The Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the longest day of the year and the day when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. In Ireland, it has been celebrated for over 5000 years.
This year we celebrate it tomorrow at 04.31am on the 21st of June.
In Galway, where we live, on the beautiful West Coast of Ireland sunrise will be at 5.08 and Sunset at 22.07 giving us just over 17 hours of sunlight.
The word Solstice comes from the word sol or Sun and sistere meaning to stop or stand still.
The Sun was revered long before the Celts in Ireland, which can be seen in the beautiful Neolithic sites such as Newgrange, which were built in alignment with the rising and setting sun.
The Celts also celebrated the sun and the summer solstice, marking the Midsummer or Litha as a sacred time of celebration as part of the 8 Celtic festivals.
The Celtic Sun Goddess Áine (ON-ya), meaning brightness, radiance, glow- was called upon to banish evil spirits and to invoke a good harvest. Bonfires were lit, and golden jewellery adorned during much feasting and dancing.
Aine is the Irish Goddess of summer, love, fertility, abundance and sovereignty and has a strong association with midsummer and the sun.
She is associated both with the sun and the moon and the element Air.
The sacred herb associated with her is Meadowsweet, which is one of the sacred herbs of the druids. A herb for cleansing, neutralising acidity in our stomachs and dissolving crystals in our joints and soothing inflammation. Meadowsweet helps to bring fluidity and flexibility back into our lives.
Why not try our gorgeous recipe for Meadowsweet lemonade in the next few days to celebrate your midsummer.
To this day the Summer solstice is still celebrated and honoured by many in Ireland and around the world. Here people gather at the ancient sites of Lough Gur Stone Circle, Carrowkeel and the Hill of Tara to greet the rising sun and celebrate together.
Astrologically this year's Summer Solstice is all about taking time to PAUSE and REFLECT, taking stock of the year past. Face your shadows and ease them into the light. You are courageous. We start to build flexibility in rigidly held views and let go of all that no longer serves. Allow the gentle flow of love and new possibilities stream in to wash over you and warm your heart again. Take a moment to bask in the sun, feel the warmth, allow yourself a moment of gratitude for your incredible resilience and strength. Pause, breath, release and give thanks. You are the warmth and strength we all need.
I am free
I am abundant
I am loved
Meadowsweet Lemonade Recipe
3 ½ l Spring Water
2 unwaxed or organic lemons (1 squeezed, 1 sliced)
7 tblsp Cider vinegar
100g local or organic honey
8-9 freshly blossomed Meadowsweet flowerheads
Whisk all the ingredients together in a large glass or stainless steel bowl or clean pot. Float Meadowsweet blossoms on top. Cover and leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours. Strain and keep in glass bottles or jugs in the fridge.
Karin Mueller is co-owner of Solaris tea and has been working in the field of wellness and health for over 20 years now.
She is a Medical Herbalist (BSc Hons), practising Midwife (BSc Hons), Massage and Spa therapist and experienced course facilitator and teacher on a wide range of topics related to mindfulness, meditation and women’s health.
She is currently also studying in the ‘Medicine of Light’ school to deepen her spiritual practise.