Last week was the summer solstice.
The time of the year when we recognize the divine masculine, the soon to be harvest and the bounty spring has already offered us.
This is the first year I've made an effort to celebrate the solstice's.
I've been connected less and less with the traditions of my childhood (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day etc.) and so I turned back to the earth for grounding. Don't get me wrong, those holiday's can be nice, but I've been in search of something with a little less stuff and a lot more gratitude for a while now.
Thankfully, this winter I stumbled upon a winter solstice celebration which then lead me to a beginning course on the basic principles of shamanism.. fast forward to this years summer solstice and there I was, inside a giant tipi, celebrating the solstice with 45 other humans, most of whom I've never met.
It's a weird experience. When a group of mostly strangers feels strangely more like your family, I guess that's gratitude.
Anyway, here 's a quick photo recap of both the solstice celebration and some of my own solstice wheel offerings in my own little backyard garden.
After the official solstice ceremony, there were a handful of left over marigolds so I brought those babies home and naturally, felt compelled to plant them immediately... even though it was pitch black out.
Midnight planting is something I've always thought about doing but never have. Probably because I'm secretly a bit scared of the dark.. but it felt appropriate to do so on the eve of the solstice so out I went and to be honest, I'm really glad I did.
The next day it was the actual the solstice (June 21st & Fathers Day this year) so I picked up some extra flowers at the farmers market and made my own little solstice blessing in my garden that afternoon. A great day indeed.
Want to try your own garden blessing at home? It's easy!
- Gather some flowers, lovely leaves or anything you find that pleases you.
- Create the ring, this can be constructed out of whatever material you have. I used straw but you can use rocks, birdseed, sticks, whatever you have
- Appreciate smell, de-petal and thank your flowers. hint: flowers are great listeners, breath wishes & prayers into the petals as you lay them down
- Arrange them in any way you want - you can try the "four directions" based on the traditional Native American medicine wheel, that I've been using if you like
- Offer a prayer for your garden, a blessing, a phrase that's meaningful to you. you can look something up or make it up as you go. Whatever you feel compelled to say, say. It really is Ok, you're only talking to a garden after-all ;) you can also offer incense, tobacco, singing, drumming, silent intentions, etc.
- Take your time this is all about gratitude, love & awe. taking the time to appreciate all that nature brings. breath.
- Ignore the neighbors (and friends) who look at you like you're nuts, you're not. we promise!
And that's about it. Pretty easy.
Honestly, it's mostly just about not feeling crazy doing it if it's your first time.
So if you missed the summer solstice and still want to make one of these, do it!! You can do this type of flower wheel or mandala ANYTIME you want, literately anywhere ( within reason) so have fun with it.
Have a Happy Weekend!