The next solstice is around the corner and for many, it serves as a reminder to realign purposes and offers a fresh start to the back half of 2021. The desire to harness this new wave of energy and channel it towards something productive is common amongst revelors and calls for festivities all over the world.
Although this time of year is widely known for being a powerful astronomical occasion, you don’t have to be an astrologist to honor the change of season and all it has to offer. In fact, this is a great time for everyone to either check in on existing intentions or welcome new ones to help manifest a successful rest of the year.
“The solstice is a culmination of our yearly cycle demarcating a time for us to celebrate and release the last 6 months so that a new phase can begin,” says Rebecca Gordon, professional astrologer, author of Your Body and The Stars: The Zodiac As Your Wellness Guide, and founder of the 15-year-running My Path Astrology School.
Read on to learn more about the solstices, plus tips on how you can welcome the new season in your own way.
What is the solstice?
There are two solstices that happen each year, one on June 20 or 21 and the other on December 21 or 22, marking the change in seasons. The upcoming solstice for the Northern hemisphere is the longest day of the year and the day the earth is closest to the sun, making the rise and setting of the sun appear to stop and reverse direction creating the longest day of sunlight. This is known as the summer solstice. For the Southern hemisphere, where it’s the shortest day of the year, is known as the winter solstice.
Sounds exciting, right? Our ancestors agreed. Deriving from the Latin word, sol, meaning sun and stare, meaning to stand or stop, the solstice has long been a time of sacred celebration with an abundant history varying across cultures all over the world. The Greeks used the occurrence to mark the start of the new year, many Native American tribes commemorated the extra sunlight with sun dances, and the Mayans and Aztecs used the day to build so that the structures would perfectly align with the shadows of the two solstices, summer and winter, to name a few.
In modern culture, the rituals performed across the world on this day can simply serve as a symbol to reflect on our successes from the first half of the year, a reminder to put your health and wellness at the forefront, and a day to recognize the fullness of life.
How you can celebrate the solstice
If you’ve never celebrated a solstice before, no fear! Whether it’s winter or summer where you are right now, there are plenty of easy ways to make the most of the day. From spending time in nature (if weather permits), to doing a quick meditation, or setting new intentions and/or checking in on existing ones, are all great places to start.
Set intentions. Setting intentions is a form of self-care that is actional, such as working meditation into your daily routine, moving your body for 20 minutes a day, or limiting screen time. By setting intentions you’re holding yourself accountable and taking action steps towards growing into your best self on your own terms. Whether your intention is fitness, mindfulness, or nutrition focused, Fitbit Premium can help by revealing patterns in your health metrics, offering hundreds of workouts and meditations, and more.
If you’d like to set intentions, Gordon advises that because “the solstice will occur 10 days after a solar eclipse, our lives will be in flux more than usual. If you would like to begin anew and set intentions, first you must release what has been to create space in your life.” Ways you can do this is by cleaning your home, clearing your mind, and creating the room for realities to manifest.
Put your intentions on display. Write down your intentions then display them in a place you’ll see them every day. You can even set daily reminders on your phone to have them pop up at a certain time of day. This will remind you to stop and take a moment to say your intentions either out loud or in your head.
Meditate. Meditation is a great tool to use to reset focus, address stress levels, and keep your mind present. For the upcoming solstice, Gordon recommends the inner sun meditation, where you envision the sun in your solar plexus (center of chest) and see it’s light radiating in all directions surrounding you. “Remain in this radiance for 11 minutes and only focus on the breath and light emanating from your center,” she says. “This will help you to realign your light with the sun’s power and warmth.”
Spend time in nature. Whether you’re in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, Gordon mentions that it’s best practice to commune with the sun even if it’s cloudy outside. “Go outside and witness the sun at its sacred pivot point,” she says. “Allow it to reflect back to you how you are also now pivoting in your own life. Know that this day is a point of transition and give gratitude.”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.