The summer solstice (also known as Litha) is a time of intensity, renewal, and great potential. Usually around June 21st for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, this is a time when the sun lingers the longest of any other day. To celebrate this pivotal time of the year, I thought it would be keen to kick up my studies on summer solstice symbols.
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About the Symbolism and Meaning of the Summer Solstice
This time of year is symbolic of passion, desire and sensuality burning more intensely within the hearts of both humankind and animal kin. The sun is a warming entity, so it fires our passions and heats up our hearts to the potential of life that abounds. This is symbolic of the light of our consciousness shining more brightly in our awareness.
This is a high time to celebrate the bounty fueled by life-giving solar rays. And celebrate it now while the time is high, because after the summer solstice, each moment of light recedes a bit more, leaving each a day a smidge darker than the last.
To help with your sensational solar celebrations, I’ve provided a handful of summer solstice symbols. Mind you, it’s a scant list. Solar symbols are infinite! But when we pay attention to this season’s bounty, like the Thunder Moon, the essence of fire, and various summer-centric animals – we learn a lot about ourselves and this lovely world we live in.
Common Summer Solstice Symbols
Just look around you during the summer months and you will see a bevy of symbolic cues that represent the vitality and bounty summer implies. In the meantime, here are some common summer solstice symbols to start you off:
Fire: The element of fire is the most obvious and common symbol of the summer solstice because of its affiliation with the warmth of the sun. Fire is symbolic of passion, creativity, creation, rebirth, renewal, action, and clarity. It’s also a masculine element. Mentally incorporate the element of fire in your meditations and ruminations this summer season to intensify your experience with these attributes. See fire symbols here. You might also want to check out the fire element personified (salamander elemental energies).
Bears: Females, specifically as the summer solstice lands right in the middle of their opportunity for conception. Mid-June is the peak mating season for brown bears, and so this time of year is symbolic of fertility and the promise a new birth brings to continue the bloodline. Bears also remind us of pleasure and taking advantage of the bounty surrounding us this time of year. Bears, mostly nocturnal are seen more often during the summer months – and this is symbolic of coming out of our metaphorical caves, and embracing the summer-lit brilliance of the day. See more about the bear here.
Eagles: These magnificent birds are commonly linked with solar power by many ancient people. Native North American Indians, for example, believed the eagle to be associated with the thunderbird and brought summer rains to the tobacco crops. This has a deeper symbolism of the energy of life (rain and sun producing new life and continuation of crops). It’s sturdy beak and wickedly rigid claws are sunshine-yellow, which is symbolic of strength and fierce determination winning the day. See more about the eagle here.
Lions: The lion is considered a powerful solar creature. It is connected to the sun because lions, when considered in a symbolic light, are viewed with mostly male characteristics. Indeed, the crazy radiating mane of the male lion even looks like the sun. This combined with its copper-penny color makes the lion a bronzed icon of summer symbolism. The lion represents vitality, energy, confidence and supremacy – particularly. And, when invoked during the summer solstice, these powers are doubly potent. See more about the lion here.
Salamanders: Particularly the fiery orange-red kind, or fire-belly breeds. These creatures were said to be carriers of fire. The medieval legend indicates salamanders had the ability to light bonfires. More than their smoldering coloration, salamanders are also symbolic of rebirth because they can regenerate tails and toes. The summer solstice is also a time of renewal. Take a cue from the salamander, get your soul-fires flickering, and let them renew you from the inside out. See more about the salamander here.
Oak tree: Strong, sturdy and in its glory during the summer months the oak is symbolic of the peak of life. It’s also symbolic of strength, endurance and loyalty. The ancient order of Druids recognized the oak as a vessel for sacred knowledge, and so it’s also a symbol of wisdom. Pay tribute to the oak tree this summer, it will intensify feelings of safety, security and authority. Learn more about the mighty oak here.
Daisies: They are so perky, uplifting, and happy – it’s no wonder the daisy is a sign of the summer solstice. Daisies are also symbolic of the innocence of youth, and they will imbue your summer days with that light, fresh feeling. This clean, bright flower is an icon for love too. Incorporate a fresh bunch of daisies for your next summer party or reunion – it’s sure to auger a sense of friendship, laughter, and love in your festivities. Click here for more symbolic daisy meanings.
Honeysuckle : This delicate plant is a summer solstice symbol for simplicity, luxury and happy times. It’s intoxicating scent makes soothes jangled nerves, and entices us to relax into the calmer rhythms of summer. It’s light yellow flowers open up as the dawning sun shines its light – sweetly and gradually. Embrace the energy of the honeysuckle this summer, and see what kind of bright events you attract in your life as you do so.
Sunflowers: Obvious, right? The sunflower has long been associated with solar energy, and summer months because it’s bright head looks like our own bright cosmic sun. What’s more, the sunflower is physically drawn to the light of the sun. It moves its head to follow the rising and setting sun. This is a spiritual aphorism. Just as the sunflower follows the light, so too are our own spirits inclined to follow the light of the divine. We find our grandest spiritual growth by pointing ourselves into the light, with our back against the darkness. Keep this in mind as you bring sunflowers to your summer solstice celebrations. Read more about symbolic sunflower meanings here.
Concluding Thoughts About Summer Solstice Symbols
In closing, I hope you enjoyed this brief page on summer solstice symbols. This summer, take a look around your natural surroundings and take note of your own special symbols of the solar season. Oh, and if you liked this article, you might also like my post about the gods and goddesses of summer and their symbols here.
Happy Summer Solstice!
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