How to approach summer solstice 2023

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Seasons Newsletter | 8 comments

 

Summer solstice, te maruaroa o Hine Raumati, is approaching. The longest day will be here on December 22nd.

Is it on your calendar?  

Is it in your awareness?

 

Why am I drawing your attention to summer solstice?

 

This, the most glorious festival of the year, is easily overlooked. It tends to get squeezed amidst the busyness of a consumer Christmas, the ending of the academic year, and preparations for holidays.

And yet it represents the fullness of the light, the peak, the zenith of the sun. Summer solstice bestows benevolent rays over the land and her people. It’s a festival for bathing in the light and bathing in love.

I often refer to summer solstice as the season of the heart.

 

 

In the northern hemisphere, this season has traditionally been an occasion for large gatherings, for there it falls in June, a month with fewer distractions. Processions, circle dancing, fire wheels rolling down hills, song, and dance are some of the elements of a full solstice celebration.

What can we do in Aotearoa when Christmas parties dominate and no one wants to organise large gatherings in December?

 

 

Here is my answer, and you will have your own as well.

 

One: Remember that solstice means ‘sun stands still’.

Pause to breathe, slow down, and savour the season. Find the place of stillness that dwells inside your own heart.

Two: Make contact with nature.

Maybe this means dipping your bare feet in the sea, stream, or lake; standing on sand, grass, or rock to feel the support of the earth. Or you may raise your arms to the wide open sky.  Breathe in spaciousness.

Three: Gather summer flowers

to honour the season of blossoming: maybe pōhutukawa, harakeke, roses, marigolds, or sunflowers to decorate your table.

Four: Create a solstice feast or picnic

of summer vegetables and fruits, especially red yellow and orange ones: yellow courgettes, golden slices of mango alongside strawberry reds, golden capsicum and kumara, grated beetroot and carrot, and more.

 

Breathe in the goodness of the season.

Let it calm you.

Make space for solstice!

 

Solstice blessings,

Juliet

 

PS I will be leaving town on Dec 16th so please place your book orders by Friday 15th at the latest.

8 Comments

  1. Susan Richardson

    Thank you so much for your post Juliet, it really helped me to refocus.

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Susan. I’m so glad.

      Reply
      • Andi

        Thank you for sharing this. I am British, and arrived in NZ in September for my working holiday year. Whilst the sunshine and warmth are beautiful, I’m actually finding it hard to adapt to a second summer this year. But celebrating the solstice as you suggest will really help me to reconnect with the season.

        Reply
        • Juliet Batten

          Thank you And, I’m so glad that my newsletter has been helpful. I often receive messages from northern hemisphere visitors who are disoriented by the different seasons, and I am always happy to help people like yourself to come into the flow of the seasons of Aotearoa. Have a great working holiday!

          Reply
  2. Sharon Lightfoot-Pound

    Perfect timing and reflections remind me to pause and see the beauty around me. I am excited to follow your art history. You inspire an intuitive connection with nature through your evocative images and words. Thank you, Juliet.

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you so much Sharon. I wish you many happy moments of pause.

      Reply
  3. Penny Geddis

    Thank you for reminding me of the Sun’s stillness at Solstice. It will be appropriate for me and I will honour it because I’m in the middle of writing another novel. . . I will make my target just before Solstice so that I can enjoy stillness at Solstice.

    I feel very blessed that where I currently live, I look out across a vast skyline to a hill where clouds skim over, and I see the seasonal changes on it. They’ve been cutting the long dry grass in lines that look like the gathering of hay. At the beginning of November with Beltane, there were areas of bright red, that have now turned green, and are starting to brown. My own garden is calling me and there is a proliferation of dandelions on the lawn to remind me of the sun (and that it is ok to not have mown the lawns yet. If I had, I wouldn’t be able to have the dandelions).

    Anyway, thank you for your lovely words and the wonder of your beach art over the years. Have a lovely Summer Solstice yourself!

    Reply
    • Juliet Batten

      Thank you Penny and I wish you well with the novel. I enjoyed your nature descriptions, and the lawn full of little suns.

      Reply

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