Start your summer off right.

Surfer on Beach
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The summer solstice is upon us, which means that it’s officially the start of the summer season for us in the Northern Hemisphere. If you’ve already been living life like it’s already begun since the “unofficial” start over Memorial Day weekend, then keep on keeping on. But June 21 (the day the summer solstice falls on this year) is still a day for celebration and some rituals if you want to welcome it in with something special.

So how are you going to mark the first day of the most laid-back, carefree, and fun season of the year? We have some tips below. 

What Is the Summer Solstice?

Aside from it being the start of the summer season, according to the National Weather Service, the summer solstice occurs at the moment the earth’s tilt toward the sun is at a maximum: “Therefore, on the day of the summer solstice, the sun appears at its highest elevation with a noontime position that changes very little for several days before and after the summer solstice.”

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Astrologer Lisa Stardust adds that it’s also the longest day of the year, versus the spring and fall equinoxes which are divided into half sunlight and half evening.

Drought Tolerant Garden

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What Does the Summer Solstice Mean in Astrology?

“The summer solstice is when the sun enters Cancer, and the winter solstice is when the sun enters Capricorn, the opposite side of Cancer,” Lisa says. “Cancer is a cardinal sign, which means that it’s an initiator of the zodiac. The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, and those are always the beginning of the seasons.”

During Cancer season you can expect a lot of emotionality, sentimentality, and nostalgia. “Cancer is ruled by the Moon, and it’s all about having a mature approach to our emotions,” Lisa says. She also adds that Cancer season can also be about fertility, because roses and other flowers begin to bloom. The days get longer and the nights get shorter—and the change in temperature allows us to embrace our desires and what we’re longing to do. 

“So Cancer season really just is what’s in your heart. What do you want? Is it part of your vision? How do you protect yourself emotionally? How do you trust people? Use your intuition,” Lisa explains.

As for what is happening in the stars at the exact time of the summer solstice this year, Lisa says the moon will be in Leo, which means emotions will be strong.

Summer Solstice Rituals to Try

1. Connect with Nature by Taking a Hike

It’s the perfect time to get outside and appreciate the Earth. And since it’s a longer day, you have more time to hike!

2. Get Your Hands Dirty

Planting Vegetable Garden

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Get out in your garden and tend to it, or even plant something. And if you don’t have a garden, you can check up on your houseplants.

3. Go to the Beach

Beach days are here! And while you’re there you can work on your intentions. Lisa suggests a Santeria ritual that has its root in Chinese magic tradition that involves writing your intentions on the inside peel of an orange and throwing it in the water. (Only do this if you’re able to and there aren’t any restrictions where you are, of course.)

4. Set Intentions

And while we’re on the topic of intentions, a new season is prime opportunity to set some new ones. “You can have a bonfire, which a lot of people do. Or you can light candles and sort of do some candle magic in which call into your ancestors and help manifest your desires,” Lisa says.

5. Take a Bath

To unwind and relax this summer solstice, draw a bath with flowers and herbs.

Moon Bath Waxing Botanical Bath Tea

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Moon Bath Waxing Moon Botanical Bath Tea, $20

6. Give Someone a Gift

Since the moon will be in Leo during the summer solstice this year, Lisa suggests giving a seasonal gift to someone. It’s an action that’s “very Leo moon,” since people who have their moon signs in Leo tend to be very generous, want to help people, want to give affection and adoration to others.

7. Do Some Sun Salutations

Get some movement in and do some sun salutations—and you can even time it so you’re doing it at sunset.

Alo Yoga Mat

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Alo Warrior Mat, $128

8. Meditate

Take some time out for meditation, stillness, and being present.

9. Decorate Your Altar

If you have an altar, you might want to freshen it up for the new season.

10. Have a Party

Bring your favorite people together to ring in the summer season. 

11. Extinguish Negative Energy

Write any negative thoughts and feelings down on a piece of paper, burn it, and flush it down the toilet. “I would say it’s a time for pleasure and enjoyment and to appreciate the Earth, the world around you, and the magic of the season. I would say don’t have any negativity in your life. It’s a joyous time. If people are really bringing drama to the table, maybe it’s time to put them in ice for a minute,” Lisa says. “Because the solstice is really about connecting, becoming one with the universe. And I always think it’s a really sensual time because we’re cleansing ourselves. Cancer season is a fertile time to create new ventures because it’s an initiator of the zodiac. So I would say just to enjoy life.”

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