This week marks the June solstice, (or summer solstice) where the sun reaches both its highest and northernmost point in the sky. The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium meaning “where the sun stands still,” (sun (sol) and stitium (standing.) The days which have been becoming longer and longer since the winter solstice now equal the nights in length. The Solstice reflects the fact that on this special day the sun appears to stop moving as it reaches this point. But after today, the sun will reverse its course and each day will now get shorter and shorter until we reach the winter solstice again.
What I love about the solstice is that it reminds us of the natural rhythms of life; the ebbs and flows, the ups and downs that many take for granted. It can be easy to fall prey to always wanting to be on the upswing, however nature is not in bloom all year and we need a resting phase too. In the I Ching we learn that some are climbing and some are falling. It’s a natural occurrence based on the individual at hand. The yielding and responsive quality of nature follows with sensitivity the demands of the seasons by reproducing, adapting and evolving itself appropriately. It can also heal itself when injured and deftly maintain a balanced economy under all circumstances.
Nature is the responsive background for all events in our life. Your greatest power is in how you respectfully ebb and flow with the laws and rhythms of nature. In order to best excel, you need to become connected to her natural forces, because through her she brings guidance and clarity amidst the chaos. She also helps us cultivate our Chi by bringing us closer to God.
In the Rider-Waite deck of tarot we can see such cycles being embraced in the World card. The circular wreath symbolizing the continual cycle of new beginnings and needed endings. We can also see this represented in the Wheel of Fortune card, symbolic of the cyclical nature your life takes as you grow and learn. It is only through cycles that we can learn through contrast. You cannot know love until you experience great loss. You cannot experience joy until you’ve been in the depths of despair. It is through our own solstitium or “standing still” that we can see change, evolution and progression.
On this special day spend time alone with Self and consider the direction and rhythms of your own life. Meditate on the idea that everything on earth, good and bad, is supported and balanced by nature. Broaden your horizons, expand your attitude and have objective opinions so you can view the world with an expanded mind and open heart. Embrace and get to know your inner world rather than criticizing the outer world because here you’ll find the guidance you need to get on the right path. Below is a fantastic ceremonial offering to celebrate Mama Earth’s 17 hour day!
In ancient times we always celebrated natural wonders like a solstice with festivities and offerings. In doing so we honer Mama Earth and all she has to offer us. Through these gifts we thank her for her daily service to us and all her bounty provides us.
Set up a solstice altar. Doing this ritual provides a spiritual backdrop for extending powerful intentions and meaning in your life. Setting up a blessing altar serves as a beacon that calls in the divine light that radiates loving energy into the earth and connects you to her.
Altar cloth – symbolic of nature, balance, peace and represents foundation
Minerals / Crystals – I like to use moss agate, tree agate, aventurine, shungite and aquamarine. You choose what you’re called to offer Mama Earth.
Flowers/plants/food: Roses, Sunflowers, Rosemary, Corn, Grains, Alcohol, and Sweets
Set up your cloth. Place your crystals, flowers and other offerings on top of the cloth. Lay them out as you see fit and what inspires you. Light a white candle and set clear intentions to send love and healing to Mama Earth. This is not about asking for anything in return, this about celebrating her and all that she has provided you. After you have arranged your special solstice altar, take a moment to center your thoughts and intentions, then say a silent prayer like this:
I dedicate this offering of love, joy and appreciation to Mama Earth. May harmony and peace, love and light restore you. May all people find peace, healing and tranquility through your medicine. I humbly ask that you accept my offering as a way to show that I honor and love you and thank you for all you provide me and my family. A ho.