Litha | Summer Solstice Astrology… & The Sun At 0º Cancer!
Midsummer Mystery, Magic, Mischief and Madness On The Longest Day Of The Year!
This year Summer Solstice is: Monday June 21st 2021, 11.32 am Hong Kong / Monday June 21st 2021, 4.32 am BST (London).
While we think of this as the official start of summer, Summer Solstice is actually traditionally known as Midsummer.
Therefore, we can either dub this moment the middle of the summer season, with a neat beginning May Day (or Beltane). Or, we can honour this as the turning of the wheel, and the start of Summer.
It’s up to you!
Astrologically, this event is marked by the Sun moving into Cancer, the first of the water signs, so we can anticipate a shift in energy…
0º Cancer: Summer Solstice
We use the symbol of two crab claws, two hugging arms as the glyph for Cancer, and we attribute the great crustatious sea creatures to this sign with a tough outer shell…
Broadly speaking we can consider Cancer Season a time to bathe in awareness of family, lineage, where we’re from, and get a handle on the emotional realms and our approach to ‘home’.
Cancer is a Cardinal Zodiac Sign (like Aries, Libra, and Capricorn), these are the turning points of the Zodiac Wheel that instigate, with motivation to take action; Aries with a fresh start and the intrepid passion for a new beginning, Cancer with the inclination to find security and place, Libra with the impetus to connect on an intellectual level, Capricorn to move towards longevity, sustaining tangible builds over time.
During Summer Solstice, the Sun is at its greatest distance from the earth’s equator and travels its longest path through the sky.
It therefore has the most daylight (it’s the ‘longest day of the year’) – always occuring around June 21st, the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer (a line of latitude circling the Earth).
This is a great time to feel established and settled, showing awareness of where you live – not only your home and four walls but the land, lineage and past you share with family, acknowledging where you’re from.
Cancer Season makes for an ideal month for reflection around our approach to our parents and parenting.
Even if you no longer have a mother and father, even if you don’t like to engage too much with them, it’s important for you as an individual to live free from resentment to these figureheads, in order to cultivate your own sense of security and peace of mind.
Meditate and consider your own approach to all that’s underfoot, and how and where you drop anchor.
The Summer Solstice is one of the quarter days in the calendar, the other quarter days being:
- the spring equinox,
- the autumn equinox (autumnal or fall equinox)
- and the winter solstice (also called midwinter).
Litha – Mark The Moment!
Each of the four quarter days has a Solar Festival: Ostara, Litha, Mabon and Yule.
The Summer Solstice coincides with Litha, a celebratory festival and time that’s ripe for divination, magic, and casting spells…
Read more about Litha, here, with 5 ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice beautifully…
Summer Solstice & Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream…
“Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.” — William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream…
In Shakespeare’s Elizabethan time, the night before summer solstice was called Midsummer’s Eve; it was a time of celebration, mystery and magic.
Young people would meet the person they were supposed to marry (perhaps enjoying their nuptuals during Libra Season – Fall Equinox).
Just as Halloween thins the veil between the living and the dead, it was believed that during the solstice, the boundaries between the human world and the world of the fairies was thin, with the two worlds meeting – and the fairies seen meddling with the love lives of humans when in the fairies’ domain (the woods)!
Watch: the 1999 movie with Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Calista Flockhart, Anna Friel, Christian Bale as and my fave Dominic West to enjoy the spirit and story of this eve.
Anna Friel (Hermia) is also my muse for this moment, as she posesses a birth chart boasting so much Cancer! Born July 12th 1976, Sun, Mercury, and Venus were all in the Crab’s sign…
For more than 5,000 years people have marked this moment, building monuments like Stonehenge in the UK and Karnak in Egypt as a place to note and honor the Sun’s path: at the Stonehenge circle the sun rises directly in line with the rock formation on the summer solstice.