5 Spiritual Rituals To Help You Celebrate The Longest Day Of The Year
This summer solstice arrives as the U.S. begins to emerge from a long hibernation during the pandemic. You can feel the change in the air as we enter the longest day of the year.
The solstice has always been a time to celebrate, to honor our connection to the inner firepower that keeps us alive. It's a moment of abundance, filled with the potential for growth. In fact, the Pagan summer solstice festival was named after Litha—the goddess of fertility, power, and order.
As parts of the world open up again, let us harness the power of this summer solstice to embrace love, laughter, clarity, and compassion. Here are five globally inspired rituals to do alone and/or with friends and family to ring in the day:
Clear out the old.
Sit quietly for a few moments thinking about your mistakes (real or imagined), fears, regrets, and sorrows. Now is the time to let go of the old stories that keep you small. The past is over, so make space for the new. Write on white paper with red ink anything you are willing to release mentally, emotionally, and physically. Then safely burn it in a fireproof bowl or bonfire.
Say: "I now release in the flame, the Goddess of Fire will consume my pain. It is done."
When the ashes are cool, put them in the earth, or run them under running water.
Play like a kid again.
As a kid, my summers were always meant for fun. I could ride my bike, swim, catch fireflies, draw, read books for pleasure, and stay up late. It was a time of freedom. Whether I was home or at camp, it offered me a portal through which I could connect to my playful, artistic self. Who says we can't find the same joy as adults?
One way to embrace your own childlike wonder and attract abundance is with a piñata. You can buy or make your own and decorate it in any way you like (preferably to represent the energy of the sun). Fill it with blessings written on pieces of paper like "I bless you with health," "I bless you with a great sense of humor," "I bless you with courage," "I bless you with an abundance of money." I like to use large yellow circles, but use whatever you like.
Hang the piñata from a tree branch outside or from your ceiling if doing this indoors. Take a stick and have each person participating swing at it until it falls apart and the blessings are released.
Feast on summer treats.
Have a picnic with summer fruit, spicy foods (if you are able to eat them!), grilled vegetables, and a great summer salad topped with some fresh edible flowers like marigolds or nasturtium. Add some lemonade or iced herbal tea. I personally love tomatoes with sweet Vidalia onions and fresh basil. Invite your neighbors or friends to join in the festivities.
Create a magic wand.
With the intention of amplifying your power to make a difference in the world, go outside and find a fallen tree branch. Decorate your "wand" with paint, feathers, gemstones, glitter, stickers, symbols, ribbons, and/or a cord.
Every object you put on your wand can represent something that helps you step into your power: Feathers can represent spirit helpers, birds, or simply a wider perspective. The color red can symbolize passion, while green can represent healing. A heart symbol can speak to love and compassion. I also like to add a picture or symbol of a spiritual teacher or guide. Use your imagination!
If you want to really amplify the power of your wand, place a clear quartz point about an inch or so in length on the end of the stick. Tie it on with copper wire, a great conductor of energy, so that part of the crystal sticks out beyond the end of the stick. Think of it as an arrowhead.
Now, hold the wand in your hand and call on the sun to bless you with the energy to go out into the world with passion and purpose.
You can use your wand whenever you want to make a wish: Visualize your wish as an accomplished fact, and let your wand bring it into being.
Work with symbolic midsummer herbs.
There are many ways to use herbs in summer rituals: Beyond cooking with them, you can turn them into incense or use them to anoint candles. They can also be sewn into a charm bag and worn or carried. I like to combine a few in a small burlap bag to carry around in my backpack or purse or tie with a string and wear around my neck as a powerful amulet.
Here are a few of my favorite herbs to work with and what they represent:
- Fennel: confidence, longevity, courage
- St. John's wort: magic, success
- Lily: peace, healing
- Frankincense: spirituality
- Chickweed: love
- Heather: inner beauty and divinity
- Lavender: love, harmony, domestic tranquillity, mental clarity
- Mugwort: longevity, clairvoyance, psychic empowerment
- Rose: compassion, beauty
- Vervain: love, consecration
The summer solstice is a moment to realize and step into your power. The time has come to dance, sing, and celebrate life.
Barbara Biziou is a transformational vision coach, motivational speaker, and spiritual teacher. Her two published books, The Joy of Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals, integrate old-world modalities, modern psychology, and neuroscience, providing an enhanced roadmap for everyday life.
Barbara taps into her extraordinary journey as a global ritual expert, fashion executive, TV producer, corporate leadership trainer and coach to inspire, connect with and empower clients in these rapidly changing and challenging times. She is passionate about sharing the wisdom she amassed from decades of global studies with gurus, spiritual masters and her own dedicated practices. Blending ancient spiritual rituals with emotional intelligence and strategic communication skills, Barbara guides and motivates her clients to achieve expanded levels of success and create meaningful vision for their lives. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both art history and psychology from NYU and today lives in the Greater New York City area.