Marking the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice is a literal tipping point between two worlds. The North Pole is at its maximum tilt, and suddenly we find ourselves between spring and fall—and between our outer and inner selves; the conscious and subconscious realms. In the Pagan tradition of Litha, the maximum sunlight of this day means honoring abundance, growth, and fertility—and the Sun’s awesome creative power.
The Summer Solstice was also often considered the first day of the year in ancient times. And being that we’re exactly halfway through the year, we’re being cosmically invited to take stock of what we’ve done (or not done—no judgement!) and set some shiny new intentions in the full light of the sun’s rays.
This year’s Solstice is especially dynamic: it occurs on Saturday, June 20 and is quickly followed by a new moon and solar eclipse in Cancer. In other words: if you’re looking for a chance to assess your emotional well-being and level-up your weed-infused self-care and general feelings of pleasure (find me someone who doesn’t need *that* right now), this is it.
It’s also a big opportunity for anyone who reveres nature and who’d like to slow down, explore their inner witch, and get back in touch with the elements and themselves. Which—given how categorically intense 2020 has been so far—should be everyone.
“The Summer Solstice is an axis point in time. According to witches, the earth’s vibrancy (and therefore ours) is at its peak. Everything is pregnant with potential. Traditionally, this Solstice usually saw farmers ask for blessings and express gratitude to the land and everything that grows on it. And that means everything. But the history of Summer Solstice rituals largely depends on where you are in the world.”
It seems wherever there are people, there’s a need to mark this point in time. It’s just that special.
For Swedes, Midsommar (as it’s literally called there) is celebrated with maypole dancing and traditional food. For unmarried young women, it also involves sleeping with seven flowers under your pillow to dream of your future husband . . . if you’re into that kind of thing. In Finland, the aim is to build massive bonfires in honor of the badass God Ukko. In meanwhile in the UK, the ancient rocks formation of Stonehenge experiences its perfectly-aligned sunrise. I recommend getting high and looking it up on YouTube.
But it’s not just white people who honor this time, no way. In Australia, the Aboriginal rock formation Wurdi Youang was built by the Wadda Wurrung people way before Stonehenge was, after all. Wyoming’s Bighorn Medicine Wheel stands as a testament to Native American peoples’ sacred solstice and sun dance rituals. And in Central America, the ruins of both Mayan and Aztec temples show they were often precisely aligned by the solstices.
A Mid-Year Resolution Ritual for the Summer Solstice
Pen and two pieces of paper
Inspiring objects or flowers, especially yellow ones
Your bath or shower at the ready
Some weed (additional herbs recommended)
Chill, sensual music
Something delicious to eat
Get in the mood with a vape, joint, or bowl that’s infused with nature’s greatest plant gift. Barbari’s Airplane Mode blend of herbs goes great with a nighttime weed sesh and offers lavender (a classic Summer Solstice choice) as well as protective sage, romantic rose and raspberry leaf, and blue lotus for heightened intuition. As you breathe in your weed, imagine yourself filling up with satisfaction, hope, worthiness, and power. As you exhale, let your breath exude pure gratitude to the sun, to nature, and to life, for all it’s given you and continues to give.