The Summer Solstice – Thinning of the Veil and Attuning To Your Purpose

Posted by on June 20, 2017 in Astrology & Numerology, Reality's Edge with 0 Comments

By Heather Eland

On June 20th (or the 21st, depending on location), we come into the Summer Solstice, the culmination point of the solar year. The Summer Solstice marks the height of the summer season. It is the longest and brightest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky and shines light on all of our achievements thus far. It is a time when the darkness overshadows the light and things that have been hidden in plain sight may become illuminated for all to see.

The Summer Solstice is a time of achievement and accomplishment. It is not a time for initiating new projects or harvesting the fruits of our labors, rather it is a joyous time of celebration, commemorating how far we have come since the beginning of the solar year.


As the midpoint of the year, the Summer Solstice marks a period when many of us take time out to review and acknowledge our progress thus far while re-evaluating our future goals. It is a time of joy and festivity when many of us make time to let loose and take a well-earned break from our work. Soon the autumn holidays will commence and our efforts will resume as we move into the time of the harvest, when we can finally reap the rewards for all of the work we put in during the first half of this solar year.

The Summer Solstice is the one of the eight pagan solar holidays, often referred to as the “Eight Directions of Time” or the “Wheel of Time.” It is believed by many that these eight important markers of time represent periods when the veils are thinned and we are more easily able to transcend the boundaries between worlds. These are times of heightened awareness when we honor Mother Earth and all of her gifts though our connection with the innate cycles of birth, death and rebirth represented throughout all of nature.

Celebrations of the Summer Solstice play an important part in our human history and this important marker of time has been honored throughout the course of our existence on this planet. Also known as Midsummer, Litha, and Alban Hefin, the Summer Solstice is an important date that is steeped in ancient ritual and tradition spanning across cultures and time. By honoring and re-connecting with these traditions, we also honor and connect with our ancestors who came before us.

The Astrological Significance of the Summer Solstice

In Western astrology, the Summer Solstice occurs on the exact day that the Sun transitions out of the sign of Gemini and into the sign of Cancer. Cancer is considered a “cardinal” sign in the Western, tropical zodiac, and the Summer Solstice is one of the four quarterly markers associated with what is known as the “cardinal cross” in astrology. The cardinal signs correspond with the change of seasons, with each point on the cardinal cross representing an energy that is innovative and outgoing, signifying the beginning of something new.

Cancer is the sign most closely associated with the home and family. Under the influence of the Sun in Cancer, we seek a greater sense of emotional security through our connections with our family lineage and the people in our lives who matter to us most. It is an ideal time for gathering with our families and communities, seeking comfort in the familiar through ritual and routine.

Cancer is a water sign and the combination of the Sun and the sign of Cancer represents the merging of Fire and Water. In fact, traditional Midsummer celebrations revered the elements of Fire and Water for their life-sustaining powers. On this day, bonfires were lit to enhance the Sun’s life-force and wells were blessed so that water would continue to flow to sustain the life of the village.

Festivals of Fire & Water

The Summer Solstice is marked by the Pagan celebration of Litha, the Festival of Fire, honoring the element of fire and the powerful deities associated with this important force of nature. In medieval times, the solstice was known as Midsummer, an important festival steeped in symbolism and ritual. On Midsummer’s Eve, bonfires were kindled at the highest points in the village to celebrate the high point of the Sun. These bonfires also served to protect the villagers from demonic entities believed to roam more freely between worlds during the opening of this potent energetic portal. The fires were also ignited with the intention of enhancing the Sun’s vital, life-force energy to help insure enough sunlight to keep the crops alive.

Midsummer was also a festival celebrating the element of Water. It was a time when the wells were blessed to insure their water flow, and to this day people often celebrate this time of year by visiting lakes, rivers, and ocean beaches.

It is interesting to note, that in the advent of Christianity, Midsummer became known as the feast day of St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist was a Christian martyr most notably recognized for his role in baptizing Jesus Christ in a river, which very literally translates into the merging of the Son (Sun) of God with the blessed waters of Mother Earth. Some very Cancerian symbolism indeed!

Another important component of the Midsummer celebrations was the “turning of the sun wheel,” which symbolized the turning of the seasons. Traditionally, sun wheels were constructed of wood from sticks and branches and were decorated using brightly colored ribbons and fresh flowers. The four spokes of the wheel represented the astrological cardinal cross, the four seasons, and the four cardinal directions.

Alban Hefin is a Druidic celebration marking the summer solstice that is still honored by many modern Druids. Similar to Midsummer, the Alban Hefin celebrations of times past were centered on the kindling of bonfires to honor the solar fire. The ashes of bonfires lit on Alban Hefin were regarded as sacred and were collected after the festivities for farmers to scatter among their crops.

In the traditions of both Midsummer and Alban Hefin, it was believed that certain herbs and flowers picked before sunrise on the Summer Solstice acquired enhanced healing and magical properties and afforded special protection to their users. The picking of St. John’s wort was particularly important during this time. This potent medicinal herb was gathered on St. John’s Eve and was strategically placed throughout the home, offering peace, prosperity, and protection to the family as well as their animals and crops.

The Thinning of the Veil

Across various cultures and time periods, the main thread that ties together our ancestral solstice traditions is the belief that this time period is associated with the thinning of the veil between worlds. Along with Beltane and Samhain, Midsummer has been recognized by pagan religions as one of the three “Spirit Nights” of the year. It is a time when the faeries are most active and spirits are more easily visible to those with the gift of sight.

Throughout recorded history, the Sun has always held a symbolic connection with the spiritual realm. In astrology, the Sun is connected to our consciousness and the soul’s expression of purpose in the physical reality. With the Sun at its highest and brightest point in the sky, the Summer Solstice marks a time when we can become more attuned to our own purpose and path. At the time of Midsummer, we may consciously access other realms of existence and, because of this, we are able to see the various layers of motivation driving our own actions with greater clarity.

The Summer Solstice is a joyous time of connection, celebration, festivals and family gatherings in which we are called to reflect on our outward achievements throughout the first half of the solar year. It is also a period when we may take time to reflect on the ways in which our soul expresses its purpose through our accomplishments in the physical realm, and to make note of the areas in our lives that are not in alignment with our deepest Truth.

Now is a time when things that are often pushed below the surface can be more easily seen, and we can more accurately evaluate the unconscious motivations driving our actions in this world. By harnessing the energy of this potent solar portal, we allow ourselves to connect more deeply with our own internal nature and the driving force that motivates us to act.

About the Author

Heather Eland is an astrologer and multidisciplinary healer living and thriving in Sedona, Arizona. You can contact Heather through her website at www.persephonereturns.com

 

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