Create an Incredible 2018 with the Summer Solstice
When we look back through the windows of time, a different society emerges. These people were of the land in every way - the land dictated their food supply, water supply and health of their livestock. These agricultural people were also tied to the land energetically. Through my research of ancient and medieval societies and cultures, I've learnt how sensitive they were to the change of season. Everything in nature was seen through the lens of its connection to us.
In Britain, the native people would celebrate the Summer Solstice through ritual. Getting up early to see the sunrise over the carefully laid out megalithic stone circles, or walking into mounds like Maeshowe, which lined up with the sun position on the solstice. Lighting bonfires was also common - a symbol for the everlasting light of life. They would light them on hilltops or mounds around the settlement of the tribe to imbue it with protection for the coming months.
We often assume that these traditions died away, but rituals do not easily disappear; they serve as a connection between us and the Universe. In the medieval era, villagers would still light bonfires and sacrifice crops to ensure a bountiful harvest, and to keep negative energy away. In Denmark, villagers would gather around the bonfire and sing Midsommervisen, reminiscent of the pagan name for the summer solstice Midsummer.
Picking St John's wart is a tradition that has its roots in neolithic tribes, transported across the centuries. The herb would be hung from the top of doorways or windows to keep negative energy away, and to promote healing. Within the home, dried yarrow was burnt to 'smudge' the old energy away, and bring in the new. In fact, the festival of St John, practiced on the summer solstice, has the same rituals that were practiced in our pagan past.
Every solstice I like to make a point of preparing my space, my mind and my body for the coming months. As we head to the end of the year, its a good idea to make time to throw away the old so you can welcome to new with more ease. Yogi Bhajan says that a solstice is a time to break your patterns. As we go through crucial changes, we have to release anything that is holding us back. We have to live through the power of the soul.
Here are my Summer Solstice rituals to help you break free:
Breathe - This is simple, but many of us breathe incorrectly when we get stressed. Take a moment to put your hand on your hara chakra, just below your navel and breathe deeply. When you breathe in, your belly should expand out, and when you exhale, it should fall inward. I do this when I'm driving, or on the train, or sitting with a cup of tea. Whenever you notice your breath becoming shallow, focus on the stomach expanding at each inhale.
Clear Your Space - Clean away all clutter from your surfaces and throw out anything you don't need. I like to dust my surfaces too with vinegar and orange essential oil. Any citrus essential oil is great because citrus is light and invigorating. Smudging your space with sage or dried yarrow is essential to lift all the old energy away.
Visualise White-Gold Light - Take a moment to sit down in the sunlight and be still. Visualise white-gold light streaming down upon you, lifting up everything that no longer serves you. Allow it to penetrate into your core, dancing in every cell. Let your heart feel light. This will clear away any accumulated darkness, fear, doubt and unworthiness.Its purity will uplift even the most battered soul.
Update Your Vision Board - A new year brings with it new opportunities. To make the most of the year, your intentions must be focused. I find that when my vision board no longer reflects what I truly want out of life, I feel confused and doubtful. Your exterior reflects the interior so its there's an experience you want in 2018, let your mind know it! Your brain records information with pictures so pin up pictures that are emotionally connected to your soul and the dreams you want to achieve. Miracles happen when the inside world works cohesively with the outside world.
Have A Celebration - Despite the challenges you have faced in 2017, you've made it! I think at the close of a year, we really have to celebrate how far we've come. Celebrate with family and friends, light a bonfire safely if you're able to and enjoy a night being happy and light. The summer solstice reminds us that light carries us forward.
Sing - Singing on a Summer Solstice is an ancient ritual that lifts the soul. Mantras, Christmas Carols or anything that carries a high vibration will raise you above any hardships that may be in your path.
The fascinating thing about history is how deeply our ancestors live on within us. Some of us may look back through time and wish we could relive the lifetimes that brought us joy and happiness. We believe that life was simpler, and full of magic. What we don't realise is that our ancestors live on through us. We might feel that the past is too distant, that we can't reach far enough to grasp those lifetimes once again. In actuality, we are our ancestors. We continue to live on with them in our energetic fields - constantly guiding us and providing us with support.
Doing these solstice rituals will help you to connect to your ancestors once more. Grounding you within your own skin in this time, and helping you to see the bigger picture.