Holidays

The Summer Solstice Spiritual Meaning, Explained

Let there be light.

A woman picks a flower crown to wear during Poland's midsummer festivities. The spiritual meaning of...
Omar Marques/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Updated: 
Originally Published: 

The summer solstice, which falls on June 21 in 2022, is a fancy term for the first day of summer. It marks the point when the sun is at its highest peak in the sky, and for those in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s also the longest day of the year. But the summer solstice is more than a seasonal shift — it also heralds changes and new beginnings. Based on the cosmic forecast, the spiritual meaning of the 2022 summer solstice is about finding balance in your life and mustering up the courage to be the boldest version of yourself.

In Latin, solstice means "sun standing still," which references the fact that the sun is out for the longest amount of time of the year. Ancient Celtic, Greek, and Roman cultures have observed midsummer for different reasons, from religious ceremonies to timing crop cycles. Today, the summer solstice is an important day in many cultures in the Northern hemisphere: You can’t forget that the 2019 horror movie Midsommar is set during Sweden’s summer solstice festival (which, of course, isn’t so cult-y in real life).

These spiritual meanings are the reasons why so many cultures dedicated rituals and festivals to the summer solstice. In fact, ancient monuments are believed to have been designed just to align with the sun during the solstice — like Stonehenge, the 5,000-year-old stone circle in Wiltshire, England. In folklore, the spiritual meaning of the summer solstice is one of celebration — for the brightest and longest day of the year, for summer and the coming harvest, and more.

The summer solstice’s spiritual meaning has another layer when you factor in astrology. With Venus, the planet of love and balance, on its way to free-spirited Gemini on June 22, you can expect the start of summer to be nothing short of light-hearted fun. The jovial energy is amplified by lucky Jupiter as it crosses into gutsy Aries, empowering us to charge through summer with confidence.

You don't have to travel far to take part in summer solstice celebrations — you can do them right in your own home. Here are the spiritual meanings behind the summer solstice 2022.

It's A Celebration of The Sun

In essence, the summer solstice is honors the luminary that brings light to earth. "The summer solstice is a celebration of the return to light, and it so powerfully reminds us of the light within each of us and the full potential of our individuated as well as united light or christ consciousness (our cosmic sense of unity),” energy healer Natalia Kuna says. “It is about awakening, or reaching enlightenment, as an omnipotent symbol of ascension and the ultimate triumph of light over darkness."

It's About Reflection

The summer solstice is about nature, but it's also about your relationship with yourself, and inner reflection is a huge part of that. This year, that’s especially the case — the moon and comet Chiron, which symbolizes hidden wounds, both link up in feisty Aries around the summer solstice. “We're reflecting deeper on our past mistakes and looking forward with compassion for ourselves,” astrologer Lauren Ash tells Bustle.

It's A Toast To Nature

The summer solstice ushers in a new season that’s all about the beauty nature has to offer. It is an important time to celebrate everything our planet has given us. This is why so many summer solstice rituals focus on going outside and being in the fresh air, seeing the sunrise, watching the sunset, or taking a long walk. You’ll also see flower crowns feature prominently many midsummer festivals — in Scandinavian cultures, they’re a symbol of rebirth and fertility.

It's A Time Of New Beginnings

In the same way the solstice marks the start of summer, it also represents a time for you to reflect on yourself and look forward to what’s to come. It’s the start of a new chapter, so it’s a great time to make plans and review your long-term goals. “The Summer solstice is an energetically charged day and an important time to set intentions for the remainder of the year,” explains Ash. “It symbolizes prosperity, extravagance, and good spirits.”

It’s An Opportunity To Slow Down

The summer solstice is an opportunity to rest in the abundance you’ve created — to wait for the seeds you’ve sown to flower. “Historically, most people spent the entirety of spring working the land. By the time the summer solstice took place and the planting was finished, they were finally able to take a rest and relish a period of comfortable ease,” says Ash. “This is why the summer solstice remains an important moment to celebrate in our own cycles of growth and change.”

It Represents Fire

One of the symbols of the summer solstice is fire — it is a celebration of light, after all. Many ancient and modern summer solstice rituals involve lighting fires and having bonfires throughout the day and night to celebrate the sun’s travel through the sky.

It’s A Spiritual High Point Of The Year

While the summer solstice is the literal midpoint of the year and a time of new beginnings, it also represents a peak in the year. Because it’s the longest day of the year, it marks the start of the slow trek back to the dark days of winter. Better celebrate the light and sunshine for the next few months.

This article was originally published on