8 Summer Solstice Rituals of Abundance

June 18, 2023

Around the time of the summer solstice is when I notice a welcomed shift within myself. Spring is full of hard work towards the goals intentions we set during the long winter months. But summer solstice marks when I start to see the fruits of my labor. Flowers are blooming, spring vegetables are abundant, bees are busy pollinating. I can finally take a moment to breathe, bask in the sun, and practice some of my favorite summer solstice rituals.

Summer Solstice Rituals

What is summer solstice?

Summer solstice is a most vibrant time, marking the longest day and shortest night of the year. In the northern hemisphere, this occurs between June 20th-21st. In the southern hemisphere, between December 20th-21st.

Cultures all over the world throughout time have celebrated the summer solstice as a culmination of everything we have worked hard for during the winter and spring months. Summer solstice rituals allow one to celebrate abundance and growth. And it is also a time to pause in the frenetic energy and sink deep into the spontaneity that summer represents.

Summer solstice

As children, we reveled in the freedom that summer represented. And likely participated in summer solstice rituals without even realizing! My own summer childhood included long days running through the woods, swimming in the pool, drinking cold lemonade, and foraging for wild onions. And summer nights were spent catching fireflies, listening to the frogs croak, and watching bats swooped down for their own sustenance. 

Summer fireflies

Summertime had no calendar or clock – it was a pause in time as we just sunk into the liminal space of pure joy. Similarly, the summer solstice is a liminal space between the waxing and waning of the year. And our summer solstice rituals allow us time to take pause before we burn out from our constant to do’s. If you are starting to feel burnout – especially in the garden, make sure to read my blog post on how to best manage it.

Oak King vs. Holly King

There is an old Celtic myth that tells the story of the shift from summer to winter in a great battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King rules over daylight and the Holly King rules over dark. They battle twice a year to determine who will rule in the seasons to come. 

The summer solstice marks when the Holly King defeats the Oak King, as we witness the gradual descension of light post-solstice. They will battle again at winter solstice, when the Oak King regains his domain and our days begin to lengthen.

This myth reminds us of the necessity of balance and order in nature. There is no light without darkness. Even the peak of our summer gardens must eventually shift to the fallow of winter. This life, death, life cycle is never-ending in our gardens – and in our own personal growth. We must remember to not hold on too tightly to any one feeling, moment or energy – as it will continue to shift and evolve.

Summer Solstice Rituals

Your summer solstice rituals can be shared with others, or just for yourself. There is no pressure to make a giant production towards these rituals. Follow your intuition around which of these summer solstice rituals will be rejuvenating and help you reconnect with the pure joy of summer.

St. John's Wort Summer Solstice Rituals

1) Harvest St. John’s Wort and make a solar-infused oil

St. John’s Wort begins to bloom its bright yellow flowers right around the summer solstice. This healing herb is well known for bringing light into the darkness – and is one of the only herbs that can be infused by placing it directly in the sun.

2) Harvest garlic scapes, greens, peas and edible flowers that were planted during the cooler months

These fall and early spring planted vegetables and flowers are abundant at this time of year and are ready to be harvested to enjoy the fruits of our labor from the colder months.

Summer solstice

3) Enjoy a bonfire with friends

Bask in the playful energy of the summer solstice by gathering around a bonfire with friends. Take in the warmth and light from the fire under the night sky to root yourself in the dichotomy of light and dark.

4) Host a summer dinner in your garden

What better way to celebrate the bounty of your garden than to share it with friends and family? Take time to celebrate your hard work and open your home, and dinner table, to others who will appreciate the beauty and abundance.

Summer solstice rituals
Summer solstice rituals

5) Gather flowers from your garden or wildflowers from nature

Many flowers are at their peak around this time and will bring light and joy into your home. Just be sure to leave enough behind for our hungry foraging pollinators!

6) Wildcraft an herb bundle of summer solstice herbs

Making a herb bundle can be a relaxing and sensory way of recognizing the summer solstice. There are many powerful herbs associated with the summer solstice (listed below) that can be foraged in the wild or grown in the garden. These herb bundles can be decorative, added to your altar, or thrown into your bonfire.

Summer solstice herb bundles
Seedlings

7) Begin to prepare for your autumn garden

It may seem too early, but now is the time to consider what spring harvested vegetables must come out to make room for that which will be harvested in the autumn. Cool weather plants including broccoli, kale, cauliflower, beets, cabbage and autumn planted garlic should be factored into the garden planning. Make sure to check out my blog post on autumn garden planning here.

8) Write in your journal

Solstices and equinoxes are potent times of year for reflection and intention setting. Take some time and write down what is coming up for you during this solstice. If you are feeling stuck, here is a journal prompt:

At the spring equinox, we planted seeds of intentions – for ourselves as well as our garden.
Reflect on those intentions and the growth you have seen so far.
Have you seen progress?
Have your intentions shifted?

Summer solstice rituals

Summer Solstice Themes

Each time of year is represented by different themes and energies that permeate around us. These themes listed below include herbs you can work with, food you can harvest, and energies to reflect upon.

Herbs

St. John’s Wort, Elderflower, Mugwort, Calendula, Chamomile, Mint

Vegetables

Garlic scapes, Peas, Radishes, Lettuce, Strawberries, Asparagus

Energy

Abundance, Warmth, Growth, Strength, Creativity, Spontaneity, Adventure, Playfulness

Summer Solstice Poem

Reading poetry is one of my favorite things to do to sink deeper into the beauty of nature. Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets, as she always managed to capture the ethereal moments of nature. This is one of my favorite poems to read at the summer solstice.

The Summer Day – Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean —
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is hazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I wish you a very happy and abundant summer solstice! I hope that these summer solstice rituals allow you to soak up the energy from this potent time of year.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *