This important event in the Celtic calendar celebrates the Light and the Sun, the givers of all life. It is represented by one of the eight spokes on the Celtic wheel of the seasons and occurs on June 21st. The Solstice is recognised by all cultures as an important turning point as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and this is reflected in the word “Solstice”, which comes from the Latin “Sol” (Sun) and “Sistere” (Standing Still).
It is also known as Mid-Summer Solstice because it is roughly halfway through the growing season for farmers and gardeners. At this time the Sun’s energy is at its peak and we can feel its creative force as we honour and connect with it. Just as Mother’s Day is close to Beltaine the celebration of fertility, Father’s Day is close to the Summer Solstice and it was the Celts traditional time for honouring male energy.
Summer Solstice was a very important fire festival for the Celts for bringing in abundance and fertility and to honour this time, balefires to ritually strengthen the Sun were lit across the land from sunset the night before until sunset the next day. Marked by torch lit processions, flaming tar barrels would be rolled down the hillsides, blazing gorse was carried around the cattle to prevent disease and misfortune and people would dance around the balefires and leap through the flames as a purification and strengthening rite. It is also considered to be a time when the veil between the worlds is thin, giving an opportunity for the natural and supernatural worlds to merge. Fairy lore is full of creatures that come to life on Midsummers Eve and somehow the stories and symbolisms surrounding them have merged with parts of ourselves so there can be a stronger feeling of alignment with the Earth and the Universe.
For the Celts this was a time to do the business of living – planting, sowing, reaping, and marrying and also to consider what else was out there to align with, which is why it is also known as the “light half” of the year. This was for the Celts and still is for us, one of the Great Spirit nights of the year, a time to tune into the wellbeing around us. The birds are singing, new growth and beauty is springing up all around us in nature, the weather is warming up and there is a lighter energy surrounding our lives. It is a good time to offer gratitude for the good things in our life and the life around us, a powerful time to begin a new habit of positive thinking and to break any negative thought habits we may have been carrying.
Astrologically, the Sun is travelling through Cancer. Cancer is ruled by the Moon so the partnership of the Sun’s male energy and the female energy of the Moon on the longest day of the year is one of the reasons why the Celts held so many fertility rites at this time of year, it meant that all was well in the sky and the life giving Sun was moving across the heavens as it should.
June is a traditional time for weddings and the first full moon of June is known as the “Honey Moon” and thought the best time of year to collect honey from the hives. In some cultures, a newly married couple were fed on dishes containing honey for a month to boost fertility and chances of a large family. This is the origin of the modern Honeymoon and even if we are not a part of a newly married couple, perhaps we can create our own Honeymoon at this time by reflecting on and giving thanks and showing gratitude for the good things in our life and look forward to the abundance that the energy of the Sun will manifest for us as we too allow ourselves to become more aligned with the Earth and the Universe.
“A Concise Guide to a Life on Earth” –
There was nothing to suggest anything out of the ordinary as I got in my car to drive to the local town for food supplies, but this drive turned out to be anything but ordinary. As a shamanic healer I am accustomed to communicating with my spirit guides as easily as interacting with friends and clients, so much so that when Merlin started to engage in a conversation while I was driving, it was as if I was talking with someone in the passenger seat, as the legendary Merlin began to talk to me about producing this work that I would channel from him. The seed of this book was sown during that short car drive, an extraordinary few moments that were above and beyond the normal run to the shops and which began a magical, deeply privileged collaboration.
The result is a powerful, eloquent guide to help answer the great perennial questions and support the challenges of life we all face at some time. Challenges that cause difficulties, suffering and confusion about what life is about, who we are and what our purpose in life is. It is a guide to help bring awareness of your own unique gifts and strengths so you may fully express their potential. To be able to break free from self-doubt and conditioning and allow your authentic self to blossom.
This is an empowering piece of work, the style of writing is direct but with compassion and support, there is a softness about it that is completely non-judgemental.
There are a lot of pauses and repeated words to emphasise points and if it is read with that in mind, allowing the energy of the words to really connect with your own energy, it becomes a form of meditative reading, creating a deep connection with the self.
It is a guide for embracing and fully living your life, it is not imparting a doctrine, and it is simply a guidance system, a support mechanism for you to be all that You Can Be.
Martin Robbins: email@example.com