Ancestral Wisdom: Summer Solstice

(Post ALC 11 picture in serenity)


Today is one of my favorite non holiday holidays – Summer Solstice. Although it’s not an official holiday, cultures and countries all around the world celebrate the significance of today. As more and more people begin to embrace and explore primal living let us not forget the ancient wisdom that guided our ancestors lied in their connection with nature.

So why all the hoo-rah around the longest day of the year? To get some insight let’s explore how and why ancient cultures celebrated this time. The summer solstice is the time of year when the earth’s (which is considered feminine in most cultures) energy is at the peak, due in part to the suns energy. The extended daylight also provided more light to gather fruits, vegetables and herbs to support and promote peak energy. To celebrate this time bonfires and other fire ceremonies were performed honoring the sun and cultivating its energy.

Although times have changed, our primal instinct stays the same. We may not be burning bonfires and gathering food in the forest but during this time our bodies crave activity and creative energy is high. For me the summer solstice is the time to emerge from the winter cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. This is the time to go out and play, soak up the sun (and vitamin d) and energize your intentions (remember those New Year’s resolutions???). If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, go out and observe your garden and you might learn a thing or two. Within hours tomatoes grow bigger and flowers fuller.

In the midst of the longest day of the year, we simultaneously begin our return to the dark half of the year as after today the days become shorter. About 6 months ago we celebrated the Winter Solstice representing the shortest day of the year; it was the time to sew some seeds, set intentions and hibernate. Now we take a moment to STOP and BE STILL and look back at our unique journey since the winter solstice, a lot happens in 6 months!

The summer solstice is a doorway into the second half of the year; here are 5 ways to celebrate:

  1. Ask yourself what you wish to encourage in your life?
  2. Create a love to do list for the summer
  3. Celebrate your accomplishments since the winter solstice
  4. Eat a summer seasonal food (strawberries are my fave!)
  5. Go out and soak up some fiery sunshine


What’s your summer solstice celebration? Post to comments…


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Ritu Riyat is an applied yoga and mindfulness expert. She equips her clients with tools to reconnect with their bodies, eliminate stress, and make more informed decisions about their health and well being.

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