Wednesday the 21st of June is the summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year with sunrise at 4 43am and sunset at 9 31pm we will have a glorious 16 hours and 38 mins of daylight.
There are two solstices a year with the winter one marking our shortest day and the summer our longest. The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of the earths axis is most inclined towards the sun and directly above the tropic of cancer. The term solstice derives from the latin ‘solstitium’ meaning ‘sun standing still’ and is explained by astrologers as time at which the sun appears to stand still on the horizon where it rises and sets before heading off in the reverse direction.
Stonehenge is famously aligned with the solstices and many congregate to watch the sunrise on the one day that the rays of the rising sun illuminate the central altar. For pagans the summer solstice was the midpoint of the growing season and so was seen to hold a special power, a time when the veil between worlds was at its thinnest and when fairies were thought to be at their most powerful.
Similarly from a yin/yang perspective the summer solstice marks the most yang time of year, the pinnacle of daylight hours when we have much more energy and may struggle to get to sleep, we in fact need less rest than during the yin season of winter. Whereas winter is introspective and quiet, summer is outgoing, carefree, social and fun.
Enjoy the fire energy of the summer season and the summer solstice as it marks the longest day and from then on the days will gradually grow shorter until the winter solstice in December.