It is summer solstice. Every year in June, the Sun returns to its northernmost point in our sky. This solstice time signals the peak of summer sunlight falling on the northern hemisphere (and the peak of winter darkness in the southern hemisphere).
Traditionally summer solstice is a time of celebration, a time to rejoice and offer gratitude to the Sun for continuing to bless our Earth with life giving sunlight. This particular solstice is extra special because the Moon is full at the same time. This combination of solstice Sun and full Moon hasn’t happened in 40 years.
Our moon is full and bright in the fiery sign of Sagittarius, the truth seeker. Meanwhile, our Sun is dancing out of Gemini and into the watery sign of Cancer, the nurturer. Both Sun and Moon are in their most expansive state, creating a potent interweaving of the sacred feminine and masculine energies.
We give thanks for all those who are moved, in their lives, to heal and protect the earth, in small ways and in large. Blessings on the composters, the gardeners, the breeders of worms and mushrooms, the soil-builders, those who cleanse the waters and purify the air, all those who clean up the messes others have made. Blessings on those who defend trees and who plant trees, who guard the forests and who renew the forests. Blessings on those who learn to heal the grasslands and renew the streams, on those who prevent erosion, who restore the salmon and the fisheries, who guard the healing herbs and who know the lore of the wild plants. Blessings on those who heal the cities and bring them alive again with excitement and creativity and love. Gratitude and blessings to all who stand against greed, who risk themselves, to those who have bled and been wounded, and to those who have given their lives in service of the earth.
May all the healers of the earth find their own healing. May they be fueled by passionate love for the earth. May they know their fear but not be stopped by fear. May they feel their anger and yet not be ruled by rage. May they honor their grief but not be paralyzed by sorrow. May they transform fear, rage, and grief into compassion and the inspiration to act in service of what they love. May they find the help, the resources, the courage, the luck, the strength, the love, the health, the joy that they need to do the work. May they be in the right place, at the right time, in the right way. May they bring alive a great awakening, open a listening ear to hear the earth’s voice, transform imbalance to balance, hate and greed to love. Blessed be the healers of the earth.
As the days grow short and the nights lengthen in the northern hemisphere, the ancient Celtic tribes of Europe used to hold a celebration they called Samhain (sow-in). The Celts celebrated Samhain to mark the turning of the Wheel of the Year. At Samhain, the entire northern hemisphere officially enters into the dark half of the solar year. This is the time of year when the sun seems to turn away, and night lasts longer and longer. The dark half of our solar year officially begins on November 6th this year.
Samhain actually marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year in times past. At Samhain, the Celts paused and took time to reflect on the past and plan for the new year. They also believed Samhain was a time to connect with and honor loved ones who have crossed over into the land of the dead. And halfway across the world, the people of Mexico and Central America still celebrate Dia de los Metros (Day of the Dead) at this time of year.
Celtic Samhain is not just about celebrating death and those who have passed beyond. It is about celebrating life. The last of the year’s harvest is being gathered up in the fields and orchards now. Samhain is the perfect time to express gratitude to sacred Mother Earth for all the blessings and bounty she has provided for you and your loved ones.
Celebrating Samhain does not have to be complicated. Just take a few moments to pause and offer up a prayer of love and gratitude to those who have died. Go outside and offer gratitude to Mother Earth. Express thanks for everything you have harvested in your life. Simply pause and take a few moments to appreciate all the good that has come your way in the past year.
May the Spirit of peace bring peace to your house this Samhain night and all nights to come.
New moon tonight in earthy Virgo, the keeper of sacred rituals and rhythms. This is a great time to honor our beautiful Earth with some small gesture of gratitude. Below are a few simple ways to express your gratitude:
Sit outside. Offer a prayer of gratitude to Mama Earth for the water, food, oxygen and shelter she provides for you and your family.
Return the favor. Plant a new tree or bush. Create cover and food for the birds, butterflies and bees in your neighborhood.
Go Organic. Make a commitment to switch to using all organic fertilizers and pesticides in your yard. Visit your local nursery for guidance.
Take a walk outside. Hum or sing your joy and gratitude for the beautiful grasses and trees and wildlife you encounter.