This past week the wheel turned once more with the celebration of the Summer Solstice or Litha. It has been an important date since Neolithic times.
As we endured the darkest and longest night around December 21, we kept the vision of summer’s light and bliss in our hearts, and this too keeps hope alive. We understand the cyclical nature of all that lives and our dependence on the balance of light and darkness, life, and death. Midsummer is when all life is at its zenith. We honor life, ours and all that live. We bask in the light and enjoy its blessings, ever remembering the returning darkness is necessary for the cycle of life and death to remain in balance.
Midsummer, also known as St John’s Day, is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the Northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. The Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist, and the observance of St John’s Day begins the evening before, known as St John’s Eve.
Not intended to promote religion, neither is it an educational video as it barely touches on the information and mythology of the Summer Solstice.
In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Quebec (Canada), the traditional Midsummer day, June 24, is a public holiday. So it was formerly also in Sweden and Finland, but in these countries it was, in the 1950s, moved to the Friday and Saturday between June 19 and June 26, respectively.
The solstice itself has remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since Neolithic times. (For Neolithic and Bronze Age astronomy, see Archaeoastronomy.)
The seed of death in the midst of the peak of life. Hail to the dark side of the year, the portion of rest. Hail to the light side which has passed for another year. May we greet her at the Winter Solstice.