The Solstice Upswing
Let’s raise the roof!
June 20th/21st in the Northern Hemisphere marks the high voltage juncture of the Summer Solstice. Nearly every earth-based spiritual framework around the world, since ancient times, has honoured this seasonal turn in a myriad of ways. The Solstice is imbedded in the structural alignments of temples, pyramids, and stone circles. Fire rituals, feast days of correspondent saints and deities, community parties, dance, ceremony and the retelling of folklore are all part of the traditional mix.
As with all the seasons, the wilderness provides our human consciousness with powerful energetic shifts that we can work with. Far from being separate from the Earth’s cycles, we are part of them, and they are a part of us – both literally, energetically and spiritually. The seasonal turns of the planet support our lifeforce, our rest, growth and regeneration cycles, our food chains, and therefore, necessary natural food medicines our bodies need in each season. Our inner spiritual cycles follow the same cycles of growth, expansion, arrival, discomfort, shedding and deep stillness. This cycle of the seasons, the cycle of life, the cycle of the soul, is evident in the turn in each day, of each breath and heartbeat. It is the rhythm of creation itself. And of all the natural windows throughout the year, the Solstice calls us to recognise this the loudest. It’s a call to understand and respond fully to the interconnectedness, bounty and mystery of life; to move into Oneness.
Oneness Consciousness is the biggest aspect of my entire spiritual journey. It underpins my spiritual vow of service and I teach the concept of it and tools to train the awareness into it, in every single course I offer and private sessions I hold. Why? Because when we operate from a paradigm and felt knowing of Oneness, magic happens. And goodness…don’t we need some magic on this planet right now?
The easiest way to understand how the Solstice supports this conscious shift into Oneness, is to look first at the natural characteristics of the season.
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. At this time, the sun is at the farthest north that it can get from the equator. It is sometimes called Midsummer, as it both ushers in the warmest season, and also reminds us of the archetypal pulse of life as the days start to shorten from this point onwards.
The key themes to this point in the year are: Awareness (Light), Oneness (natural midpoint), and Gratitude (full growth) and if we use the Solstice energies to focus on these themes, we are able to plant them deeply into our consciousness, bring alignment into our own cycles and change our experience of life.
In all esoteric traditions, the day represents consciousness within our ordinary, on the ground, awake, reality. The night time represents our inner, meditative, spiritual reality. Light almost always represents the light of our awareness and its power to transform. At this time of the Solstice, the emphasis is on our ordinary reality; our day-to-day choices, relationships, thoughts and actions.
The Solstice calls us to develop and hone our present awareness and mindfulness. Every single action, thought, emotion, word and choice emanates creative energies which organise themselves into our life experience. It’s time to take stock of what we are experiencing, to bring the light of our awareness to what doesn’t sit well within our lives and to make the changes. The full light exposure of the Solstice is an invitation to take responsibility for everything in our lives; everything. The position of ‘the victim’ or passivity towards what we perceive to be ‘wrong’ with our selves or our lives is the ultimate in dualistic consciousness. Life is not being done to us; it is emanating from us – the good, the bad and the ugly. And every moment, every now, is an opportunity to transform.
Day-to-day mindfulness of our reactions, patterned thinking and the felt sensations that move through our bodies, is key to bringing awareness to the life we are creating. Meditation training and journaling are two of my tried and true ways to develop this capacity. Another beautiful practice to mark the changes we seek is to declare them to the Solstice dawn. This simple action, witnessed by our present awareness and the year’s highest light point, sends a ripple into the field which triggers change. And it’s a tradition that the ancients engaged with on the Solstice too.
The natural midpoint of the Solstice is also regarded as a hugely powerful window for connection with Spirit, as the wild pendulum hits its zenith and then starts its swing into shorter days, less light and retraction into winter. This still point, before the entire direction of the wild field shifts, is a time to connect with nature, enter ritual and raise the energy body to connect with our true nature – our Spirit.
Many beautiful practices correspond with the solar energies of the day and our mind/body/energy systems. Surya Namaskara (sun salutations), Surya and Mushtika mudras combined with meditative visualisation of radiant light and strength, Solar Flare movement meditations, AUM mantra and Solar Breathing practices are some of my favourites to teach and use at this time.
Choosing to engage spiritually through ritual and inner practice merges our mundane aspect with our spiritual aspect – it moves our very being into Oneness Consciousness, that is, the realisation that we are a unique refraction within a whole. Life, self, spirit, nature and the energetic field that holds it all, is all one thing! And it is from this state that we consciously create our lives.
The Solstice is also the time for highest growth, seeding and birthing in the natural world and nearly all of the ancient ceremonies that mark the Solstice, celebrate the abundance of the earth and life through feasting, dance and all-night partying! I write about expressing gratitude a lot, as it’s one of the most powerful spiritual forces available to us. It creates joy. It eliminates comparison and envy. It improves heart health and immune function. It creates a state of wellbeing irrespective of external circumstances. It is a highly magnetic state, that is, it accelerates the creative mechanism between thought/feeling/will and what we experience. In other words, it brings in the good harvest and it seeds the next.
Knowing this isn’t enough. The state of gratitude needs to be nurtured, enabled and felt for it to wield its magic, and usually, this requires a conscious effort. But small steps in the day-to-day will start the gratitude engine running. Blessings before eating a meal together, keeping a gratitude journal or app, choosing to say ‘thank you’ more often, returning kind action with kind actions, sending that card or making that call to acknowledge the blessing of friendship, are all small, easy and potent actions that align with the Solstice energies.
I hope this article inspires you into action. Let’s not let this 2021 Solstice and all the beautiful meaning and energy that it offers us, slide by. If you’re nodding when reading this, then put the sentiment into action now and notice the shifts it creates.
Blessed Solstice, Folks!
If you have any questions or thoughts on the Solstice upswing or the energies it brings, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living.
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