summer solstice celebrations - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 06-20-2002, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!
How are y'all planning to celebrate the summer solstice?
Looking for ideas. My baby is 8 months and I want to start a simple ritual tradition. Thanks.
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#2 of 17 Old 06-20-2002, 12:14 PM
 
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A family barbecue can be a fun solstice celebration
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#3 of 17 Old 06-20-2002, 06:37 PM
 
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I'm sorry there wasn't more on this thread. I know it's really late, but I just decided I wanted to do something to recognize the longest day/shortest night of the year and the changing of the seasons. I did just a tiny bit of research this morning and didn't come up with much. I did read that it is traditional to eat dishes made with honey, as in the past this was the time of year honey was harvested. I think I will make some things with honey, talk about what the solstice actually is, and have a barbecue (I'd have a bonfire, but I don't know what the laws here are). Any other ideas?
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#4 of 17 Old 06-20-2002, 07:11 PM
 
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We're having a bonfire and a ritual. We would be having a home cooked feast, but it's my birthday and my parents wanted to take us out to dinner. So we are doing that early. I really want to stay up all night (shortest night of the year) and welcome the sun in the morning. Not sure if I'll make it though, I've been up since 5:30 am so...
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#5 of 17 Old 06-20-2002, 07:19 PM
 
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We're on the other side of the wheel here. It's winter solstice. Summer & winter solstice are about the only time I really miss England ( where I grew up ) Here the days are all of similar length. we get no real long or real short nights & the weather is warm & humid most of the year. It gets very hot & humid in the summer & is currently warmish/chilly & humid & has been raining for 5 weeks. I really miss the definite seasons something chronic. I think burning lavendar is good for the summer solstice. If you search the net, you should find heaps of stuff & then just be able to extract out what's baby friendly. I would imagine something simple or tuneful or sweet smelling would be appropriate. Or just find a nice big corn field ( I wish! ) to go eat strawbeeries in & go for a long long walk in the moonlight once it gets dark & think of me in the pouring rain wandering around the beach with my toddler trying to eat the seaweed

Actually one very strong memory I have of my teenage times in the middle of summer in England was going out one dark moonlight night & crossing over all the cornfields & raiding the pick your own strawberry patch & coming home & having strawberries & cream. I'm not suggesting you raise a criminal child or anything but some kind of adventure is always good to remember when you get older.
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#6 of 17 Old 06-20-2002, 07:43 PM
 
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I'll think of something. No bonfires here in southern CA though...
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#7 of 17 Old 06-21-2002, 08:05 AM
 
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Last year my dss (ages 7 and 4) made a "time capsule" of their drawings and we wrote about some of the things they were interested in. Then we baked some Summer Solstice Cupcakes (yellow for the sun with chocolate chips...the seeds of the darkness that will now be increasing). They're both looking forward to doing the same today and getting to see the time capsule from last year and to add to it this year. I'd love to take them to a beach or have a cookout, but unfortunately it's pouring down rain here today. For great suggestions on celebrating the seasons with children, check out Starhawk's book called Circle Round. It has great ideas, like the ones above!
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#8 of 17 Old 06-21-2002, 09:19 AM
 
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Hmmn. . . the circle group at our church is making fairy houses (family event) and taking a walk in the woods. . .
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#9 of 17 Old 06-21-2002, 10:32 AM
 
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I just read that strawberries are traditional, and that in North America the moon is called the Strawberry Moon. I am assuming this is all because strawberries are in season around here :-)

We actually have our CSA pickup today and will be picking strawberries there, so I will say that that is for the summer solstice! Maybe I will pick up some cream today so when we get home we can eat the strawberries with whipped cream. Yum.

Thanks everyone for your wonderful ideas!
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#10 of 17 Old 06-21-2002, 06:18 PM
 
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HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE EVERY ONE

I hope you all had a wonderful day today! We had planned a special day, dh was taking the day off and it was going to be his father's day. A child free morning and then some family time in the afternoon and a bonfire and BBQ up in the woods to burn our straw God with feelings and messages we wanted to release.............that was the plan,
then dh got called away to Ireland on business so he's not even here, and our current heatwave (40C in the shade on Wednesday - bet no one thought Switzerland could get that hot!) broke with the most spectacular rain storm I've ever seen with plenty of thunder and lightning too - so much for the bonfire!!!!!! Well we did go to the farmers market this morning and bought some summer flowers to decorate the house and 3 beautiful roses which we've floated in a bowl of water on the altar. Dd coloured in pictures of the sun which we put on the alter. We cleansed all the crystals in the house and laid them in the solstice sun (before the rain) to recharge and collected rain water. Before naptime we read and talked about the summer solstice and the turning of the wheel. I wanted to do a little ritual myself tonight but I'm too tired (as usual!) the kids didn't go to sleep until 10.30!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#11 of 17 Old 06-22-2002, 02:39 AM
 
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Happy solstice! I wish I'd seen this thread earlier. We had a nice little celebration with me, DD Marian (2), my sister, and DH and DS Leo (3 months) in the background.

I laid a yellow blanket over the dining room table, with 2 large red candles burning. (We have a drought and many fires here in Colorado, so this was as much fire as I would hazard.) We started out by singing "Daylight Follows Night" from Circle Round (CR), then read about the Summer Solstice on CR p. 201, talking about what solstice is, how it is a time of letting go and moving on, and a brief tidbit about fire. Then we voiced things that e had outgrown or wanted to let go of (destructive relationships, diapers--for newly potty-trained Marian, old habits, etc) and sent our energy and these thoughts into the flames of the candles. After this, we did a time capsule, with the adults writing lists of things we and other family members have accomplished as well as things we were just starting out. DD drew a picture, and we put it all in a large envelope appropriately labeled along with hand-tracings of the kids, and some of Marian's artwork. After sealing the envelope, we all gave it a kiss, then handed it to Marian to color. (We will open it and discuss the contents at next year's summer solstice, then we will make a new one.) While Marian decorated the envelope, I read part of the Father's Blessing from CR p. 221. Then we sang another song in a round: "Round and round we go, we hold each other's hands and weave our lives in a circle. Our love is strong...the dance goes on. Round and round we go...etc" After that, we lit small red birthday candles from the two big candles and each held one... We focused on the thoughts we had sent into the fire earlier, then blew out our candles, releasing them. Then DD and I each blew out one of the large candles. Then we read a poem about Dandelions from the book Pieces, and went outside to play on the grass, feed the birds, and dance in the surprise and welcome rainshower. It was beautiful.



edited to correct an insane amount of typos
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#12 of 17 Old 06-23-2002, 12:02 PM
 
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It sounds like you all had a great solstice. Ours wasn't too exciting just b/c dh had to work and the baby was really cranky. But Summer rolled over for the first time though. She was so cute about it, almost cried cause she got startled but pulled through with a smile. I really wanted to do more b/c last year on the summer solstice I found out that I was pregnant, so of course it is a special day. I can't wait until she is bigger and we can do the stuff that you guys are doing with your kids, how cool.
Anyway, Happy late solstice to all of you.
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#13 of 17 Old 06-29-2002, 11:18 PM
 
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I had a D&C the week before the solstice and DH and I went out tot he backyard wher ewe had the kiddie pool filled and I stood before the Moon (which was so close to being full and shineing down beautifully at around 11ish) and I asked for Mother's blessigns and cleansing for me, my heart and my womb that I may conceive again without loss. It was a very healign thing for me. Earlier that afternoon we simply took Lili out to the pool and played there for over an hour - she is only 18 months old now and she just loved it!
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#14 of 17 Old 06-30-2002, 07:34 AM
 
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We had a sweat lodge - a native american ritual - in Poland - well!
A big big fire in which we heated stones, and we made a structure with bendy willow branches and a pit dug in the middle, covered it in blankets and plastic then brought the red hot stones in and sat around the pit in the dark.....it's fantastic, like going back to the womb, first it's nice and warm, then gradually gets constrictive and finally unbearable then you burst out and get water thrown over you (in winter out into the snow) and lie on the ground looking at the stars, naked, newborn, heart pounding....I don't know if native americans ever celebrated/celebrate the solstice this way, but we do.....
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#15 of 17 Old 06-30-2002, 01:56 PM
 
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That sounds awesome Sarenka!
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#16 of 17 Old 06-30-2002, 03:15 PM
 
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It is, Mommy StormRaven! if you ever want details on how to make the structure or anything, PM me..... I really recommend it on every level.....
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#17 of 17 Old 07-14-2002, 06:04 PM
 
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I liked a few of the suggestions. My youngest son's birthday is on the summer solstice and I would like to find a neat ritual for him and his brother, so keep the suggestions coming
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