Happy Summer Solstice!
Plus, get ready for another wonderful Solstice gift from our Universe! Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter Saturn, Uranus and Neptune join in the Solstice celebrations this year with a planetary parade! This lineup hasn’t happened (1864) since before the first Juneteenth (1865), and won’t happen again until 2040.
Unlike some events (such as solar eclipses), the weather won’t stop you from seeing this! It’s visible before dawn any day within about a week of the Summer Solstice, so if it’s cloudy one night, try the next night. The five naked eye planets are easily seen, just check the picture above to see where to look. More details are here.
Due to the weirdness of our time zones and spherical Earth, we can watch the Summer Solstice sunrise late tonight on the evening of the Summer Solstice! What? How? Because to moment of the Solstice (when the Earth’s axis exactly points the most toward the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere or the most away from the Sun in the Southern Hemisphere) happens at 9:14 am on June 21st at Stonehenge, it will be the night after June 20th in the United States (1:14 am in California, for instance) and will already be the evening of June 21st in Australia! (Also, it is Winter Solstice/Yule for those in the Southern Hemisphere).
The ways that many of us are celebrating were published a few weeks ago. Some of us may be lucky enough to be celebrating at Stonehenge today, but for those who are not, remember that there are at least hundreds of other stone circles in Europe, and many others on every continent (except Antarctica, of course). That includes the United States, where they are often known as Medicine Wheels – as well as many recently made circles, like the small stone circle we made in the woods behind our house. Just a few years ago, I held my Summer Solstice ritual next to the ancient earth circle in central Indiana (which has a Summer Solstice notch). Three years ago, I made a spiritual pilgrimage to Stonehenge. Though it was not on the Summer Solstice itself, it was just a couple weeks after the Solstice, and I was deeply moved by watching the Sun rise over the heelstone.
In whatever way you are celebrating, Happy Summer Solstice!
This is an updated version of our annual Summer Solstice post.