The summer solstice is coming, so grab your flower crowns and prepare to celebrate the longest day of the year. At least, that'll be true for those of us living in the northern hemisphere — for those living in the southern hemisphere, it will appear to be the shortest day of the year. The summer solstice happens each year somewhere between June 20 and 22. According to the Farmer's Almanac, this year it officially starts on Sunday, June 20 at 11:32 pm ET. Here's what that means and how to celebrate the ancient witchy holiday.
Solstice literally translates to sol (sun) + sistere (standing still). The sun appears to stop in its tracks for roughly three days. However, it's a beautiful illusion. The sun's relative position to the earth doesn’t really change. As the AstroTwins point out, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the sun is just wrapping up its northbound tour and beginning to move south.
As you can imagine, in ancient times, a time in which the sun appeared to stand still was a reason to celebrate. According to Farmer's Almanac, in Ancient Egypt, the summer solstice happened at the same time as the rising of the Nile River. They had to protect their society and plan for flooding, so as a result, the Egyptian New Year began during the solstice. Additionally, the Irish went hunting on the eve of the solstice for precious gems and gold, which is associated with the sun (silver is associated with the moon). And, yes, in case you were wondering, the solstice also coincides with Midsummer celebrations, most famously at Stonehenge, which is filled with flowers like in the movie Midsommar.
The summer solstice also marks the start of Cancer season, which runs from Monday, June 21 to Thursday, July 22. Kind Cancers are nurturing, but also know when to use those crab claws. Cancer season can sometimes bring a melancholy mood and summertime sadness, but it's also about bringing friends and family — chosen or blood — together. While the summer solstice is all about the sun, Cancer is ruled by the silvery moon. While the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, the moon reaches its lowest, which makes both a sight to behold.
In astrology, the sun is associated with the divine masculine, and the moon is associated with the divine feminine. Regardless of your gender, everyone contains these magical energies. The divine masculine is typically associated with action, and power, and growth, while the divine feminine is associated with emotions, caring for others, and intuition. It's fitting that the summer solstice happens during Pride Month, a time in which many of us feel called to celebrate gender beyond binaries.
Use the summer solstice to gather your best friends and get outside if you can. Make flower crowns, dance, and celebrate life. Think of the sun as a life force, and use the longest day of the year as an excuse to soak up as much of it as you can. Wear bright colors or pastels and give thanks for all of the abundance in your life. Have fun, star children!
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