Today is the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year. It officially starts the three- month season of summer - a time of fun, playfulness, vacations, summer activities, summer foods and, of course, the sun with its light and heat.
According to Feng Shui trainings, summer is a fire energy including the association of the sun's light and heat. Being the longest day - and the time of year where there are longer days with sunlight and warmth - there is a tendency for more activities to be done outside. So we consider this to be a very active time of year, or Yang energy time of year.
Since there are longer days, there's more growth. This active energy of growth shows up in the ripening of fruits on trees and vines plus vegetables from their plants. Growing up, we only had strawberries for a short period of time in late May and June, peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines in July and August and watermelon from July through September due to the heat needed to grow and ripen these foods. (Now we get them from other countries year-round.)
Many of the "earth-based" spiritualities celebrate the Summer Solstice by giving thanks to "Mother Earth and Father Sky" for life. They honor each direction for providing the necessary elements - earth for nutrients, sun (fire) for heat, wind for carrying the seeds of change and the breath of song, and water for the moisture all living things need.
Other Feng Shui symbols and symbolism linked to summer are: the Trigram "Li" (the fire element, fame, reputation, legal issues, visibility, passion, clarity, joy, lightness and vision), the odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9), fire colors (red, orange and yellow), midday and the direction south.
I've trained with many spiritual teachers and masters from around the world. Although each nation and geographic region is different in some ways, I often find similarities.
From my South American cultural studies, summer is related to: the south direction, fire and sunlight, midday, heat, energy, transmutation, lighting, passion, will, the colors of red, orange, bright yellow and black, and the "Fire Beings" of snake, coyote, tiger, puma and lizard. It is also the sound of laughter.
Isn't it interesting the commonalities among the ethnic cultures, regions, countries, spiritualities and belief systems around the energy of the sun, summer and Summer Solstice?
I grew up in California outside Los Angeles. There are warm beaches in close proximity to deserts and mountains. As a child I was taught about the Spaniards, Mexicans and Native Americans as I lived very close to the San Gabriel Mission. They all celebrate various aspects of honoring the Summer Solstice. All this is part of the history of that region.
So I celebrate the Summer Solstice as a time to enjoy life.
I enjoy the "fruits" of my labor, my yard, the ranches close by and the many delectable treats they grow. I honor the people who are in my life. They bring me laughter, playfulness, vision, clarity and joy. They transform my life through their visions and their wisdom.
Do you celebrate Summer Solstice? If so, what do you do? I'd love to hear what you do and any comments about this post, so please send them to me.
Summer Solstice is a time to actively embrace all that is good in life. Come join me. Celebrate the "Song of Summer". As the lyrics to a famous song say, "Summertime, the days are long and the living is easy!"