Paul Winter's album “Celtic Solstice” is from an earlier Summer Solstice celebration at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and “Journey with the Sun” combines music from several Solstice celebrations. You can hear samples of many pieces at Amazon.com. Don't miss the ones with wolf and whale songs! Those go straight to the center of my body and then all through it. It's like hearing a sister's voice for the first time.
Note that quite a bit of Paul Winter's music is available for free streaming for Amazon Prime members.
“Miho: Journey to the Mountain” has music from the summer solstice celebration in 2011, where the consort played music inspired by Japan. I've heard some samples from this album and find them very compelling. So I'm downloading that album as my choice for this year's personal celebration.
Machaelle Small Wright - Summer Solstice
I've long admired nature scientist Machelle Small Wright, of the Perelandra Center for Nature Research. She's the boldest, most daring follower of her own spiritual path that I can name. Her books and the publications from her nature center, Perelandra Ltd, are about full harmony with nature while evolving spiritually.
My own path has diverged from hers, but I still follow her insights on the four major natural holidays of the year (the Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Wright has discovered that during the 24 hours following each event, extra life energy is released. It gradually increases, culminating in the Summer Solstice (for the Northern Hemisphere), when the greatest boost in life energy occurs. We and the rest of the hemisphere need this extra energy, because life is in full flow. She talks of gardens, of course, but also of the garden as metaphor for all that we create with nature.
The Summer Solstice, in Wright's experience, is best celebrated by quietly contemplating all that is in full view now, all the growth that is happening. I would add that this may be intentional and harmonious, or – on the other hand – unplanned, disconcerting and perhaps distressing. The soul sometimes has its way with us despite our defenses, so things may be surfacing and “growing” that alarm us. Nevertheless, we can rest in the warmth of the sun and the two-fold reassurance that nature has the capacity for balance, and Christ energy the potential for our evolution.
For more on Wright's explanation of the four holidays, including step by step instructions for a personal celebration, see her blog entry on the Solstice and Equinox cycle, available in pdf format.
This is a good time to do (or redo) the Five Preferential Shapes Test
I do my own test four times a year, on or around these major holidays. It helps me get a sense of the core process for the coming fourth of the year: what most deserves my attention. For more information on the five universal shapes identified by late anthropologist Angeles Arrien, see my earlier blog entries:
The Five Universal Shapes
The Preferential Shapes Test
If you really get interested in the five universal shapes, you might also like
Angeles Arrien and the Tarot
Chakras and the Five Universal Shapes
Art and the Five Universal Shapes
Happy Summer Solstice to You
These great natural events happen whether or not we pay any attention to them, and no matter how we celebrate if we do. Whatever choice you make, blessings on all that's coming forth in your life. May all that comes from it be good, and may you live in abundance, health and joy.