Midsummer’s eve is upon us.
The summer solstice – also known as the longest day of the year – is upon us.
This means that, on 21 June, Britain will enjoy a whopping 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight – making it ideal weather for a late-night barbecue (and incredibly unlikely that we’ll get a good night’s sleep).
But there’s more to it than just another extra-sunny day: according to Pagans, the summer solstice – otherwise known as midsummer’s eve – is imbued with a special power. It is a time of growth, and life, and change.
More importantly for Pagans (who are deeply aware of the ongoing shifting of the seasons) it is also time to acknowledge that the sun will now begin to decline once more towards winter – and that balance will be restored to the world.
All in all, it’s a time of meaning and great significance for many, so it should come as no surprise to hear that it can affect our horoscopes, too.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, plenty of us know what our zodiac sign is – and even more of us take the time to read our horoscope each day. Indeed, while it’s difficult to say how many people believe in astrology (hundreds of polls, surveys and studies have failed to produce an even vaguely consistent answer), women are engaging with it more than ever before. Several major women’s websites now have daily and monthly horoscope columns; it’s no longer unfashionable to say you’re into astrology.
And, quite frankly, there’s something quite soothing about the idea our futures are destined by the stars themselves.
As Emily Reynolds previously told Stylist: “Adrift in our own lives, we don’t always know where we’re going, what we’re doing, or even how we feel. Astrology provides a kind of stability: the idea that everything might be actually happening for a reason, no matter how mundane or depressing that reason might be.”
With this in mind, we spoke to moonologist Yasmin Boland to find out what we can expect from the summer solstice.
What astrological meaning does the summer solstice have?
“It doesn't have an astrological meaning, per se,” says Boland. “It's actually an astronomical phenomenon. However it's still a potentially very rich time to work on yourself and your life, using the solstice planets as your guide.
“Plus many astrologers will use the solstice to cast a chart to make predictions about how the energies are likely to play out for you in the coming three months (when we will get the September solstice heralding the start of autumn in the north and the start of spring Down Under).”
How can we use the summer solstice to change our lives?
Boland explains: “You can make big inroads towards personal and professional success by working the planets in general and the sun and moon every solstice.”
The monologist goes on to reveal that, to do this effectively, there are three areas of our life that we should aim to work on, no matter what our star sign is.
“The Sun (ego) and Mercury (communications) are together at the time that the solstice takes place on 21 June,” says Boland. “This suggests that better communications is going to be a theme in the world and also in our personal lives.
“If you want to live consciously and tap into the solstice energies, promise yourself that over the coming three months, you will pay better attention to how well you’re communicating. That means when you’re talking or writing, largely, but also think about non-verbal communication signals you’re sending out (think; crossed arms and eye rolls).”
If you need some help with this, we’ve got some tips on how to resolve conflicts without losing your temper, pen the perfect goodbye letter (now, before it’s too late), and how to stand up and make your voice heard.
We also have the one word that can defuse any argument, if you’re interested…
“The June solstice chart has an awesome Venus/Pluto link on it,” shares Boland. “In theory this can show us all the magic (Pluto) of the power of love (Venus). For more information, keep an eye on your horoscopes, but, overall, the message is that love can change everything. That means in your own life but also on a global scale.”
To put it more plainly, love comes in many forms, and the world could use a lot of it right now. Use this time to become a helper, an encouraging voice and a supportive friend. Above all else, be mindful of what you say, share and read about others – and remember that solidarity and friendship are crucial tools in these dark times.
3) Get spiritual
Neptune, planet of dreams and illusions, is going retrograde (aka it will reverse direction for the next four months,), making now the time to turn inward and get in touch with your higher self.
In astrology, Neptune is known as the planet of dreams, imagination, and creativity, which means the planet’s influence can sometimes make us feel like we’re living in a fantasy. This apparently makes the summer solstice the perfect time to do some inward searching, and transition into a slower, dreamier mindset.
While the longest day comes once a year, Boland adds that it heralds yet another important event in our celestial calendars.
“Just after the solstice we get the new moon (on 2 July), which is the time to send your wishes out to the universe,” she tells us.
“Remember, you have to believe it to achieve it!”