The snow has melted throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere, and we’re all ready for some slow, balmy Summer months. Plus, the change of the seasons always brings a brand new set of energies to work with.
Summer Solstice is known by many as the longest day and shortest night of the year, but it also holds some powerful energetic information that we can all tap into for our continued evolution.
What is the Summer Solstice?
Summer Solstice is a potent time for celebrating the fertility of the earth as she blooms and begins to produce all manner of fruits, veggies, flowers, and herbs.
As energetic beings, we can also work with the spirits of the Earth and Sun to bring more fertility and expansion into our lives —whether you want to call in more wealth, love and family time, travel, or inspiration.
As the halfway point of the calendar year, it’s also an excellent time to review the first six months and commit (or re-commit) to your personal and professional goals.
Acknowledged around June 19-23 every year, the biggest celebration date always falls on the longest day of the year, when the Sun is at its most powerful.
Here’s a run-down of some ways to celebrate and harness Solstice energy for spells, rituals, and health goals.
Solstice in Ancient Cultures
According to some ancient Greek calendars, the summer solstice marked the start of the New Year.
Kronia, a festival celebrating Cronus, the god of time and agriculture, was also held around this time to celebrate and protect the harvest.
In the days leading up to the summer solstice, the ancient Romans celebrated Vestalia, a religious festival in honor of Vesta, goddess of the hearth. During Vestalia, married women could enter the temple of Vesta and leave offerings to the goddess in exchange for blessings for their families.
In ancient China, the summer solstice was associated with “yin,” the feminine force. Festivities celebrated Earth, femininity, and the “yin” force.
Before Christianity, ancient Northern and Central European pagans (including Germanic, Celtic and Slavic groups) welcomed Midsummer with bonfires. It was thought that bonfires would boost the sun’s energy for the rest of the growing season and guarantee a good harvest for the fall.
Bonfires also were (and are!) associated with magic. It was believed that bonfires could help banish demons and evil spirits and lead maidens to their future husbands. Magic was thought to be strongest during the summer solstice. (r)
The orientation of some archaeological structures are thought to reflect ancient observations of the summer solstice.
From the view of the Sphinx, the sun sets squarely between the Great Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre on Egypt’s Giza plateau on the summer solstice.
Stonehenge, a Neolithic megalith monument in the south of England, is aligned with the direction of the sunrise on the summer solstice. And although there is much debate as to its precise use, many believed it was the location of prehistoric summer solstice rituals.
Working With Sun Energy
It’s hard to talk about the Summer Solstice without mentioning the energy and correspondences of the Sun. First, think of what the Sun means to you. What does it represent, and what does its power feel like?
Astrologically, the Sun represents the self and what makes you unique in the world. It also holds the energy of creativity, the ability to start and lead projects, and the strength and vitality to succeed.
In folk magic, you can use the Sun’s energy to bring your manifestations into the world quickly. Sun magic is fiery, fast, and intense, so make sure to use this energy wisely!
While our ancestors might have celebrated with feasts and fire dancing, there are so many ways to tap into the magic of the Summer Solstice.
1. Spend Time Outside + Make a Fire.
Whether you pack a picnic for friends or plan an epic hike, this is the perfect time to soak up the Sun and revel in the earth’s abundance. Stay up all night talking around a bonfire, or wake up early to watch the sunrise. Get plenty of the Sun’s light on your skin, or in front of the fire, to channel the energy of light.
2. Use Solar Herbs + Seasonal Ingredients.
Summer Solstice is peak harvesting time and a great opportunity to roam the farmer’s market and experiment with fresh fruits and veggies. Herbs, honey, and edible flowers are all options to play with. Try this Balanced Beauty Bowl with Rose Powder, Schisandra, and fresh berries, or this stunning Wild Blueberry Tart with Ashwagandha and Elderberry.
3. Create An Altar.
Make or modify an altar to the Sun with fresh summer flowers, fruits, and orange or red candles to honor the Sun and the element of fire. You can also add crystals like citrine, sunstone, carnelian, ruby, and tiger’s eye, or collect oak leaves —a tree that many ancients associated with strength, courage, and endurance.
4. Play With Sun Magic.
Harness the power of the Sun by making some Sun water or Sun tea. Leave a jar of water or tea outside during peak Sun hours —usually from noon to 4 pm. You can drink your potion or add it to a ritual bath. Check out the herbal allies below for more ritual additions and ideas.
5. Revitalize Your Goals.
A lot has changed since January… Get out your art supplies and write your future self a letter. Create a dream board, or mood board as to what you envision your life to be in the next six months. The Sun’s potent energy is here to revive your vision of the future and give you the juice you need to tackle even the toughest challenges.
Solar Herbs: Herbal Allies for Summer Solstice
All herbs and flowers have planetary correspondences and spirits. Plants associated with the Sun are here to help restore vitality and strengthen the system. This doesn’t mean they’re all stimulating —on the contrary, you might be craving some adaptogens or calming herbs to help balance the body, brain, and spirit.
You can usually spot herbs and flowers associated with the Sun because of their golden or yellow flowers. Any herbs that stimulate circulation, have warming or drying properties, or help with heart health are connected to the Sun and Summer Solstice.
You can make teas, tonics, baked goods, or even infuse oils or alcohols with the following herbs to harness their energetics.
Known for its calming and relaxing properties, chamomile may promote sleep and help with digestive issues. Adding chamomile to spells and rituals is known to increase feelings of abundance, protection, and beauty. CALM Stress Relief Tonic marries tulsi, chamomile, rose, and more to help process and release stress, anxiety, and symptoms of trauma.
Calendula is a gorgeous golden flower packed with antioxidants and known for calming the system and soothing the skin. This medicinal-grade collagen oil is potently infused with calendula and other plant medicines to help restore, protect and boost your collagen receptors. Magically, you can use calendula in rituals and potions for healing, beauty, sleep, and abundance.
3. St. John’s Wort
According to pagan folklore, evil spirits would appear on the summer solstice. To ward off evil spirits, people would wear protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of these plants was known as ‘chase devil.’ Today it’s called St. John’s Wort, because of its association with St. John’s Day.
Most people know of St. John’s Wort for its ability to soothe feelings of sadness, depression and as a protective plant. It also has strong antiviral properties that may promote healing and wound repair. Magically, you can use this flowering herb to ward off negativity and illness by stringing it in doorways, or adding it to tonics, teas, and medicine bags for divinatory purposes.You can find this potent Sun herb in the Happiness Tonic, formulated to help relieve stress, anxiety, and mood slumps —perfect to help battle any summertime blues.
Rosemary is a fragrant herb packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Perfect in soups and stews, you can also use rosemary in teas and tonics to help boost immunity, improve circulation, and improve memory and focus. Energetically, you can use rosemary for psychic protection, purification, and past-life recall.
A common flavor in desserts, teas, and curries, cinnamon has health benefits that include blood sugar regulation and protection from oxidative stress. Magical uses include cleansing, protection, money-drawing, passion, success, and strength. Light the end of a cinnamon stick and let the smoke cleanse your space or sprinkle some cinnamon at the base of a spell candle for added magic. Add a drop or two of this magical honey to potions and rituals for sweetness and prosperity.
Moringa is a potent superfood known for promoting steady energy without sugar or caffeine. It may also lower blood pressure and help with blood sugar regulation. You can use moringa powder to dress a spell candle, or add to incense to increase strength, courage, and motivation. You can also add to spells, rituals, and potions for beauty and confidence.
A staple in Ayurvedic and other rainforest traditions, turmeric has been used for thousands of years for conditions such as joint pain, digestive issues, fatigue, stiffness, and more. Combined with other rejuvenating herbs and spices, you can use turmeric to support mind and body and bring some Sun magic into your life.
Make and bless a delicious Golden Sun Milk latte with your dreams and goals, then sip while basking in the glow of its spicy, delicious magic.
Summer Solstice Blessings
Using the energies of the Wheel of the Year not only puts you more in touch with the seasons and the earth, but also with your unique energetic needs. And finding the perfect plant allies to work with can help soften, soothe, or stimulate your system accordingly.
May you find the utmost abundance during this beautiful, fertile time of year and take these energies with you through the rest of the year!
By Mallory Leone a witch, healer, and mover of energy. She owns and operates Four Corners Studio, an online offering of magical education, apothecary tools, and unique 1:1 energy healings rooted in lineage techniques.
Drawing by J. Dorman Steele, 1873