By: Janette Dalgliesh – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Welcome to the June Solstice, a beautiful turning point of the seasons – Summer for the Northern Hemisphere, Winter for the Southern.
June Solstice is an astronomical event, experienced at the same moment by everyone on the planet, but we don’t all experience it the same way.
And that matters, because you and I – dear reader – we are creatures of both Earth and stars; and if we want to make the most of a Solstice, it’s good to take that into account.
Our planet does not sit straight in her orbit. She has a tilted axis.
At the June Solstice, her North Pole leans toward the Sun, so that from our Earth-bound perspective it’s summer in the north, winter in the south. Countries near the North Pole become the lands of the midnight sun, while the South Pole is in 24 hour night.
Six months later at the December Solstice, of course it’s reversed. The South Pole leans Sunwards giving us summer in the south, winter in the north, midnight sun at the South Pole and darkness all day at the North Pole.
The word Solstice comes from the Latin for ‘sun standing’ and these seasonal turning points – longest day, longest night – have always been significant to us because we are biological animals.
Our ancestors built their days around the cycles of day and night, new moons, and yearly patterns such as the Solstices, whether they lived in the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere.
We are hard wired to pay attention, and we live the seasons daily in our clothing, our food, our activities.
But your current physical location isn’t the only factor.
You also have a biological and cultural lineage which might link you to another place on the planet, and perhaps even to a different season.
I grew up in London where June Solstice is full of sunshine, flowers, fruit, and long balmy evenings spent outdoors. Now I live in Australia, where June marks the shortest day of the year, trees are bare and my freezer is stocked with hearty, rib-sticking casseroles and soups. I can’t ignore either, completely.
And then there’s the astrology.
We are all residents on one single, beautiful sphere of rock flying through space; and although we might be in different timezones, having different seasons, our view of the stars unites us. Every Solstice is an astronomical and astrological event.
The Solstices and their cousins the Equinoxes are the moments when the Sun enters different Cardinal signs of the zodiac:
- June solstice – Cancer
- September equinox – Libra
- December solstice – Capricorn
- April equinox – Aries
Cardinal signs are all associated with new beginnings, the initiating of something fresh.
Every Solstice is therefore a time for celebrating and appreciating both what is completing, and what is to come, in a way that sends out a clear signal to Universe about what you want next.
With Sun entering vulnerable Cancer, it’s especially good to show love and appreciation for your own self, and for those entities which protects and nurtures you – family (biological or chosen), home, non-physical Helpers, whatever or whoever helps you feel safe.
And celebrate your own upcoming well-being, love, creativity, expansion and optimism – no matter what the season in your part of the world.
Marking the Solstice
There are a thousand and one rituals available online, usually designed around either Summer or Winter, and if you find one you like or you have one you’ve loved for years, then go for it!
I like the idea of creating a more personal and unique ritual, based on that blend of physical location, biological lineage, and the astrology of the moment.
If that appeals, now’s the time to design a ritual of celebration and appreciation, to show and experience your love for what-is-now, plus that conscious and deliberate welcoming of what-is-to-come.
If it’s summer for you, celebrate the abundance of the harvest; appreciate what you have, including your own self. Decide how you will make the most of the slowly lengthening nights, a time for literal or metaphorical hibernation and returning-to-ground. The upcoming season is one where nature rests, and does the quiet work of preparing for the next round of flourishing.
If it’s winter for you, celebrate the impending return of the Sun; appreciate that you’ve made it through the dark times and you’re emerging into the light. Decide how you will make the most of the lengthening days, the invitation to step out of the dark and into the light. The upcoming season is one where nature takes all that energy she’s conserved, and blossoms forth into the world.
Your ritual can be super simple – ten minutes meditating in front of a tea light on the dining table or a few minutes spent daydreaming in a bath with oils you love.
Or you can make it as complex and rich as you please, perhaps even taking several days either side of the Solstice (exact times below).
Here are a few elements you could include:
None of these is mandatory. All of them can be adapted to suit your situation.
Prep the space – this probably means a little decluttering, either a lot or a little, and some beautifying. This is useful any time we have a fresh start, but it’s especially useful when Cancer is being activated as it helps freshen and bring pleasure to your relationship with your home.
Set up an altar – this can be temporary for a few days, a few hours, or just a few minutes. For example, the December solstice is associated with the 12 days of Yule, but that’s just one of many ways to decide this. You can use this space daily for any rituals you want to repeat, such as lighting a candle or placing a dish of honey. You can use it for a short candle-lit meditation on the day itself. You can create the altar with a pretty cloth on a small table, or take up your whole dining table if that’s your jam.
Fire – worth including because Solstice is a celebration of the Sun. You could speak blessings of celebration and appreciation over a big pillar candle, place it on your altar and light it daily for however long you like. You could create a bonfire and dance around it sky-clad. You could bless a small tea light or birthday candle, light it and bask in its pretty glow for a few moments. With all things fire-based, be sensible and safe.
Love-letters – writing is a potent way to both explore yourself, and send out a signal to the Universe. You can write a love-letter to life, celebrating and expressing gratitude for all that you have and all the good things of the past season (even if it’s the tiniest of things, they count!). You can write a love-letter to the future, expressing in celebratory terms the shape you’d like it to have (if you know your chart, look to which house zero degrees of Cancer is in, and focus on that area of life – for me it’s all about my values and my money, woohoo!). You can burn these letters as a way of celebrating the fire of the solstice and sending them out to the air (a very solid tradition in many cultures). You can bury them in the soil to dissolve over time, letting mother Earth silently carry the messages of love. You can write just one on the day of the Solstice, or you can do many over a period of days before and after.
Fresh fruit and flowers – these are both great ways to beautify a space, especially an altar. You can use the whole fruit or a vase of flowers; or you can use the oils or dried petals (see the next item for more ideas). If you do use these on your altar, be sure to remove any dying flowers or rotting fruit – that’s not an energy you want to take into the new season!
Essential oils – these can be used to connect you to the upcoming season. The floral and fruit based oils bring the energy of flourishing and fruitfulness (rose, sweet orange, lavender, bergamot). The wood and resin based oils are redolent with groundedness and making-things-real (sandalwood, frankincense, vetiver, cedar). You can speak words of blessing over an oil and ask it to support you in its own special way (eg “spirit of rose oil, please bless me with love and elevation and joy”). You can anoint a candle with just a few small dabs of oil before lighting it. You can add drops of oil to a bath and soak in the energy. You can mix a few drops of oil into a neutral base such as almond oil, and anoint yourself (never use essential oils undiluted on your skin, as some can be toxic to some people).
Dried petals – bring an energy of flourishing. Rose brings love and elevation, lavender is cleansing – or you can use your own intuition to choose a flower that fits how you plan to celebrate Solstice. You can speak a blessing over the petals before using them. You can add them to a ritual bath. You can roll your candle in petals after anointing it with small dabs of oil, and before lighting it (if you do this, do please set the candle in a pile of sand in a good-sized heatproof bowl, for safety – these additions can change the way a candle burns and it’s smart to take precautions)
Honey – brings the energy of sweetness, attracting and holding. You can simply speak a blessing over a spoonful, and then eat it. You can place a small dish on your altar (cover it if you have pets or your house is prone to ants).
Blessings – these can be super simple (“I bless this oil”) or far more detailed. They can be very formal, with thees and thous, if that floats your boat; or they can be very casual (as long as the wording is respectful).
The combinations are endless, limited only by your imagination.
Of course, you can simply use a ritual created by your favourite magician, witch or wizard, and then weave in the awareness of that Cancerian energy of intimacy and vulnerability, the emotional home ground.
Here’s what I’ll be doing, to bring together both my northern lineage, my current southern location, and the placement of this Solstice in my chart (my 2nd house, to do with core values and resources):
- Declutter and beautify the space I plan to use (a section of my office)
- Create a temporary altar which I’ll set up 19 June and pull down 30 June (this is longer than usual, but takes into account how the transiting Sun interacts with my natal chart)
- Review my core values
- Anoint a large white pillar candle with vetiver oil and rose oil (having blessed them first), roll it in a few rose petals, and set it up in a large heatproof bowl half-filled with sand from a favourite beach
- Each day, I’ll light my candle and write a love letter
It will be a little more complex, but that’s the bare bones.
If you create your own ritual this June Solstice, I’d love to know what you make and how you experience it! You can keep me posted at janettedalgliesh <at> gmail <dot> com.
- New York – 21 June 11.54AM
- Los Angeles – 21 June 8.54AM
- London – 21 June 4.54PM
- Sydney – 22 June 1.54AM
Janette Dalgliesh has a simple mission in life – to help every person unlock their capacity for resonant joy, and live it. A keen student of astrology, brain science, chaos magic, law of attraction and positive psychology, she serves her people through astrology consults, coaching, teaching and writing. Her international clientele raves about her wildly accurate, individualized readings, but she doesn’t do general weekly predictions – for those, Janette recommends Kim Falconer (www.goodvibeastrology.com) and Mystic Medusa (www.mysticmedusa.com). Find Janette on Facebook or via her website – or you might like to pick up her free brain-rewiring resource, Identity Shift 101 here.
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