An Introduction to the Summer Solstice.
2020’s Summer Solstice will occur in Northern Hemisphere will be at 2:43 PM Pacific Time on Saturday, June 20th. Saturday is also a New Moon, making it an especially powerful time for New Beginnings of all kinds.
As the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky, the God is now in his full power, and the Goddess of the Earth is bringing forth the greatest abundance of the year. The crops are reaching their full maturity and the forests are bursting with lush growth. In just a few short weeks, the harvest season will begin, but for now we pause to celebrate the manifestation of what was planted in the early weeks of Spring. The warm sunlight is a welcome contrast to the cold and dark of Winter, and we bask in its comforts. There is a focus on the Element of Fire in honor of the Sun God, but recognition is also given to the Horned God of the forest and its wild animal life.
Ancient pagans celebrated the Solstice with torchlight processions and giant bonfires to ritually strengthen the Sun. Another tradition found among European cultures was centered on the need for balance between the Elements of Fire and Water—large wheels were set on fire and rolled downhill into creeks, rivers or lakes, perhaps as a charm against summertime drought. This is also the traditional time for gathering wild herbs for medicine and magic, as most are fully grown by Midsummer and the power of this particular day will add to their benefits.
To celebrate this Sabbat, you can decorate your altar with summer flowers, herbs and fruits, and summer colors like yellow, green and blue. This is a traditional time for rites of re-dedication to the God and Goddess, as well as divination related to love and romance. Keep at least one candle lit throughout the day to honor the Sun, and if possible, hold your rituals at noon, when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky. Have an outdoor picnic feast to bask in the warmth of the day and eat fresh fruits and vegetables—ideally from a farmer’s market or harvested from your own garden. This is a good time for magic related to masculine energies and any situation that needs to be “fired up” in your life.