Summer Sunning!

Today marks the Summer Solstice. Astronomically, it looks like this:

The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. The seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. That will occur later todayish – June 21st at 10:07 UTC (5:07am Central Time).

Today and tomorrow, the sunrise (where I live) will be 5:18am and sunset will be 8:40pm – 15 hours and 22 minutes of sunlight. On Winter Solstice, six loooong months ago, sunrise was at 7:25am and sunset was at 4:25pm, 9 hours of sunlight.

Next Sunday, the sunrise will be one minute later, signalling the waning of the year. But that’s Sunday and today we have 922 minutes of sunlight to enjoy!!

(Don’t forget to hover on the images!*)

In the Northern Hemisphere ”summer” comes earlier than the Summer Solstice (the astronomical event).

Solar summer” began in early May, and is the quarter of the year when the most amount of sunlight is entering the northern hemisphere. Astronomical summer essentially marks the midpoint of solar summer.

Meteorological summer” is the warmest quarter of the year based on daily normal temperatures. This exact period varies slightly from place to place; but, in general, meteorological summer starts the first week in June and ends the first week in September

To be sure, “early May” and “first week in June” are not precise enough to plan a gathering around so the sun(ning) critters chose today, June 21st.

Let’s join them in the sun …

The Midsummer, or Litha, is one of the eight pagan festivals or “sabbats” from the Wheel of the Year . It is a “quarter day” along with the equinoxes and the winter solstice. The Summer Solstice is a time for a celebration of the abundance of summer.

Midsummer is the time when we celebrate the bounty of the earth and the power of the sun. Our fields are flourishing, fruits are blossoming on the trees, herb bushes are fragrant and full of life.

It’s the time of year when the crops are growing heartily and the earth has warmed up. we can spend long sunny afternoons enjoying the outdoors, and getting back to nature under the long daylight hours.

Lisa Thiel – Litha (The Summer Solstice Song)

I am the fire that burns within your soul
I am the Holy light that fills and makes you whole
I am the Flame within, that never dies
I am the sun that will ever arise

(Chorus)
Power of the Sun we honor you this night
We leap across the fire to keep our spirits bright
Power of the Sun, fire in the night
We leave behind, that which blinds, to restore our sight

I am the fire that clears away the old
I am the holy light that guides you to your soul
I am the Flame Of Love for which you yearn
I am the sun that will always return

To all my pagan and non-pagan friends alike: “A Sunny Solstice to You and may your bonfires burn brightly tonight!!”

(Summer and sun quotes courtesy of GoodReads.com)

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This post is a rerun, with revised dates, because the holidays – and their celebratory posts – are on an infinite loop … or more precisely, the Wheel of The Year. ;)

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*Hover text for those on tablets and smartphones:
– Pig: ‘Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.’ ~ Henry James
– Cat: ‘To the library. Books and summertime go together.’ ~ Lisa Schroeder
– Summer border: “Here comes the Sun … doo doo doo doo … here comes the sun … doo doo doo doo. And I say … it’s all right.”
– Dog: ‘It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.’ ~ Maud Hart Lovelace
– Fence Cat: ‘Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…’ ~ Susan Polis Schutz
– Summer border, chorus, summer border: “Sun, sun, sun, here it comes. Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.”
– Lion: ‘Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.’ ~ Buddha
– Giraffes: ‘The sun always shines above the clouds.’ ~ Paul F. Davis
– Kittens: ‘Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.’ ~ Ray Bradbury
– Turtles: ‘They can be like the sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field.’ ~ Juan de la Cruz
– Dragonfly: ‘Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.’ ~ William Shakespeare

(Crossposted from Views from North Central Blogistan)

  9 comments for “Summer Sunning!

  1. JanF
    June 21, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Happy Solstice, everyone!

  2. June 21, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Greatly enjoyed this, Jan, especially reading the quotations from the wise kitties! Agree with every one of them, summertime is special.

    Living where I do, all the seasons offer something to celebrate. Here’s one more for summer:

    Drat, this is supposed to be Ella Fitzgerald singing “Summer time, and the livin’ is easy.”

    • JanF
      June 21, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Fixed it!

  3. basket
    June 21, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Thank you, Jan!

  4. bfitzinAR
    June 21, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Happy Litha to all who dwell at Moose Pond or any of the Villages. May it bring us all the energy/Energy to “do all the good we can” whatever that good might be, even as it brings us Light and Hope and Bounty to make us secure when we’re on the other side of the year’s Wheel. {{{HUGS}}}

  5. princesspat
    June 21, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Thank you Jan…..

    I am the fire that clears away the old
    I am the holy light that guides you to your soul
    I am the Flame Of Love for which you yearn
    I am the sun that will always return

    • JanF
      June 22, 2018 at 6:01 am

      We could certainly use a cleansing (metaphorical!) fire right now. We have some deadwood thinking and gnarly underbrush ideas that need to be burned away so that the good has room to grow in. I am not sure what these times are intended to teach us or to set the stage for but I would not mind if they would speed up! Alas, the Wheel of the Year can’t be hurried – the year progresses as it has forever and we have to embrace what the goddess gives us each season. Sometime when things seem particularly gloomy, it is good to look at the moon and think about her steady presence. She has been there watching over the changes on the earth for as long as there has been an earth – she is our connection to our ancestors and to our descendants and no matter how much awful swirls around us She Persists.

  6. June 21, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    So enjoyed reading this post, with quotations from the wise cats! Agree with every one of the quotes, summertime is beautiful.

    But then, I like all the seasons. Living where I do, there’s something to celebrate about all of them.

    • JanF
      June 22, 2018 at 5:45 am

      There is indeed something to celebrate about them all! I could not live where there were not four distinct seasons. I would choose Summer as my least favorite because I melt in high heat but the sights and sounds of summer are quite wonderful.

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