Ok, one more rant about the messed-up-ness of the Gregorian calendar’s perspective on the cycle of the year:June 21st is not the “beginning” of summer any more than December 21st is the “beginning” of winter. This day marks the height of the year, the middle of the season of summer (Midsummer Night’s Dream anyone?). In the northern hemisphere this is the time of the shortest night and the longest day of the year. Though it may seem to some of us that summer has just gotten started (especially for our friends in the northeastern states) we are in fact half way through the cycle of the year. The leaves on the trees have fully unfurled, the berries are popping, our gardens are flourishing (in some places we’re even eating fresh tomatoes), and we’re outside more often, enjoying the lingering sun into the evening. Light, warmth, activity and interaction are at a peak.
This dazzling season is the kingdom of Fire Element which embodies joy, passion and fulfillment. It is a time to declare our heart’s desires with eager anticipation of their actualization. A fun ritual that our family has done on the Summer Solstice is to find a spot by a creek or river, build a fire (keeping safety in mind), create an altar which includes fresh flowers and symbols of our dreams, and proceed to have an abundant summery feast whilst sharing rich conversation centered around the desires which we’d like to bring to fruition. After dinner we each take a flower from the bouquet and visualize quietly for a few minutes on what it is we want, infusing the blossom with the image of our aspirations. Then, we come close to the stream or creek, kiss the flower and breathe our desires into it before flinging it into the moving water, placing our orders with the Universe. Following this ritual we allow the celebration to get boisterous with music, song and dance (and often, strawberry shortcake!).