• Maggie Shayne

Summer Solstice


Summer Solstice thoughts, symbols, and ritual ideas follow. May your growth be rampant, your rainfall be plenty, and may the summer sun radiate joy, pleasure, and plenty upon you during this season of light.


This year, the highest point of the sun, the Summer Solstice, occurs on June 20th at 11:32 pm EST. It seems funny that the sun is peaking in the middle of the night, but that's astronomy for you.


Litha to the Celts, is the longest day of the year, the peak of summer, the time when worship and adoration and gratitude for the sun were expressed with revelry by day, and bonfires long into the night, bringing the fiery sun into the darkest hours.


Similar in nature to the festivities of May Day, but with a deeper, more mature flavor. the solstice is a turning point. Ever since mid winter, the days have been eating longer. But now, that changes, the moementum shifts.From Summer Solstice on, every single day will be a little bit shorter. So while there is still great celebration and basking and joy in the height of the summer, there is also the awareness that the very next turn of the wheel begins the first of the harvest festivals. Lughnasadh or Lúnasa in modern Irish, on August 2nd or so, precisely halfway between the Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox.


Litha is the height of celebration and joy, of life and lust, of passion and creation, of growth and fun, of basking and revelry, of rampant growth. But it's also the final holiday of growing. The next begins the reaping.


So it's kind of a double edged sword of a holiday, unless we are very solid in our practice of presence. Being fully present in the moment. Mining every situation for joy and pleasure. Focusing on what is and loving it, even while excitedly expecting continued expansion.


If we are present, we can bask in this, the summer. Bask in the warmth of the sun. I celebrate being able to go outside at 5:30 a.m. in my favorite jammies or robe. I can only do this for a few weeks of the year. I take my first cup of coffee out, barefoot in the dew, and just listen to the birds and watch the mist rise off the pond. Sometimes I watch the sun rise out there. I will for sure on Monday morning, the closest sunrise to the moment of the Solstice where I live.


Some Summer Solstice Rituals


Sunset to Sunrise Wishing Spell

Take a paper and pen. Watch the sun go down on the solstice night. If you miss the timing, do it any night during the week of the solstice. Watch the sun go down, and as it sets, make a wish, and blow a kiss tp the sun. Write your wish down and sleep with it under your pillow.



Take a lighter, your wish paper, and a flame proof dish. Get up early and watch the sun rise the following morning, and as it rises, repeat the wish, and blow a kiss. Set your wish on fire, and burn it up entirely beneath the risen sun.


Bask in the sun for a few minutes, recognizing the perfect relationship between it and the Earth our Mother. Adore the sun. Relish it.


Once the rite is done, forget about the wish. This gives the wish non-resistant space to manifest.


The Solstice Bonfire Divination

You don't need anything other than a bonfire and maybe a lawn chair. Build a bonfire the night of the summer solstice or any night that week. You can start the fire before sundown if you wish, but the point is to have the fire burning fully during the darkest hours.


Sit near the fire, and put yourself into a relaxed state. You can quiet your mind, do some deep breathing,. When you feel your consciousness shift, begin to watch the sparks that rise from the flames. See if they spell out any messages to you or create symbols or patterns that have meaning.


Ask the fire something you wish to know. Then poke it with a long stick. An explosion of sparks will launch like fiery insects into the sky. Like dancing fire elementals once called salamanders, they blaze. Find your answers in the sparks. See them, interpret them.


The Magical Fern Seed, Rose Petals, and Chicory

Legend has it that a fern that blossoms on Midsummer Night has magical properties. If you can pick one at midnight on Midsummer's Eve, keep it. If you find its seeds, keep them too. They can make you invisible.


There's a similar tale of Chicory. If you cut it with a blade of gold at midnight or midday on the Summer Solstice, it will open any lock, and also grant the power of invisibility.


Girls who pick a rose on Midsummer night have a magical tool to help them attract a lover. They can scatter the petals of the rose where they walk, and their true love will find them. The rose harvested at the summer solstice will last until the Winter Solstice, lore has it.


Naturally, and obviously, the plucking of daisy petals to decide whether he loves me or loves me not, has its roots in these celebrations. What flower is more like the sun than the daisy?


Any herbs gathered on Midsummer's Eve will bring an extra boost of magic! I intend to cut some roses, some peonies, and a whole bunch of lemon balm and mint. It's lovely time to gather summer plants.


Offerings for the Fairies

A traditional fairy offering is a thimble full of milk and honey.The way cows are treated today on big factory farms allows nothing but trauma and pain to come through their milk, so I no longer do that. But I still offer honey from my own family's rescued, happy, well cared-for bees.


A bottle cap can stand in for the thimble. A few drops of honey is sufficient. It's the energy of the treat, its essence and my intent that nature's elementals imbibe. They too are energy and essence, the non-physical inner beings of the elements of nature.


Alternative fairy offerings include cookies dangled from tree limbs, and tiny gemstones. I always think the tiny fairies houses they make for gardens would make extravagant offerings for the fay.


Leave the fairies' offering with a blessing and make a wish if you like. If they're happy with your gift it might come true. But take care to tend to the fairies throughout the year, if you intend to do interact with them during the holidays. They love flowers and clean, healthy bird feeders and wind chimes. They like hedgerows and wild places. They are not happy with chemical fertilizers, weed killers, pesticides, or the smell of chlorine in the air..



A Fairy Charm

Come salamanders, sylphs, and sprites,

Come undines this midsummer night


Gifts I've asked, so gifts I've made

Nature's sweet and sacred trade


You are safe and welcome here

Every day of every year


Green and gold and red and blue

Gaia's children, ever true


Flesh and blood and bone all-through

I'm Gaia's child, just like you.






















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