The Summer Solstice

Keeping bees makes one more aware of the Wheel of the Year.

bee summer solstice

The 2013 Summer Solstice occurs at 1:04 am EDT on Friday, June 21st.  It’s the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest point relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere.

The Summer Solstice is also referred to as Midsummer’s Eve. It’s an important holiday in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and was very important to many ancient cultures.

While the cultural symbols associated with the Summer Solstice vary between different cultures, the Solstice has always been a significant day in the Wheel of the Year.

The general themes associated with the Solstice are fertility, fire, celebration, healing, and magic. Many of the celebrations were accompanied by large bonfires (especially on shorelines), feasting, singing, dancing, and the gathering of medicinal/magic plants.

summer-solstice-fire--sommersonnenwendfeuer-franziska-marie-orbach

The Solstice is thought to be the time “when the forces of nature are at their most powerful, and the boundaries between the physical and spiritual worlds are thinnest.” The term used in modern times — solstice — is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

If you stand inside the Stonehenge monument on the day of the northern Summer Solstice, facing northeast through the entrance towards a rough hewn stone outside the circle – known as the Heel Stone – you will see the sun rise above the Heel Stone, as illustrated in the image below.

Stonehenge_heel_stone

12 thoughts on “The Summer Solstice

  1. […] The Summer Solstice (romancingthebee.com) […]

  2. Diane says:

    Lovely blog, I really enjoy your recipes!

  3. Good post! Don’t forget the Super Moon! It will get Real Close to us 🙂

  4. Enjoyed the info. Super moon again…cool.

  5. solarbeez says:

    I always like this time of year. I can roll my “solar-roller” around to face the early morning sun or the late evening sun. That way I can get a good 10-12 hours of solar water pumping to replenish my 3000 gallon water tank while I water the garden. Only bad thing is that now we’re on the other side…the days will start getting shorter already. 😦

  6. […] The Summer Solstice (romancingthebee.com) […]

  7. N.Shinn says:

    I would only argue with the statement that June 21st is Midsummer’s Eve. Midsummer Day is the 24th June, so the 23rd is Midsummer Eve.

  8. I wish that I had time to read blogs yesterday but busy having no lunch break as usual 😦 I agree that keeping bees makes you so much more aware of everything around you – it is like all your senses are heightened to everything moving and changing in nature.

    I also think my friend Lisa would love this post, and you’d like her blog too, so I’m going to do a bit of blogger introducing! Here’s Lisa’s blog on dog psychology http://caninepsychologyschool.wordpress.com/

  9. Your blog is an absolute joy. I’ve been pouring over the pictures and articles for too long, and I have to get back to work.

    I just wanted to let you know that I accidentally neglected to add your feed to my blog reader, back when we exchanged follows (to my great regret.) Last night, I was tidying a few things and realized that I’d missed several folks. That’s why I’m all over everything, all of a sudden.

    I’m really looking forward to your posts appearing in my reader.

    Thank you for raising bees. It’s important that regular folk return to that kind of stewardship now that the bees are facing so many challenges.

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