Body, Mind & Spirit

4 Summer Solstice Rituals for Living Your Best Life

Published on June 13, 2018

Article by Naima Abdi

Summer is the season of vitality, adventure, freedom and positivity. Its arrival is a celebration of the sun, our planet’s most powerful source of light, and its many gifts to us here on earth. Known as the summer solstice, this pivotal point in the sun’s journey brings a momentous shift from equal hours of day and night to longer days and shorter nights, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness. In the Northern Hemisphere, we welcome this special time of year every June, while in the Southern Hemisphere its return occurs in late December.

This energizing three-month cycle is abundant with warm weather; ripe, colorful foods to nourish our bodies; new gatherings and excursions to feed our souls; and is brimming with opportunities for us to connect with our own inner source of fire power to rise and shine like the sun itself. Yet the deeper meaning of summer solstice is something that has been recognized over the course of history by a number of cultures.

The Sacred History and Spiritual Significance of the Summer Solstice

From the Mayans and ancient Egyptians to the Romans and the Druids, for centuries these civilizations and more have honored the solstice through ceremony, ritual and festivals celebrating the sun as well as the triumph of good versus evil.

Today, summer solstice festivities occur around the world in indigenous Latin and South American communities, Russia, Spain and England, where scores of Pagans and non-Pagans alike gather at Stonehenge to observe Litha, a Pagan tradition marking the longest day of the year.

But there are even more sacred ways you can pay homage to the solstice and invoke its energy to help you become the greatest version of yourself this summer—and beyond.

Rituals for Honoring the Summer Solstice

1. Set Your Intentions Under the Sun

close up of sunflower

Just as we set intentions at the New and Full Moon, we can also work with the powerful energy of the sun to help us fulfill our wishes. Both our sun and the season of summer are deeply connected conduits of the fire element, which symbolizes action, initiative, drive, focus, empowerment, light and warmth.

As the solstice approaches and the summer unfolds, it’s vital to utilize earth’s most potent source of life-force energy to actualize our goals in the coming months.

Try this simple five-minute solar-intention-setting ritual and meditation to get you started:

  1. On a sunny day, find a quiet place outside or indoors by a windowsill where you can feel the sun on your skin.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Take three deep breaths.
  4. On the last exhale, bring your awareness to your intentions and visualize them in your mind’s eye as if you were experiencing them happening in reality. If you’re a non-visual meditator, simply say each intention to yourself silently or aloud.
  5. When you’ve visualized or said your last intention, take three more deep breaths and on the final exhale, shift your attention to any negative thoughts, anxieties, worries or concerns that have been holding you back from being your best self and manifesting your dreams.
  6. As the last few fears linger in your mind, refocus your present awareness to the warmth of the sun on your skin.
  7. Inhale deeply and hold it for three seconds, making sure to imagine the sun’s energy filling you up with its golden light from your root chakra at the base of your spine to your to crown chakra at the top of your head, allowing the sun to burn away any vibrations and impurities that no longer serve you.
  8. Exhale to release some of that light where it can flow freely back into the world and the universe.

Note: You can do this ritual any time of day. But the most powerful times will be in middle of the day when the sun’s energy is at its peak, and during sunrise and sunset.

2. Travel and Spend Time Out in the World

palm trees swaying on beach

Traveling is the ritual of getting out of your comfort zone and into the world. And no matter how big or small the excursion, there’s no better time than the summer to embark upon an epic adventure. The only thing that matters is that you let the sights, sounds and rhythms of the earth be your guide.

What places have you been meaning to visit? Make a list. Near or far, every destination in the world has some special marvel worth discovering. So make a point to visit at least one of the places on your list this summer. No one will thank you for some time away from the day-to-day grind more than your own mind, body and soul.

You might also want to consider keeping a travel journal to document your thoughts about everything you do, see and experience. (Read How to Stay Spiritually Grounded While Traveling.)

3. Host a High-Vibe Gathering

overhead shot of cool drinks with grapefruit

Weddings, graduations, BBQs, block parties—it’s no secret that summer is prime time for social gatherings. So why not host your own high-vibe get-together to bask in the warm weather and good vibes with your friends?

The key to hosting a conscious gathering is to remember these simple dos:

  1. DO engineer a thoughtful ambiance. Lights, candles, playlist, action. It’s the little things people remember about a big day or night with friends.
  2. DO provide delicious and aesthetically pleasing sources of food. No high-vibe gathering would be complete without a selection of treats that are just as nourishing as they are yummy.
  3. DO engage in stimulating conversations with your guests. Be the host with the most. Connecting with guests on an authentic level is the best way to keep the energy up at your party.
  4. DO let people help you. It takes a village. From the prep to the cleaning and all the little things in between, you don’t have to do it alone. And the reality is that most guests will be more than happy to help you simply for inviting them.

4. Create a Summer Solstice Altar

burnt palo santo sticks with candle and feather laying in crystals

Carving out a space in your home in honor of summer is easy and extremely effective. Altars serve as portals to the divine, and when built, they create space for us to meditate, pray and focus our energies on manifesting what we want—while also bringing us closer to our ancestors, spirit guides, the ascended masters or simply certain vibrations we seek to embody.

The beauty of creating an altar is that it doesn’t have to be too elaborate to be powerful.

Here are a few tips how:

  1. Find an area in your home where you can build your altar.
  2. Collect a few simple tools: crystals, candles, incense, smudge. You can add photos of loved ones passed, jewelry for charging, and anything else that resonates with you. For summer, you’ll want to dress up your altar with something that represents fire, abundance, movement, action and passion, so both vibrantly colored fresh flowers and candles are ideal additions.
  3. Prepare an offering for your spirit guides and ancestors. Most times this is a perishable item like a piece of fruit or even something like an unlit cigar. The goal is to offer something from nature that has a life cycle—a symbol of your ancestors’ and guides’ journeys on earth and their transcendence from this plane. If it’s for a deceased loved one, it can be a cup of their favorite tea or something else they enjoyed while they were here.

When your altar is set, you can shift the elements on it as much as you want. You will most likely experience many changes within the next three months, and your altar is the best place to help you channel the energy you need to go with the flow. (Read What Is the Purpose of a Home Altar?)

Published on: June 13, 2018

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