole day from start to finish
Wake with the sun–a little meditation on things you’d like to manifest would be perfect–and watch it set with a few friends.

Play with fire
Spend the evening in candle light, or a beach bonfire, anyone? Even lighting incense, like palo santo or burning sage, is cleansing and invigorating for the soul.

This summer solstice, I’ll be flying into Denver after spending 3 months in Costa Rica, and I’m so ready to delight in the things I’ve missed about the States. Talk about fire energy!

However you end up celebrating the solstice, do it with a light heart: summertime is a raucous celebration of our shining selves, so do it up.

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