Understanding the Spiritual Significance of the Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is also the longest day of the year.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Jun. 18 2024, Published 3:20 p.m. ET

People gather at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise during the Summer Solstice
Source: Getty Images

There are two times of the year when the sun reaches the greatest distance from the equator, once during the winter and once during the summer. During this time, people around the world experience the shortest (winter) and longest (summer) days of the year. These two aptly named occurrences are called the winter solstice and the summer solstice.

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Because of how these two days impact the amount of daylight we experience, many people believe that these dates can be significant ones for people, and that there may even be some spiritual meaning behind the summer solstice. Read on to learn what they are and how you may want to spend your next summer solstice to honor that meaning.

The sunrise over Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice
Source: Getty Images
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Many see the summer solstice as a time of spiritual awakening.

Thanks to an over-abundance of warmth and sunshine this time of year, may folks associate the summer solstice with renewal and awakening, according to the Inspiring Actions Yoga blog. During this time, people are inspired to take a special stock of their lives, check in on goals, and work on manifesting the things they'd like to see happen in their lives.

At a celestial level, the solstice is also said to represent abundance, expansion, and even new beginnings. Some associate this solstice with emerging from the dark, both spiritually and physically, since this date also coincides with the first day of astrological summer. This is especially important to those who wish to take a moment to appreciate the sun for the warmth and light it provides.

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Many people spend the summer solstice visiting Stonehenge.

In fact, getting to be there when dawn breaks on the morning of the summer solstice is a really big deal to many who choose to spend this day gathered at Stonehenge, which was specially designed to line up with the sun on that special day, according to the English Heritage blog. Lucky travelers can be there to watch the sun rise and experience the sense of wonder that comes over everyone gathered on site.

Those who cannot be there in person can livestream the event from home, getting a virtual look at the sacred moment which will take place on Friday, June 21, 2024, at 4:52 a.m. local time. Note: in the U.S. the solstice actually begins on June 20, 2024 at 4:50 PM.

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What does the summer solstice meaning spiritually in 2024?

In 2024, the summer solstice will take place as much of the U.S. is under a national heat advisory. This means that the longest day of the year will also be one of the hottest days for many. And that may make it harder to appreciate some of the spiritual aspects of the celestial event, which the Explore Deeply blog says can be celebrated several different ways, including:

  • Creating a spiral
  • Making a mandala
  • Lighting a sacred fire
  • Making a prayer tree or stick.

No matter how you choose (or choose not to) celebrate the summer solstice, just remember that for some people this is a very important part of the year that holds great spiritual significance, and there are those who will be very invested in making sure they get a chance to bask in the sun's glow and ask for illumination, good fortune, and harvest blessings during the day.

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