The summer solstice is here, and you may be preparing to celebrate the longest day with a few home-grown rituals that you may have been honoring for years, or are potentially excited to try for the first time.
These could be as simple as collecting aromatic herbs from your garden. We turned to spiritualists for at-home rituals and traditions to try on the 21st of June to make the most of the summer solstice.
What is the summer solstice?
The summer solstice marks 21st June, the longest day of the year, when the Earth's axis is tilted at the closest point to the sun. Traditionally, it is the time to focus on light and spirituality, and find different ways to feel in touch with nature through ancient rituals, from sunrise to sunset.
Celebrity psychic, Inbaal Honigman, shares her insight to what summer solstice means: 'The summer solstice is marked in many ways, as it was one of the oldest festivals. Nature is the only "God" of the solstice, as it is the natural arrival of the longest day and the shortest night.
'The summer solstice is linked with feats of strength, as the sun is at its peak. Playing tug-of-war is a traditional midsummer pastime, symbolizing the struggle between the waxing year and the waning year.
'The day was associated with marriages, as it is the meeting between the "waxing" time of the year, when each day is longer than the one before, and the "waning" time of the year, when each day is a little shorter.
'It is also seen as a time of fertility, and single people would find luck if they look for a partner at midsummer.
'Naturally, observing the sunrise of the longest day, accompanied by drums or singing, is commonplace at the summer solstice.'
Inbaal Honigman is a celebrity media psychic, astrology writer and Piscean Tarot reader. She has given predictions on TV and radio. She has also written the horoscope pages in Elle magazine and Elle Girl Japan. She is Israeli-born and lives in England.
How to celebrate summer solstice at home
1. Gather herbs and flowers
Gathering herbs, flowers from your cut flower garden and essential oils are great ways to celebrate the summer solstice.
Morgan Garza, CMO at Saged advises, 'Gather a selection of fresh flowers and fragrant herbs, resonating with the vibrant energies of the summer season.'
Seasonal healing plants are a large part of the summer solstice. Gathering common Celtic plants associated with Midsummer have associations with magical and healing powers. Dried and fresh herbs include St. John’s Wort, vervain, yarrow, fern, mugwort, chamomile and thyme, all available at Walmart.
These herbs can be offered to fire (a traditional summer solstice fire pit or simply a lit candle).
If you wish to draw on happiness and protection you can use Gya Labs Egyptian geranium essential oils, or for sensuality, organic ylang ylang is a commonly used essential oil, and both are available on Amazon.
You may also want to create an altar with the flowers and herbs you have collected – this is traditionally done to honor Mother Earth. Get creative with your decorations, use a whole range of herbs, flowers, fabrics and colors. If you have an arts and crafts drawer at home you may want to ransack it for ribbons, string, pipe cleaners, or candles.
Morgan Garza is an author, teacher, entrepreneur, and community leader. She is an embodiment of the divine feminine here to inspire you to become your own guru by stepping out of the darkness of fear and into the light of activated awareness. As CMO of Saged she intimately and intentionally weaves the worlds of spirituality and business.
2. Make a mandala
Flowers, leaves and twigs, really anything you find in nature, can be gathered and used to create a mandala on the floor. A mandala represents the circle of life and the connection of all things and is a symbol of the universe in its most ideal form, one of joy. If you plan to go on a sunrise walk, this might be the best time to collect these items for your celebration.
To make a mandala, create a symmetrical design, starting from a center point that builds outwards. This may look like rings of flowers, enclosed by a zig-zag pattern of twigs, surrounded by pine cones.
3. Celebrate with a (safety-first) fire
What better way to celebrate the power of the sun and light than by lighting your backyard firepit? Assuming it's permitted in your area and is done safely...
Inbaal Honigman, celebrity psychic, says, 'Lighting bonfires on hills to honor the sun is a tradition that was observed throughout antiquity, and in fact, some European towns and villages have been reviving this tradition.'
Burning sacred wood such as Palo Santo sticks, at Walmart, and herbs can bring alive the summer solstice magic.
Once the fire has naturally died you can make the most of the ashes to use for rituals on other occasions, or even use it as garden fertilizer.
Make it a celebration with all your friends and family, with good food and drinks, or have a peaceful fire alone or with a small crowd and focus on setting your intentions and affirmations.
4. Set your affirmations with a prayer tree
The summer solstice is a great opportunity to take a moment and ask yourself what you want in your life, what don't you want (bad habits or energies), and how can you bring changes about. Get inspired and write down your intentions for the future.
Andrea Donnelly is a Spiritual Mentor, Quantum Sound & Energy Healer, and the CEO of We Are Here 2 Remember guides: 'First, sit somewhere peaceful, you can do this inside or out and create a little altar with your favorite flowers, crystals or photos of loved ones. You can light a candle if you have one, or you can simply just be in the moment. Then, set an intention that this summer solstice ceremony serves your highest, brightest good and releases everything that is no longer aligned with your highest timeline, as part of the process.'
Morgan Garza, CMO at Saged suggests: 'Take pen and paper and quiet your mind. Reflect on your aspirations for the season ahead. Write down your intentions, dreams, and goals with clarity and intention. Let the words flow from your heart, capturing the essence of what you seek to manifest and cultivate in your life.'
She continues, 'Take the paper on which your intentions are written and gently ignite it with a candle flame. As the paper transforms into ash, visualize your intentions being released into the universe, carried by the alchemical power of fire. Reflect on the transformative potential inherent in letting go and surrendering your intentions.'
Another way to solidify your wishes or intentions is by making a prayer tree. To do this you can collect a branch from a tree, maybe even a tree that might have meaning to you. Next, write down your wishes or intentions on a piece of paper or bark and attach them to the branch using ribbon or string, and place it in an outdoor space where it is exposed to sunlight during the day.
Different trees have different meanings, so you may want to specially select which kind of tree you want to harness for your prayer tree. Do this to match what best suits you and your affirmations.
The oak tree is seen as the king of the forest and is a doorway to mystical realms and a darker cycle of the new year that is beginning.
Beech trees are the sacred wood of the summer solstice, seen as the queen of the forest and to druids it symbolizes ancient wisdom. Within folklore, it was believed that writing a wish on a beech twig and burying it would make the wish come true as the twig decays over time.
Mistletoe is thought to have healing and fertility powers.
Hazel trees are believed to have magical powers that can protect against evil spirits and are also associated with fertility.
Aspen trees have a spiritual connection to the afterlife, believed to be capable of carrying messages from this life to the afterlife. They are also used as protectors against evils, as historically shields were made from aspen wood.
Finding a branch or collecting a range of branches from trees that align with your wishes and your needs can help you tap into the spirituality of this summer solstice ritual.
Andrea Donnelly is a Business Mentor, Quantum Sound and Energy Healer, and the CEO of We Are Here 2 Remember. She jokes that she has a '20-year-long Independent PhD in healing studies' such as energy work, the akashic records, flower essences, herbal medicine, sound healing, and more. Her mentorship process combines her background in finance and entrepreneurship, as well as her one-of-a-kind intuitive gifts and spiritual IQ to quantum shift her clients into a new (and desired) timeline.
5. Embrace the Earth by planting flowers
Getting in touch with the Earth is a key aspect of the summer solstice, which is a great opportunity for all the keen gardeners out there to give some love to their yards.
Since summer solstice is the longest day of the year, it is most likely that on this day, provided that you have clear skies, your plants will receive the most light out of the whole year. It is the time your long-day plants, which enjoy long hours of sun, will be doing the best.
You may want to use the day of the summer solstice, which marks the height of summer, to plant your late summer flowers which will thrive through summer into the beginning of fall. You may even want to introduce some of the summer solstice flowers into your garden to mark the occasion by planting sunflower seeds or roses seeds, at Walmart.
How can I help my children celebrate summer solstice?
This is a great idea for anyone who loves fairies or has children. Leaving treats out for fairies such as cakes, cookies or brownies can be a fun way to bring the magic to your yard.
Crystals may also be a great addition that can bring some sparkle to your altar, as well as adding some spiritual energy. Follow our spiritualists' expert advice on how to use crystals at home.
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Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.
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