Summer Solstice

Alban Heruin

Alban Heruin, the light of the shore, for three days from sunset around 21 June according to the Astronomical calendar, for power, joy and courage.

Animal: Bear

Tree: Oak

Herbs and incenses: chamomile, elder, fennel, lavender, St. John’s Wort and verbena.

Candle colours: red, orange, gold

Crystals: brilliant red or orange crystals, stones of the sun, such as amber, carnelian, orange, beryl, or jasper, sun stone, also crystal quartz.

Agricultural significance: The long days and warm weather are vital for long hours in the fields as young animals grow strong and crops begin to ripen; but there is an awareness that the Summer Solstice does mark the longest day of the year and that henceforth, though imperceptibly darkness increases; this is a reminder that time is finite and chores cannot be put off indefinitely.

Folk/magical significance: The Sun God is crowned by the Goddess and for this one day takes his place as her equal. But it is joy tinged with sadness for the Dark Twin is born and grows stronger, even as the Sun King becomes weaker, day by day. The Goddess or her priestess/Druidess representative, casts her bouquet on a hilltop fire to add her power to the sun and to pay tribute to him.

As at the Midwinter Solstice, strength is given to the sun ‑ fire wheels were rolled from the tops of hills and flaming tar barrels and torches hurled into the air. In the Sun Goddess tradition, she was said to bathe in the waters of the earth on the Solstice Eve and so river water was (before pollution) regarded as especially healing for bathing at dawn on Summer Solstice morn.

Ritual significance: The day of pure Awen as the three bars of Light appear at Dawn. Alban Heruin, was the longest day of the year.

Stonehenge is oriented to mark the sunrise at the summer and winter solstices. Druidic ceremonies are held at Dawn and Noon on the Solstice at sacred circles and stones and some groups and individuals keep a vigil from sunset on the previous evening. At sunset of the Summer Solstice, another significant ritual point the Heel (Sun) Stone outside the circles at Stonehenge casts a shadow on the Altar Stone, thus marking the beginning of the dying of the year.

Deities: Sulis (Minerva). At the sacred Celtic hot springs at Baths, the Romans built their own magnificent healing edifices, combining the indigenous Sulis, the Celtic Sun Goddess and resident patroness of the sacred waters at Bath, with their own Minerva Goddess of Wisdom.

Symbols: use brightly-coloured flowers, oak boughs, golden fern pollen that is said to reveal buried treasure wherever it falls, scarlet, orange and yellow ribbons, gold coloured coins, sun-catchers and golden fruit.

Summer Solstice rituals are good for success, happiness, strength, identity, wealth, fertility, adolescents and young adults, career and travel.

PERSONAL ACTIVITIES:

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On the Summer Solstice, greet the dawn by lighting a lantern just before sunrise, from an East facing hill or plain. Spend the day in the open air and then say farewell to the Sun on a West facing slope, lighting your lantern once more to give the sun power even as it descends.
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Cast golden flowers or herbs into the air from a hill, a handful at a time, making empowerments for courage and achievement to the winds. Where they land and take root represents in the old traditions places of buried treasure or in this case symbolises new or buried talents you can develop to realise your hidden potential.

Make your Solstice water, the most potent Sun water of the year, leaving water in a gold coloured dish surrounded by golden-coloured flowers from dusk on the Solstice Eve until Noon on the Longest Day. This is especially healing and empowering and you can keep it in clear glass or gold coloured bottles to drink or add to bath water to give you energy and confidence.

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Make a small sun wheel garden, either indoors or out using the flowering herbs of Midsummer vervain and St John’s Wort, Sun herbs such as frankincense, juniper, rosemary and saffron and all yellow or golden flowers, arrange them in the form of a wheel and fill in the centre with tiny golden crystals or glass nuggets. You can breathe in the golden light from your living sun wheel.
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Light sun oils, frankincense, juniper, rosemary, orange or benzoin or burn them as incense to bring the sun power into your home or workplace.


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