The summer solstice, June 21, marks the start of the summer months and the longest day of the year before the nights start to grow longer again. In nature based faiths this solstice is known as Litha and is considered one of the most sacred sabbats of the year. This is when people gathered (and still gather) at StoneHenge for day and night long celebrations watching the sun align and shine through a certain point in the structure. In its most basic essence, this day is a celebration of the sun and that it is still shining on us. It will go out one day and we should revel in the fact that we were born at this point in the Earth’s evolution. And the solstice also holds deeper nature metaphors for life, fertility, and the cycle of time and seasons. No matter what your view of spirituality or nature, the sun and summertime is always a thing worth celebrating.
Get outside! Take advantage of the longest day and go for walks (preferably without your cellphone in tow), go to the beach, to any park or forest or even the smallest park can suffice if you’re city locked.
Stay up all night. In many solstice worshipping cultures, this shortest night is a time to celebrate the seasons and set intentions for the months to come. Go dancing, to a concert, throw a solstice watching party or bonfire on the beach to watch the sun set and rise again in summertime.
Spend time with the flowers. Garden, buy flowers and arrange them all over your home, or explore a botanical garden. Flowers are symbols of the solstice and many believe flowers possess magical powers.
Fire magic. The sun is the symbol of the fire element of the solstice. Set your intentions with a fire ritual. Some cultures would light bonfires and dance all night until the flames reduced to embers. Then they would jump over the burning coals to make their wishes for the months ahead. A more toned-down ritual can include lighting a candle, setting your wish or intention, and blowing it out (sound familiar? Even our birthday rituals hold pagan roots). If you are celebrating outside with a fire, burn plants like chamomile, mugwort, st. john’s wort or lavender for good health and calm.
Ground yourself with yoga or meditation. There’s strong sun energy brewing on the solstice sabbat, which can feel intense for some. Help ground yourself with meditative or yoga rituals. Go to a class, watch a calming yoga tutorial on youtube, listen to meditation music, and try to do these rituals outside if you can.
Solstice Sex. Embrace and harness the energy of the sun and all the crazy vibrations brewing today. Great rite sex acts were–and are–a central part of pagan rituals, especially in welcoming of the summer months. This solstice is a symbol of fertility and life, just make sure to practice the safe, consensual, female-empowering kind. Solstice rituals hark back to goddess worship after all.
Crystal Magic. If there’s a time to cleanse your crystals in sunlight, it’s today. Let the energy of the sun purify your crystals from built-up negative energy in the longest sunlight of the year and then sleep with the crystals near your bed (or held in your palms) when you go to bed at night. For extra grounding, hold onto your black grounding stones like obsidian, black tourmaline, and shungite.
Ritual Baths. Solstice night is a perfect time for a ritual bath. Light candles, fill your bath with salts and essential oils, even flower petals (or add essential oils to your shower and hang flowers from the shower head), burn cleansing palo santo or sage, and clear your mind. Read my at home ritual spa guide here.
Brew recipes! This is a great time to infuse potions and tinctures for summer. Bake cakes infused with honey (the symbol of the June moon), flower treats, and homemade beauty products made from plants and flowers. Here are a few of my favorite solstice/Litha recipes: