For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of Cancer season collides with the first day of summer 2018!
That’s right, on the very same day that the sun moves into Cancer, the summer climaxes with the summer solstice on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 5:04am, PST. The zodiac signs that will be most affected by the 2018 summer solstice will be Cancer, Leo, and Virgo.
Whether or not you are a practicing Pagan or Wiccan, there is something powerful about the day the sun is at the northernmost point in the sky. The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium –sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), because the sun appears to be literally stopped in the sky.
For thousand of years, ancient cultures and religions throughout the world have paid homage to our bright, life-giving star through ceremony and ritual on the solstice, using the day as a marker for when to plant and harvest crops while celebrating its significance with joyous bonfires and dances.
But this year, the summer solstice is a bit different. Because it arrives on the same day as Cancer season, we have a unique opportunity to strike a balance in our energies – that of the sun and the moon, masculine and feminine.
As the sun reaches its fiery peak, it also moves into the fourth sign of the zodiac’s watery womb. Cancer is ruled by the moon and deeply maternal. The moon is the most noticeably effective planet in our solar system, visibly moving the tides of the ocean and the cycles of women on our planet.
Cancer season can be an emotional time, but let’s not confuse that with weakness. The Crab does have that protective shell after all, and a thing with claws is a formidable foe. As people around the world raise their voices in defiance of mistreatment and repression, we can find the hidden strength of Cancer: the divine power of both nurture and fierce protection.
Use this summer solstice as an opportunity to reconnect with your powerful, feminine nature while honoring the masculine, life-giving sun. Take stock of how far you’ve come this year, and work towards finding equilibrium by balancing your masculine (sun) side and your feminine (moon) nature.
Strengthen the connection between these two opposite polarities by nurturing yourself and those close to you with these summer solstice rituals.
Mugwort is a traditional summer herb, used by wise women throughout the world to regulate menstruation, ease pain, and cleanse body and soul. While there are a variety of ways to enjoy this feminine plant, try a mugwort bath infusion to help ease into a meditative, peaceful mood of reflection and self-care.
It’s best to use mugwort at night before bed due to its sedative effects. In addition to its feminine qualities, it’s also an excellent herb for digestion and dream recall. Please avoid Mugwort if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
Empty out the junk drawers and clean out your closet to get the energy flowing for summer. The simple act of cleaning house with intention can be powerful. Imagine scrubbing away any negativity, ex-lovers, or stagnant situations that you’re ready to leave in the past.
If you’re feeling witchy, include a smudging ritual using sage, frankincense, palo santo, or any incense of your choice. Open every window and door and visualize unwanted energy leaving your abode.
Imbibe in the power of the solar disk with a pitcher of sun tea infused with seasonal herbs. Using a large glass jar or covered pitcher, brew any combination of finely ground tea leaves and fresh herbs from your garden for 4-8 hours in direct sunlight. Try using a blend of lemon balm, mint and lavender. Just be sure to drink sun tea made with fresh herbs within 24 hours since it sours quickly.
Summer is an excellent time for airing ourselves out in nature, allowing the season to slow us down for reflection and relaxation. If you’re getting the urge to get out of the city, consider the summer solstice the perfect day to escape the heat and head to nature for a water-based ritual.
What have you been wanting to let go of? What are you welcoming into your life? Make a clear intention to release the outworn aspects of yourself so that new growth can occur. Try to do this ritual by a moving body of water, such as a spring fed lake, river or ocean. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just write your intention on a piece of paper and throw it into the water, visualizing your wish coming true.
The waxing moon is the perfect time to manifest new opportunities and open the doorway to your dreams. Try a simple spell using a yellow candle and a symbol of your choice that corresponds to your manifestation (for instance, use a dollar sign for money manifestation.)
Carve the symbol on the candle while holding your intention in your mind’s eye. Imagine how your increase will also serve the greater good of all, and light the candle while visualizing your wish coming true. Allow the candle to burn out naturally if you can, or snuff it out and relight with intention.