Catching The Light

Nu·ance |n(y)o͞o äns| noun: nuance; plural: nuances • a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound • verb: nuance; nuances; nuanced; nuancing.

Gladioli Girl, © Mairianne Giovanna Genova

Hello June! The Summer Solstice is just around the corner. The Solstice reminds us how integral the Sun is to our lives. In several ancient cultures, the Summer Solstice is honored as the union between Heaven and Earth. Here are a few Artful Living ways to mark the longest day and celebrate the Sun. Wishing you a Summer filled with light and vitality. Enjoy all the delights the season has to offer!

Cast A Spell: This spell is for protection, healing, empowering, and revitalizing: Create a pouch for psychic dreams; put mugwort (a visionary herb) and bay leaves (often associated with the Sun) in a piece of Yellow material (the color of the Sun); sew it up with Red thread (the color of action and fire); and place it under your pillow. Dream on!

Greet The Sunrise: Watching the Sun come up is a powerful reminder of nature’s cycles -the ones we so often take for granted. Wake up early with the Sun. Watch her rise. When the Sun is low in the sky, you can stare into her. Fill your eyes and your body with her light. Do a Sun Salutation yoga practice!

Make A Solar Elixir: Traditionally, elderflowers are associated with the Summer Solstice as they are in peak bloom in many parts of the world around late June. Some pagan traditions recommend creating a cordial with elderflowers or a cocktail infused with the petals. Alternatively, you could create a soothing elixir with chamomile. Brew chamomile tea, cool it, then add a dash of cinnamon and ginger. Feel the flower power!

Design In Nature: Create a mandala or danmala (meaning the giving of flower circles in Sanskrit) with natural elements -flowers, leaves, twigs, berries, rocks, seeds and feathers, found foraging. This is a beautiful process for grounding, presencing, and practicing the art of letting go. Create temporary mandalas around your local area to connect more deeply with nature, and leave for others to find and enjoy. Design a divine offering!

Express Gratitude: Give thanks for the Sun, for the light of the Sun, for the life that comes from the Sun. Write the Sun a love letter: Thank you, light, for the life you give to the plants, the animals, and to me. Next, show gratitude to yourself, too. Take the time to honor your own inner light and it’s expansion over your shadows. Express gratitude for your journey!

Unleash Your Spirit: The Summer Solstice is our annual opportunity to take advantage of the abundance of light that can help us release burdens, doubts, and fears, so we can become just a little freer, lighter. The most basic way to honor the Sun is to be in it. Soak it up, sing, dance, drum, play some music. This is a great time of year to dive into your inner child. A reminder to never lose sight of the magic in each day. Remember to play!