4 Rituals To Practice Ahead Of The Summer Solstice
The summer solstice is not just the first day of summer; it's also a time to rejuvenate and prepare for your personal harvest.
June 16, 2022 at 1:06 pm
The first day of summer or summer solstice is synonymous with pool parties, cookouts and beach days. For spiritual advisers and novice practitioners alike, the summer solstice is more than just a day to spend fun in the sun, it’s also the perfect time to cleanse your spirit and prepare for all life has to offer you in the months to come.
To help you prepare for this annual transition, Blavity sat down with spiritual adviser and yogi Brandis Rawls of BMoRaw to explain the concept of solstice practices and discuss four rituals you can do ahead of the summer solstice.
Summer Solstice is a historic time of rejuvenation
This year’s summer solstice will be on Tuesday, June 21. Not just hailed as the official start of summer, it’s also the time when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and remains active for an extended period, resulting in the longest day of the year. It’s often been a magical day for people who let the universe and astrology lead them, tracing as far back as human existence. An early example of solstice praise is Stone Henge, which was constructed in 2500 BC to align with the sun.
“The summer solstice calls on us to celebrate the sun, the fullness of life, the growth that is possible because of the light,” Rawls told Blavity. “People all over the world celebrate harvest and fertility, many have bonfires and dance, calling upon their deities to bring abundance. The summer solstice can be thought of as the ‘full’ phase of the year, similar to the full phase of the moon. In the same way that full moons call us to set intentions around releasing what no longer serves us and developing intuition so that we look at the full self, summer solstice calls for setting larger themed intentions around release — release of the shadow self and harvest of the full self.”
Intention setting has become quite popular, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when people were forced to sit with themselves for long periods of solitude. The core idea of setting intentions is to speak or list out the things you desire or the things that no longer serve you. In each instance, you are alerting the universe that you are either ready to receive or release. To do this ritual, Rawls suggests having paper and a pen handy to start writing out things you want to have happen for you.
“It’s really asking yourself about what it is you want for your life,” Rawls said.
Setting intentions that benefit someone else is a beautiful thing, and Rawls encourages others to wish their friends and family well during this process. However, you must be sure the things you are wishing for them are things they also want. A safe way to do this is to speak vaguely about others, like “I wish for my mother success on all of the things she sets out to do this year.”
“It’s OK to consider other people — absolutely,” Rawls said. “You want to support others, but you don’t want to put your intentions onto them. I caution you there. I include others in my intentions, but I include what they want in their lives because it is their journey. If they want it, get it for them!”
Once you have decided which intentions you intend to set, it’s recommended that you meditate on them to ensure you are in the proper headspace. As Rawls points out, the universe will call your bluff, so you need to be sure what you say you want or don’t want is true to your internal wishes.
“You need to solidify those intentions and make sure what you say you want is what you want,” Rawls said. “I really couple setting intentions and meditating together because you need to quiet your mind so you can hear your heart and your spirit.”
While meditation has often gotten a weird or comical rap by way of shows like Martin and Living Single, Rawls said there are ways to practice the state of mindfulness that doesn’t involve chanting and wearing robes or other sitcom tropes or extreme traditional methods tied to other cultures. You can simply go for a walk and listen to the way your feet hit the ground or find other avenues for peace-seeking.
“Meditation is quieting the mind so you can hear yourself,” she said. “It could be anything — you can make anything a meditation. One of my favorite meditations is a walking meditation — just walking. It’s just getting quiet. It’s just listening to yourself.”
She also said that guided meditations are very helpful for people who have trouble focusing on themselves. Her company also hosts live mediation sessions.
“People may be ashamed, but no, you meditate the way you need to, to get where you need to go.”
Have a burning ceremony
This ritual does involve fire, so safety precautions are recommended. Once you’ve meditated and set your intentions, you’ll want to send them off to the universe. One of the best ways to do this is to write them out on small sheets of paper and set them on fire.
“When we burn something, we change the chemical composition of it. It becomes ash — it goes away — the essence of it is done,” Rawls said. “It is being released into the ether, the energy has gone back to the universe to be repurposed some other way. When we burn, we literally release the energy from our aura, from our being — we are saying we don’t want this and we release it back to the universe. We are not condemning anything, we just don’t need it. It’s OK to let go of things you don’t need.”
To do this you will need a fire-safe bowl, candle, lighter, pen and paper. You can also do this around a campfire or in your fireplace if you are concerned about burning in a bowl.
“Find you a fire-safe place — don’t be burning in your bed,” Rawls said. “Get a fireproof bowl and put some water in it halfway, that way you have a way to not get yourself burned up. Then, have another receptacle like a porcelain plate. Take your piece of paper and write down something that you want to release, something that you want to come true. You can also burn positive affirmations to release to the universe to come back to you.”
Burn statements can be as simple as writing, “I release everything that doesn’t serve me,” or as complex as listing out the actual things. Affirmations can be, “I am free from worry,” “I am powerful” or “I choose ease and pleasure in my life,” Rawls said.
If you’re worried about burning, you can also light a candle or an incense stick and watch the smoke flow through the air while you verbally state your intentions. Another nonburning method is to write your intentions on sheets of paper and either bury them or tear them up afterward.
“When I use incense, I am watching that smoke go up into the ether. It’s actually a better way for me to see that my intentions have gone off. It needs to be a physical act of release — destroy it in some way.”
Release stale kinetic energy
Now, it’s time to celebrate. In order to receive, you must release.
“I’m celebrating that I’m getting it off of me,” Rawls said. “I am dancing and I am moving that energy around such that all that doesn’t serve me gets a little boost and goes up. I’m giving it a little energy so the electrons can just get on — go on!”
She said while people may think this means doing rigorous exercise or moving melodically to the beat of a drum circle, it just means doing some form of movement that makes you feel free and rejuvenated.
“If you wanna throw you on some Megan Thee Stallion and do you some twerking, hey, twerk that s**t off you! Often times it’s in your hips where you need to get rid of it anyway,” she said. “Get rid of the stagnant energy, move that thang around, shake it off.”
Although spiritual practitioners fancy full moons, equinoxes, eclipses, and summer and winter solstices, you can practice these rituals any time you need to get free from something.
“Release is not tied to the moon,” Rawls said. “If you got something on you, get that s**t off!”
Remember that solstice is a time to release and receive, so be sure to be as intentional with the things you want as you are noting the things that no longer serve you. Happy Summer Solstice!