Historically, Midsummer—also known as the summer solstice, or the Longest Day, coming up this year on June 21—was a time of enjoyment. Crops had been planted, but they weren’t bearing yet, so there was little to do but celebrate the long days and have a good time. Garden vegetables were beginning to produce and lambs and new goats were mature enough to cull, so there were food and drink, and time to enjoy one another’s company, create culture, and live at ease.
Today, sadly, most people aren’t even aware that the summer solstice is upon them. It passes as just another day, despite the fact that we make such a big deal about celebrating Christmas around the winter solstice, or Yule. (Which is coming up for Atheoapagans in the Southern Hemisphere: hi, there!)
To me, Midsummer is a highly sacred time. It is when the blessings of the mighty Sun are strongest and we can live in the luxury of extra time, comfortable temperatures, and opportunity for socializing and sharing rituals.
I’ve posted ideas for rituals for Midsummer before, which you can find by following the link above. But here are some other ideas for how to celebrate this most temperate and generous time:
- Get naked! At least around the house, but if you can, out in the sun in nature or your garden or at a swimming hole, feel the Sun and the lovely air on your skin. There is nothing more freeing and expansive than the feeling of simply Being, in your body, unfettered, in the world.
- Do some adulting. Midsummer is the Sabbath of maturity and being in the prime of life. You can celebrate that by taking care of bits of adult business you’ve been putting off: accounting, maybe, or clearing out that closet.
- Sexytime. Lovemaking and sexuality aren’t just for May Day; while the air is temperate and evenings are long, make some time to be with your loved one(s) or just with yourself.
- Relax. Time in a hammock is never time wasted. Take a nap. Have a glass of wine. Fire up the barbecue and sear some delicious food with friends. The long evenings are perfect for talk and laughter and community.
- Create. These long days allow time for writing or music or handcrafts or whatever it is you do to create and express. Do some of that; get into the Ritual State by immersing in the limbic, Present state of the artistic process.
The Wheel turns. It won’t be too long before the darkness falls early and we’re bundled up in our winter wear. Take time on the Solstice to celebrate the gifts of the magnificent, Sacred Sun.