Today marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also the Northern Hemisphere’s first summer solstice full moon since 1967 (aka the Summer of Love). The two won’t share the same calendar square again until June 21, 2062.
Astronomically speaking, this means that besides being the longest day of the year, it’s also a rather rare occurrence. Pretty darn cool.
Spiritually speaking, however, my sense is that this is a great omen for the season ahead. I mean, what if we’re on the verge of the Summer of Love 2016, people?!
In any case, with all this light streaming down from the heavens today, it feels like a very rich and potent time. It’s a rare moment that’s offering us some very unique astrological alignment, and as such, is also offering itself up quite nicely for ritual.
Rituals (or ceremonies) are powerful practices. Like prayer, they offer us a way to communicate with our own psyches, as well as with the psyche (or soul) of the Earth. Among other things, ritual provide a great way to tell our consciousness (and the consciousness of the world) of the things we’re ready to release (things that are no longer serving us), and to set our intentions going forward.
All that said, I’d like to share the bones of a very simple ritual that you could enact today or tonight, if you wish. You can take these bones and build on them however you like. It’s your ritual, so make it feel right for you.
Summer of Love Redux : A Ritual
Materials: a candle (and something to hold it and to light it), 2 sheets of paper, a pen, 4 stones or natural objects (shells, branches, flowers, etc), a timer (a phone with a timer function will work, but make sure the phone is off)
All ceremonies have three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. As such, I’ve broken this ritual down into three parts, with sub-steps within each. Before you begin, make sure you have all of your materials handy.
To begin, lay out your stones or other natural materials in a circle, to honor and mark the four directions (north, east, south, west).
Once you’ve done this, conjure up an intention for your ritual. It could be something as simple as “To gain clarity.”
Then, when you’re ready, take a deep breath, and with your own personal intention in your heart, step inside the circle.
Next, meditate, drum or practice deep breathing anywhere from one to seven minutes in silence.
Wonder why seven minutes? It’s been scientifically shown that it takes at least seven minutes for our consciousness to shift into more of a trance-like state. So if you can go seven minutes, do.
Finally, light your candle.
With love and gratitude, write down what you’re ready to release in your life. Are you ready to let go of a situation in your life? A relationship? A fear? What ways of being are no longer serving you? Are there any roles you’ve played that feel outdated or worn out now? And what about attitudes or beliefs around money, prosperity, fortune or luck?
Write everything down that you’re ready to release, and most importantly, do it with LOVE. Find gratitude for how it’s served you up until this point, and then release it lovingly
When we release things with disgust or anger, we are indeed still married to them. It’s only when we can let things go with an attitude of love and/or gratitude that we will truly be free of them.
Once you’ve written these things down and released them with love, set the paper aside (later, if you wish, you can burn it with great care, compost it, or gently place it in the recycle bin).
Now you’re ready to write down your intentions: your hopes/dreams/desires for what you’d like to experience going forward.
Begin by taking a few minutes to go within and see what’s feeling juicy, what’s calling to you, or even what you’re just curious to know more about. Really follow your own thread of curiosity. Then, once you feel ready, write your intentions down on a fresh sheet of paper. And be sure to write on the bottom of your page, ‘This or something better for the highest good of all concerned’.
When you’ve completed this, set this sheet of paper aside as well (later, you may wish to fold it up and plant it in soil underneath a favorite flower or herb. Or, you might like to keep it in your journal, or even post it up where you can see it often. It’s really up to you).
While setting intentions is a powerful act, it’s important to remember that we write them in the spirit of “This or something better for the highest good of all concerned.” This means that, while we do the work of naming and focusing on what we want, we also hold our intentions loosely, staying open to what the Universe / God / Elohim / Yahweh / The Light (you get the non-denominational picture here) has up it’s sleeve for us.
This or something better for the highest good…
Now, it’s time to close the circle.
To close this ritual, or any ritual or ceremony, always give gratitude and/or acknowledgment to or for something. You may wish to say a word or two of thanks to the Earth itself, for the bountiful resources it provides for our survival. You might give thanks to the four directions for holding your ceremonial container, or you might call to heart and mind five things/people/situations that you’re grateful for in your life today. Whatever or to whomever you express your gratitude, do be sure to also thank and appreciate yourself, too!
Next, when you’re ready, blow out your candle and simply exit your circle however you wish. Will you jump out? Dance out? Slink out? Slither out? Spiral out? Or very simply and mindfully step out?
Hurrah! You’ve just completed a ritual on a very powerful day/evening. Now, just sit back now and allow the magic to unfold.
May you have the BEST summer ever.