The Summer Solstice is upon us. Once again, we cross the apex of light, the longest day of the year. Given the highly irregular, “new normal” weather patterns manifesting around the planet, it may or may not seem like we’ve reached the height of summer in the Northern hemisphere, but the solar calendar indicates exactly that. After the planetary inhale that is Spring, Summer Solstice is our moment of pause at the top of the breath before the long exhale into Winter.
Summer Solstice is a day to celebrate all the sun symbolizes and inspires.
The sun, known in Vedic times as Surya, is the realization of both the principle where the many unify into one and the principle of transformative fire, also known as agni. This fire of transformation is required for nourishment, the process of assimilation wherein many ingredients combine to build one body. This principle applies to nourishment of all sorts, be it food, emotions, information or experience.
At the root of nourishment, like the sun’s primary duty, is illumination and purification. The sun and introspection shine light into the darkest corners, revealing our imperfections and providing the energy to make appropriate adjustments.
According to Vedic astrologer Sam Sadasiva Geppi, “a life of dignity that expresses our authentic, unique creative self is the goal of the Sun.” If the sun is to fulfill this goal, he must maintain perfect generosity.
Like the archetype of a king, the sun controls all the resources. He can choose to hoard everything and thereby become a tyrant — in which case he is unlikely to remain king for long — or he can care for and nurture his people, distributing the wealth judiciously.
The Summer Solstice is a day when Surya is feeling most generous, shining brightness for the longest amount available in one day. Perhaps we humble Earth inhabitants might consider celebrating and honoring this gifted time with a moment of appreciation or maybe a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations).
Astrologer Sam Geppi goes on to explain,
In the spiritual sense, the Sun gives the capacity to sacrifice our temporary, personal happiness for a greater cause. But this sacrifice requires a strong sense of identity, otherwise we are merely giving away power that we have not yet owned or mastered – which leads to resentments. This is the very tricky conundrum of the Sun. First we need a healthy sense of self and ego, only then can we use it toward the greatest good.
It is no coincidence that this Sunday is being celebrated as the first annual International Yoga Day. A variety of coordinated events are scheduled to acknowledge the profound personal and planetary benefits offered by yoga practice, philosophy and the ability to discover and expand ourselves to our highest truth.
With the wonderful symbolism of Surya in mind, please take the opportunity to allow the sun to illuminate your life, both literally and metaphorically. Nourish, be generous, expand and embody your individual personality with the power and grace of the Universal Self.