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What is the Summer Solstice + Why You Should Celebrate It

Morgan Garza
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The summer solstice marks the first official day of summer. On June 20, 2017, the sun will reach its peak in the sky (in the Northern Hemisphere), creating the longest day and shortest night that we will experience all year.
 
Throughout history, humans across cultures, continents, and religions have celebrated the winter and summer solstices, as well as the spring and autumn equinoxes. These 4 celestial events mark the beginning and ending of cycles – and encourage us to connect with the rhythm of nature and flow with the changing energy of the seasons.
 

Here’s what the summer solstice is, how it influences you, and why you should celebrate this magical time of year:

 
 

What is the Summer Solstice?

Solstice means the “standing of the sun” from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). Twice a year, in winter and summer, the sun gives the illusion of standing still in the sky (from Earth). It peaks at the highest point in summer and the lowest point in winter. After the summer solstice, the sun begins its descent – the days become shorter and the nights longer – in the perpetual cycle of the seasons.
 
 

What Does the Summer Solstice Mean?

At both times of the year, the solstice is a celebration of light, life, and the completion/beginning of a cycle.
 
These astrological events correspond with our own natural rhythm and the rhythm of nature. The winter solstice marks the return of light from the “longest night” of winter – and the summer solstice marks the culmination of light and the most energetic time of year.
 

During this time, the sun brings high energy, light, and warmth into our lives.

 
There are many traditions, rituals, and ceremonies to celebrate, honor, and harness the energy of the sun. Historically, this helped people connect deeply with nature and better understand the influence the world around us has on the world within us.
 
 

How Does the Summer Solstice Impact You?

Everything in the universe is made of energy. Just as the flowers bloom in spring and leaves die in autumn, we also flow with the cycles of life and death in nature. Throughout our spiritual journey, there are peaks and valleys that we must navigate. Connecting with the power of the sun can help us better understand this ebb and flow, and learn how to work with it, rather than resist it.
 

The only constant in the universe is change, and embracing the change – within and around us – will allow us to be rooted as we flow.

 
The solstice is a way to reconnect with, and honor, the path that you’re on. It is a time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and consider what you wish to accomplish in the future. This is also a time of heightened energy as we experience the longest day of the year – filling us with more sunlight than normal.
 

Symbolically, the summer solstice represents awakening, enlightenment, and the triumph of light over dark.

 
Honoring the summer solstice with ceremony, ritual, or yoga can help us energize and harness the palpable energy of the sun. This creates intimacy with nature that has been all but lost in the modern world.
 
And while many rituals and traditions honoring the changing of the seasons have been lost in time, we can still create our own personal magic during these times.
 
 

How to Celebrate the Solstice

The intentional and devotional movement of yoga is a wonderful way to honor, celebrate, and connect with the energy of the summer solstice. You can set an intention at the beginning of your practice to help you connect more deeply with this energy and what you’d like to manifest or cultivate more of in your life.
 
Doing 108 Sun Salutations on the summer solstice is a traditional practice to activate the sun’s energy and honor the rhythm of nature. At dawn on the morning on the summer solstice, face east and dive right in!
 
Read 6 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice for tips on how to amplify this palpable energy.
 
 
The influence of the sun in our lives is an ancient truth that has always been recognized as a powerful experience – unique to living on planet Earth (to the best of our knowledge). This life-giving force affects everything around us and within us, and by taking the time to connect with that energy, you can better understand your inner and outer worlds.
 

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Morgan Garza

Editor extraordinaire. Morgan is making sure the commas are on point, the words are meaningful, and if you find any misspellings... we meant to do that. :) She is also mystical AF.

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