This past saturday June 21, we passed the summer Equinox demarcating in the Northern hemisphere our closest proximity to the sun and the longest days of sunlight. Here in Colorado that means the sun does not fully set until 8:30 or 9:00 pm on the west side of the Rocky mountains. Because of the education system, here in America we associate summer with being lazy, not doing anything and taking a break from hard work (unless you grew up on a farm!) To the ancient people’s of northern Europe mid-summer was important because early crops were ready to come out of the ground and it marked the mid point of the growing season as well as the beginning of the sun’s transit from Southwest to Southeast. Midsummer was a nutritious and fun holiday because food was plentiful of a wide variety. The long days of sunlight meant that people were able to stay up later and enjoy cool mornings and evenings. Although summer meant hard work in the fields and at the trades there were moments of leisure and pleasure. During the Middle Ages a faire would be coming at about this time of year.
Spiritually, Summer has several connotations that are useful to our spiritual path. Summer, the sun, and long bright days have been used a symbol for several things including:
Crops, Food, Agricultural pursuits
A good time to do work
A sense of completion (coming out of the underworld that is winter and deep inner contemplation)
The Zenith of Life
There is also a sense of a time to get things done before we get to Lhunasa which is the beginning of the harvest and Samhain which is the end of harvest and the traditional beginning of Fall leading into Winter.
How to Make the Most of This Time
Now is the time to get busy! Been meaning to read that book? Get to it! Meaning to exercise or just be outdoors more? There is no better time than now to get busy. For those with large projects and big life changes the summer can have a two-fold meaning. It can be a time to enjoy the success of things left behind or it can be a time to begin those changes or some combination of both of those concepts. Use the bright, energetic summer time to get busy with your life plans. Summer is also a time to get ready to let things go. If you are bereaved or trying to let the past go now is the time to gather together and fully embrace that so that on Samhain you can let it go forever. There is no better time to start something new or any process for that matter than right now.
For your daily meditation practice, now is the time to meditate on what inner matters you need to work on. Now is also a time to harness the energetic energy of the summer for purification (via fire, the element of the season) as well as performing tasks on both the inner and outer. Waiting and listen for the still small voice of your mind to guide as to what things need this unique energy.