Summer Solstice Traditions You Can Try At Home, Because Stonehenge Isn't On Everyone's Doorstep
The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, and has been celebrated in different ways for centuries. It is considered by many as a spiritually significant moment in the year, and there are a multitude of different ways to mark this special day — whether you fancy going to a summer celebration or doing a cleansing ritual. But for the more introverted of you, here are some summer solstice traditions you can try at home.
But first, what exactly is the summer solstice? And why would you want to mark it? In the UK, the summer solstice is usually in June — and this year it falls on June 21. According to Professor of Astronomy Stephen Schneider, it marks the official start of the summer. He wrote in a piece for The Conversation that this is due to the moment the "Earth reaches the point in its orbit where the North Pole is angled closest to the sun." According to weather.com, this year "the UK will have 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight" on the day of the summer solstice, with the sun rising 4.43 a.m. and then setting at 9.31 p.m.
The day is considered a special day by pagans, because, according to The Telegraph, it "marks the ancient middle of summer." Pagans believe the day holds a significant power as it was believed to be "a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and when fairies were thought to be at their most powerful." As a result of this, pagans celebrate the summer solstice all over the world, with some of the most famous celebrations happening at Stonehenge.
The Guardian notes that traditionally, these celebrations were held while revellers were "skyclad" (aka naked), however, public nudity is now not so much the done thing. So if you had your heart set on a naked lap around some ancient rocks, and are now left in a bit of a pickle, then worry not — because there's plenty you can do to mark this important day, all from the comfort of your own home.
1. Light A Bonfire
One way to mark the summer solstice is by celebrating light and your own inner-fire, and you can do this by lighting a bonfire. "If you want to get more ritualistic," blog Mystic Mamma has advised, "gather some fresh herbs like vervain, lavender, St. John’s wort, or whatever is local, and throw them into the fire with your deepest wishes."
2. Make A Flower Crown
"Tarot-reading witch" and blogger Lavender Moon reckons the summer solstice makes for the perfect time to hone your flower crown-making skills: "As a gal who loves any excuse to dress like a woodland creature, I decided to make a flower crown this year to get in the spirit of summer," she wrote on her site. If you want to indulge in this tradition, check out this great tutorial on YouTube.
3. Do Some Candle Magic
According to spiritual website The White Goddess, the summer solstice is a good time to practice "candle magic." Mackenzie Sage Wright, who has been a witch for 25 years, wrote on the website: "Since this sabbat [pagan holiday] revolves around the sun, a candle should be lit for the entire day, especially if it is cloudy or raining." The site adds that the best candles to burn on this day are sage, mint, and basil, if you can get your hands on them.
4. Do A Cleansing Ritual
Professional psychic Kala Ambrose has claimed that the summer solstice is a good time to calibrate the energy in your home by doing a cleansing ritual. "Write down your negative feelings on paper," she advised on her website, "and then release them by burning them to ash in a safe container." You might also want to thread a bundle of white sage and rosemary together, dip into a bowl of spring water, and sprinkle around the house.
5. Use Healing Crystals
According to the blog Energy Muse, the summer solstice can be a good time to dust off the healing crystals and put them to use. "This is the time to let go of what no longer serves you, as you empower yourself to move towards what feeds your soul," the blog has stated. "Honor the energy of this special occurrence with a simple summer solstice ritual with crystals."
So, whether you're looking to rid your home of negative vibes or looking to try a little candle magic, may the summer solstice serve you well. Enjoy.