Here and there, if you’re following a certain type of crowd (you know the type, those like us who love all things Universe and are all about the +vibes we exchange here on earth and beyond) – yes, if you are in the mix with those kind of beings and things of that nature – it’s more than likely you know about the solstice, or have at the very least seen it being mentioned.
For all of us who wish to have a refresher or a quick brief, here it is broken down into two segments – textbook explanation and spiritual significance:
Let’s begin with the standard definition of “Solstice.”
What is it?
“A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In many cultures the solstices mark either the beginning or the midpoint of winter and summer (*hence, ‘midsummer night’).
The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction.
…The summer solstice (*also simply called June solstice) marks the day when the sun appears highest in the sky. However, in the tropics, the sun appears directly overhead (called the subsolar point) some days (or even months) before the solstice and again after the solstice, which means the subsolar point occurs twice each year.” (wikipedia)
This year’s solstice, considered the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, is at 12:38 p.m. on June 21.
Animation of changing sun angle at solar noon in Washington, D.C. (Seasons and Ecliptic Simulator, adapted by CWG)
“The animation above shows how changes in Earth’s position around the sun affect the amount of light in each hemisphere, as well as the angle of sunlight reaching the ground. On their website, you can change your latitude to see how the height of the sun varies in each season.” (Washington Post)
Now that you have a better idea of what it’s all about in technical form, how about the fun stuff – simplified and magical!
Why is it Significant?
The June solstice is the longest, sunniest day of the year. Because of this, it stands as our tipping point from where here on out the days get shorter and the nights get longer.
For those of us who enjoy the beauty and magic of nature, this holds great spiritual significance and calls for a means of celebration!
Since the ancient times, all around the world people have celebrated this beautiful moment; the turning of the wheel of the year. It is a time of renewal – representing the death and birth of life, light and the very nature of our existence. Here and now, we celebrate – opening ourselves up to the resonating vibrations of the Universe and holding frequency so that we may attune ourSelf for more conscious living.
Whether in small private gatherings, or larger community rituals, with prayer and altars in sacred spaces – all are joining together to witness this spectacle. There are very large international gatherings as well. Stonehenge (dating back to between 3000-1500 BCE), with its main axis aligned to the solstice sunrise, is one of the world’s most popular sacred sites for the occasion.
A few years ago reportedly over 35 THOUSAND gathered here. BBC’s coverage of that event included an interview “with those who appreciate the solstice the most: ‘We believe it is very important for people to move with the cycles of nature, and actually feel them. If you get up early in the morning and you watch that special sunrise, you’ve been a part of it. The rest of the year is shaped by that. And we think it’s a really healthy thing to do, and a very spiritual thing to do.’”
It is evident that with so many cultures and ethnicities celebrating and having celebrated this break of dawn over the course of time – from ancient Roman celebrations of Vesta to feast days in many cultures – that there is certainly something special here.
For those of us here and now, today, and every day to come – may we be open to the changes of the turning of the wheel, and enjoy the vibes.
Sending you all so much love, light & cosmic buzz.
See you in the stars…