The Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is an extraordinary event, signifying the longest day of the year when the sun reaches its zenith in the sky. For over 5000 years, Ireland has cherished and celebrated this magical occurrence.
The term "Solstice" derives from the combination of "sol," representing the sun, and "sistere," meaning to stop or stand still. Even before the arrival of the Celts, the sun held great reverence, evident in the magnificent Neolithic sites like Newgrange. These ancient structures were meticulously aligned with the rising and setting sun, highlighting the profound significance of our star.
The Celts, too, cherished the sun and the summer solstice, celebrating Midsummer or Litha as a sacred time of jubilation among their eight Celtic festivals.
During this momentous occasion, the Celtic Sun Goddess Áine (pronounced ON-ya), known for her radiance and brilliance, was invoked to banish malevolent spirits and bless the land with a fruitful harvest. Bonfires illuminated the night sky, while people adorned themselves with golden jewelry, indulging in feasting and dancing to honor Áine's divine presence.
Áine, the Irish Goddess of summer, love, fertility, abundance, and sovereignty, holds a profound connection to midsummer and the sun. She embodies both the sun's vibrant energy and the moon's gentle allure, representing the element of Air.
Meadowsweet, one of the sacred herbs of the druids, is intimately associated with Áine. This cherished herb possesses remarkable properties for cleansing, neutralizing acidity in our stomachs, dissolving joint crystals, and soothing inflammation. Its essence brings back fluidity and flexibility to our lives, enhancing our overall well-being.
To add a touch of enchantment to your midsummer celebration, we invite you to try our delightful recipe for Meadowsweet lemonade. This refreshing elixir will elevate your spirits and infuse your festivities with the essence of this sacred herb.
Meadowsweet Lemonade Recipe Ingredients:
- 3 ½ liters of spring water
- 2 unwaxed or organic lemons (1 squeezed, 1 sliced)
- 7 tablespoons of cider vinegar
- 100g of local or organic honey
- 8-9 freshly blossomed Meadowsweet flowerheads
Method: Whisk all the ingredients together in a large glass or stainless steel bowl or clean pot. Let the Meadowsweet flowerheads float on the surface. Cover the mixture and leave it in a warm place for 24-48 hours to infuse. Strain the liquid and store it in glass bottles or jugs in the refrigerator.
To this day, the Summer Solstice continues to be celebrated and revered by many in Ireland and around the world. People gather at ancient sites such as Lough Gur Stone Circle, Carrowkeel, and the Hill of Tara to witness the majestic rising sun and join in collective celebration.
Astrologically, this year's Summer Solstice encourages us to pause and reflect, to assess the past year and face our shadows with courage. It is a time to release rigid beliefs and embrace new possibilities with an open heart. Allow the warmth and love of the sun to wash over you, and express gratitude for your incredible resilience and strength. Take a moment to breathe, release, and offer thanks. You embody the warmth and strength we all seek.
You are free. You are abundant. You are loved.
Join us in celebrating the Summer Solstice and indulge in the exquisite flavor of Meadowsweet lemonade.
Karin Müller 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.