Today it's a beautiful day for some sun worship, and what better day to do it on, than the Summer Solstice. It's the longest day of the year, and marks the official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
The word “Solstice” comes from the Latin words, sol sistere or “sun stand still”. It is the longest day of the year and the time when the sun is at its maximum elevation. Each year the Summer Solstice occurs between June 20 and June 22. In 2018 we're celebrating it today, 21st June.
Midsummer day is marked around the time of the Summer Solstice but should not be confused with it, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. In England this year, Midsummer's Day falls on Sunday June 24, the feast of St John the Baptist.
There are many celebrations taking place to mark the Summer Solstice, whether you feel a spiritual connection the the sun or are simply happy to see Summer arrive. In some cultures, such a paganism, the Summer Solstice is symbolic of fertility and the harvest. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest's fruits.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire is a popular location to see in the Summer Solstice and watch the sun rise. The remains of Stonehenge lie on a sacred site dating back 5,000 years, predating the Druids. It is believed to have been used as an astronomical calculator, as certain stones align with key dates in the seasons. The Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone, set outside the main circle, align with the rising sun.
I'm going to leave you now with a beautiful recipe for Solar Tea, perfect for taking out into the garden while you sit back and harness the full energy of the sun. You will need:
- 1 large jar with a very tight fitting lid.
- Cold water.
- 2 tea bags for each quart of water.
- 1 unpeeled orange, washed, and cut into small pieces.
- 1/2 unpeeled lemon, washed, and cut into small pieces.