The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Celebrating the summer solstice

Summer flowers

The Summer Solstice --- the longest day of the year --- will be tomorrow...and, as usual, I can't think of a really adequate way to celebrate. I always love the idea of jumping over a bonfire...then the reality of sunset falling near my bedtime when it's still hot out kicks in. Maybe I need to learn a sun dance or practice some sun salutations instead?

What's your favorite way to celebrate the solstice?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Solstice Bugs

Something crawling on my neck yet my instinct not in killing a tickling itchy bitty spec I cup in palm because I'm willing.

With a bad history with tick and Lyme thank goodness a lightening bug is the insect that I find alive preserved protected, smug.

Midnight champion of the moon for moments you gate my hand I hope to see you soon when you vanish, flashing wand.

Comment by Maggie Tue Jun 20 08:57:43 2017

I used to stay up late on the Solstice, into the night, lit by fireflies. But now I remember, from fairy tales, about girls who washed their faces in the heavy dew of morning, or who miraculously had fern-seed in their pockets, so could be invisible at midnight, especially, I guess in Ireland, to see the fairies dancing in their fairy ring. This was always risky, as the watcher could be snatched away into fairyland...The Sidhe (I think) were not very happy to be spied on!

The Goddess Day book I have says to jump over a ritual fire, or candle, to purify yourself, then to burn a wish in "Saules Mate's" fires, to release the wish into her care, while chanting, "Powers of fire, reach ever higher. Saules Mate, bring your light: the power ignite. Salamanders prance in the magical dance. Bu your power and my will, this sacred space fill!" This is traditionally the time to harvest magical herbs, but early in the day, since Saules Mate heat diminishes the natural oil in the herbs. Then leave an offering to the herbs, perhaps some mulch...!

Saules Mated, which is Indo-European for "sun", crosses the sky in a carriage drawn by yellow horses, then travels t he wat ers by night in a golden birch boat, hanging a red scarf in the sky.

Comment by adrianne Tue Jun 20 14:13:28 2017

I usually try to celebrate the summer solstice just by being outdoors at sundown doing something like having drinks with friends or having a BBQ with the best peaches and strawberries, or whatever. Just something that encourages appreciation of the moment. For the winter solstice I try tod o something that demonstrates appreciation for the natural darkness of that time of year. Usually that means a candlelit dinner/evening with the light she out in the house otherwise, or watching a movie in the dark (which I never do otherwise). I like to incorporate hearty stews or soups, homemade rounds of bread, good cold-season eats.

Comment by Jennifer Tue Jun 20 15:11:42 2017
Take the day off, and spend dawn till dusk outdoors, naked, relaxing in the sunshine.
Comment by irilyth Tue Jun 20 17:09:50 2017
I like to go out at Solar Noon (when the sun's at it's highest, depends upon date and your location) and bask for a bit, soaking in all that "solsticey goodness"!
Comment by Trothwy Wed Jun 21 00:52:43 2017

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