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Summer Solstice Ritual: Embody Your Radiance


White spring flowers form the backdrop with illustrated flowers overlaying the image. Text reads: Bealtaine Ritual: The Pleasure of Sensuality

Summer Solstice is a portal that initiates you into the heights of fulfillment and inner expansion. The energy of Summer Solstice is vibrant and joyful and encourages you to revel in the abundance available now, to rejoice in your love for the world, and to express yourself in new and bold ways. Orienting to this seasonal shift is a powerful way to reclaim your ancestral connection to radical joy and embodied aliveness. We invite you to create your own Summer Solstice Ritual as a way to honor the shifts taking place.



In this blog post you will find:


Summer Solstice & Embodying Radiance


Summer Solstice represents the culmination of our earthly journey around the sun each year. Since the time of Winter Solstice the days have been getting longer, exposing those of us in the northern hemisphere to more light, warmth and vitality.


The Sun symbolizes love, abundance, expansion and vitality because our sun is the SOURCE of life, sending out a constant stream of life force energy. All beings and life forms receive this nurturing warmth and love, whether they are conscious of it or not. The sun is also the physical CENTER of our solar system around which the planets revolve. It is our relationship to the sun's radiance that dictates our earthly existence. It is the light of a new day that causes us to awaken from night's slumber in the same way that a seed begins to stir as the soil warms after winter's freeze.


As the source & center of life, the sun also represents the spiritual center within humans. The solar plexus, which is the energy center found at the nexus of your diaphragm where your esophagus meets your stomach gets its name for this reason. In hinduism this energy center (chakra) is called Manipura– “lustrous gem.” It is associated with transformation, personal will power and taking action in the world. It governs the organs of the digestive tract.


When your solar plexus is balanced it means that you are living from you center, aligning to your values, and empowered in your truth. The energy you embody as a result is the RADIANCE of your light and often expressed as joy and enthusiasm for life. Your cup runneth over and so you are able to shine your light out into the world and towards others.


Summer reveals to us the magic, beauty, wonder and joy inherent in creation. We are called forth from the darkness by the sun's loving radiance and are reminded of our own unique capacity to nurture self-love, align to truth, make love to the mystery, and to radiate our inner abundance out into the world.



Summer Solstice Themes, Symbols & Elements

  • Themes: Fertility, Sunshine, Strength, Light & the Magical Power of FIRE

  • Symbols: Spiral, fire, sun

  • Colors: Green, yellow, orange - colors that reflect the season where you live!

  • Tree: Oak

  • Plants & Herbs: Blooming flowers, Fern, Yarrow - "the herb of seven cures", Mugwort

  • Animals: Honey bees

  • Element: Fire

  • Summer Solstice God/dess(es): Celtic Aine (Aw-nyuh), whose name means "Birghtness"


Ways to Celebrate Summer Solstice with Friends & Family

  • Enjoy a large feast with a bonfire, music & dancing

  • Make flower garlands to decorate your home

  • Make a midsummer herbal bouquet choosing 9 herbs growing near you

  • Gather flowers and herbs for burning in the fire

  • Watch the sunrise & sunset



Ritual Preparations


To be done on the eve of Summer Solstice

  1. Create a Summer Solstice Altar

  2. Cleanse yourself & your space

  3. Summer Solstice Invocation


1. CREATE A SUMMER SOLSTICE ALTAR

  • Altar items: Flowers, herbs and beautiful grasses that are abundant where you live. Sunflowers! Candles. Lots of oak leaves. Any meaningful items or objects of importance that reflect your current phase of life.

  • Create an altar inside or outside: Find or make a space (like a table or at the base of an oak tree) that won't be disturbed and that will be used for creating your altar.

  • If appropriate place a colorful cloth over your altar. Place the candle(s) at the center surrounded with fresh flowers. Follow your intuition as you decorate.


2. CLEANSE YOUR SPACE & PURIFY YOUR MIND

  • Herbs for smoke cleansing or saining (Celtic): rosemary, cedar, mugwort

  • If you do not have meaningful/authentic relationships to Indigenous culture and customs, smudging with white sage is considered cultural appropriation and is dishonorable to the Indigenous People of Turtle island. If you have been gifted sage by an Indigenous friend, use your discretion in how to engage with this medicine.

  • This sacred plant medicine is being abused, exploited and mass-harvested for commercial and consumer use which perpetuates the violence of white supremacy and settler colonialism.

  • Take some time to locate yourself within a settler-colonial context interwoven with the land you currently occupy. Check out Native Land to learn the name and more about the territories you occupy.

  • Contemplate the narratives you enact and the spells you cast through ritual. Be mindful, strive for integrity always. Learn from the ground beneath you.


3. SUMMER SOLSTICE INVOCATION*


To be said on the eve of Summer Solstice


I draw the summer sun into my soul
and hold my power high today
as Solstice energy courses through my veins
and connects me to the ancients,
my ancestors,
and all who have gone before.
I am divinely alive.
I feel the warmth of my beloved sun as its rays dance upon my skin on this,
the longest day of the year.

-

At Sunrise on the Morning of Summer Solstice

Welcome the light of the longest day of the year by watching the sunrise wherever you are. You can spend this time in quiet reflection, meditation, prayer or move your body, do sun salutations and anything else you feel inspired to do that connects you to this sacred moment.


"As you watch the sunrise, immerse yourself in its light, in this ocean of vibrating, pulsating life. Imagine you are swimming in it, merging with it, breathing it, drinking it. Let yourself become absorbed in this brightness until you feel all your cares, your doubts and your darkness dissolve in it.

When you have learned how to merge with the sunlight, it will be with you everywhere you go. It will infuse all the cells of your body which will begin to vibrate in unison with the spirit of the sun." (source)


At Sunset on the Days End of Summer Solstice

At sunset, take a few moments to thank the sun for its continuing power and glory, but also acknowledge the shift taking place as the wheel of the year turns. The seed of darkness is born this day, and from this moment on the days will begin to shorten towards the coming dark.



Ritual Overview


This ritual is all about EMBODYING YOUR RADIANCE and honoring the sun, both within and without. It involves receiving the nourishing light of the outer sun while connecting to the radiance within you. It is an invitation to generate internal heat, awaken aliveness and bask in your own vitality. As microcosms of earth, we know how to photosynthesize light into abundance that provides nourishment to the ecosystems that we are embedded within. Our vitality and the gifts that flow from our expansion are incredibly necessary for the health and wellbeing of our relationships and community.



Time Commitment: 2 hours (if you are following this template)


Opening - 15 minutes

  1. Write an Intention - 10 min

  2. Invocation, Prayer, or Blessing - 5 min

Middle - 1.5 hours

  1. Breath Practice: 15 minutes

  2. Light Body Activation Meditation: 30 min

  3. Eco-Somatic Movement: 30 min

  4. Journaling - 15 min

Closing - 15 minutes

  1. Integration - 10 min

  2. Offer Gratitude - 5 min



Opening


1. WRITE AN INTENTION

  • An intention is a way to bring heart and mind into alignment. There is power in naming that which you are calling in.

  • When we speak to God/Spirit/Source/Allah, gods & goddesses, deities, ancestors, and forces of love, we acknowledge that we are not alone and that support and guidance is available to us as multidimensional beings who are interdependently woven into the fabric of existence. When we give voice to our intentions, we are speaking to the larger Self that encompasses the intelligence of the universe.

  • The intentions we give voice to now will stay with us and ripple through the unfolding of the seasons.

  • Example: "May this ritual nourish my spiritual connection to the beloved sun and impress upon me the expansive radiance of my soul. May I receive the energetic abundance available to me now as I steep in the vitality of interbeing. May I open my heart to receiving the loving support I need to strengthen my commitment to the path of my soul's calling. May all that I do be of service to all kin and kind."


2. SUMMER SOLSTICE BLESSING or PRAYER


*See below for examples


A blessing, invocation or prayer can be done in silence, but there is power in speaking words that come from your hearts deepest longing. A prayer is spoken to the animating, loving force of the universe - that which gives us life and is the source of love. How you call this permeating, loving presence is unique to each of us, but here are some words that you may have resonance with: Ancestors, place-based spirits and dieties, god(s), goddesses, Allah, Source, Buddha, Creator, Spirit, Tao etc. It's important to remember that Spirit is not outside of you, but also within you... so when you pray, you're also praying to the deepest, divine aspect of your nature.


Summer Solstice Blessing

As the sun spirals its longest dance, I bless you.
As nature shows bounty and fertility, I bless you.
May you live with loving intent,
To fulfill your truest destiny.


Summer Solstice Prayer

The sun is high above us shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful sun,
we honor you this day and thank you for your gifts.

- Author Unknown



Middle


1. BREATH PRACTICE (15 min)


Kapalabhati breathing (pronounced Kah-bah-lah-bah-tee) is an advanced breathing technique from the yogic tradition. If you are not yet familiar with Ujjayi Pranayama, then start with that until you're comfortable before moving on to Kapalabhati. This breath practice is also known as "skull-shining breath" because it comes from two Sanskrit words: Kapala, which translates to “Skull,” and Bhati, which means “light."


This breath practice has many benefits including:

  • Improves blood circulation

  • Improves digestion

  • Strengthens livers, kidneys and pancreas

  • Helps boost your metabolism

  • Promotes mental relaxation

  • and is energizing

Kapalabhati consists of passive inhalations and short, powerful exhalations using your abdominal muscles as you sit in a comfortable position. As described by Kyneret Azizo from Modo Yoga Maple:


"it is done by taking a deep inhalation through the nose, expanding the belly out, and then following through with a sequence of short and forceful exhalations through the mouth. With each breath out, the lower belly snaps back in toward the spine swiftly. This pranayama technique is purifying and tones the belly muscles, directing prana toward the solar-plexus."


A few tips when practicing this breathing technique: keep your eyes closed, shoulders relaxed, soften your facial muscles, and ensure that your spine is erect.


Take 20 such breaths to complete one round of Kapalbhati Pranayam. Repeat four to five rounds.



Begin meditation at 5:20.


The intention of this meditation is to strengthen your relationship with the outer sun and inner sun (solar plexus). This recording is from the Light Body Activation Podcast produced by Shin Tai International which has its lineage roots in Japanese Shiatsu bodywork. You can do this portion of the ritual inside or outside.


"You can deepen your connection to the sun by initiating a conscious process of photosynthesis within your own body. Photo-synthesis. Light-synthesis. Using light to synthesize, or combine, something that is into something new. You can use sunlight to create not only energy, but also new forms of consciousness. It can be a potent catalyst for your physiological and spiritual evolution. And could it be that just like in every relationship, both parties are affected? Perhaps your conscious interaction with this magnificent being also spawns new expressions of life within the sun itself."


At the end of the meditation, take a few moments to note in your journal any new awarenesses, insights or observations that came up for you during this portion of the ritual.



2. ECO-SOMATIC MOVEMENT (20 - 30 min)


Ideally this part of the ritual would take place outside under the light and/or warmth of the sun given the theme of the ritual! Always check-in with yourself about what you need to feel most comfortable and safe. Be sure to have plenty of drinking water, protect your skin from UV exposure, and anything else you might need.


For this exercise I am providing you with two different options to choose from. Heck, you might even opt to do both!



A slowed down version of a traditional Hatha yoga sequence that allows room for somatic inquiry (sensing and feeling bodily experience) whilst also utilising the tense-slow-relax release technique of pandiculation to repattern muscles to back to optimum function.




This moving meditation will stretch your whole body, connect you to the solar center (Manipura Chakra) and explore elemental delight. The whole practice is done lying on the ground (the best way to do somatic yoga if you ask me!) Get your back side relaxed on the earth with any extra padding you might want and enjoy connecting the physical and energetic space that is you.


When you are done with these exercises, jot down a few thoughts as you contemplate the questions:

  • What did I learn about myself from these activities?

  • What feels different now compared to before?


3. JOURNALING (15 min)


For this next part, find a comfortable place near your altar where you can write and reflect on any or all of the following journal prompts. Alternatively, you might simply wish to allow yourself to write without filters. What's most important is that you follow your own inner promptings and allow creative inspiration to flow.

  • How does it feel in my body when I'm living from my center?

  • What does it mean to act from my truth?

  • What practices nourish my sense of vitality, aliveness, and joy?

  • What is culminating or coming to a peek in my life right now?

  • What does nature reveal to me about the nature of light, creativity & authentic power?

  • When I imagine embodying my radiance what do I see? What am I doing? How am I being? What does it feel like?




Closing


1. INTEGRATION (10 min)

Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down so that you can relax and sink into the gravity of earth's embrace. Notice how you feel and what it’s like to be in your body now. Dwell here in the vibration of your radiance and aliveness. Soak in whatever sensations are present for as long as feels right to you.



2. OFFER GRATITUDE (5 min)


Offer gratitude to your body and solar plexus, to the source of light and outer sun, to your ancestors and all of the forces of love who have joined you in your ritual. Gratitude for the expansion in becoming and for the only constant that is change.


Take one final moment to pause...


Inhale, appreciating all of the gifts you've received.


Exhale, giving it all back from where it came.



References


Did you like this post?


We'd love to hear from you!

  • How are you celebrating Bealtaine or May Day?

  • What miracles are you bearing witness to?

  • How is nature teaching you?

Leave a comment below :)



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