Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

What is the solstice? From Wikipedia:

“A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In some cultures they are considered to start or separate the seasons while in others they fall in the middle. The English expressions "midwinter" (winter solstice) and "midsummer" (summer solstice) may derive from a tradition according to which there were only two seasons: winter and summer.”

In many mystic traditions, the Summer Solstice is a celebration of the maturation of the Forest God reborn during the Winter Solstice aka Yule. He is at his strongest having mated with the Goddess during Spring to form his successor that she will rebirth the following Yule.

It is also a time of transition as the days begin to wane after the solstice with the days growing shorter once again.

The solstices are part of the cycle of the seasons and the ever renewing circle of life.

Midsummer is a time of magic, fairies and unicorns in some cultures. Like Samhain (Halloween), it is said the veils between the worlds are thin, though this time the fairy realm instead of the land of the dead.

Often celebrated with feasts and flowers, honor the heat of the day with fresh fruits and vegetables and bright colors such as yellow, which further honors the God.