Creative Corner

Summer Solstice 2022 – The Science Behind It & More

Summer Solstice 2022 – Discover what causes it to happen and what are the mythological, religious, and spiritual significance associated with it.

“Whatever you dream on this night will come to pass.”

William Shakespeare in ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’

Sun is such an integral part of our lives. The lone star of our planetary system makes our days and nights liveable. Earth’s habitability is majorly attributed to the Sun. Even our ancestors were not unaware of the diurnal cycle’s variations throughout the year.

A strong connection lies between the Earth’s movement with respect to the Sun and the transformation of seasons. Four focal points on the Sun’s movement between the Northern & the Southern Hemisphere mark four celestial phenomena; and they are – the Vernal Equinox, the Summer Solstice, the Autumnal Equinox, and the Winter Solstice.

Let’s get to know the scientific, mythological, religious, and spiritual significance associated with the summer solstice 2022.

What happens on the day of June solstice?

The term “solstice” is derived from the Latin word – solstitium which means Sun (sol) and still or stopped (stitium).

The Sun is at the northernmost point in the sky on the day of the June solstice or the summer solstice. Also, on this day the Sun is directly overhead at noon when observed from the Tropic of Cancer.

The Northern Hemisphere receives direct sunlight on this day. While the Northern Hemisphere experiences the longest day and shortest night, the Southern Hemisphere experiences the opposite on this day. It marks the astronomical first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and consequently the astronomical first day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

Summer Solstice 2022 – When is it?

Summer solstice 2022 is falling on June 21st. It will occur in the Northern Hemisphere at 5:14 a.m. EDT and can be experienced worldwide at the same moment as per the local time of each place.

The science behind the summer solstice made easy

summer solstice 2022

Image Credit: National Weather Service

Planet Earth is tilted on its axis by 23 and ½ degrees. Thus, the Earth doesn’t orbit the Sun upright. This causes different geographical locations on Earth to receive the Sun’s rays unevenly and further paves the way for season changes and four distinct astronomical events in the Northern & Southern Hemispheres.

On the day of the spring equinox, the Sun arrives at the planet’s Equator. Thereby, it begins its northerly excursion traversing through the Northern Hemisphere to reach the North Pole at the point of its maximum tilt at 23.5 degrees. This marks the June solstice.

After the summer solstice, the Sun begins moving back towards the Equator to reach it on the autumnal equinox. Post this, the Sun further moves to reach the South Pole on the day of December solstice and back towards the Equator.

The mythology associated with the summer solstice

Many ancient cultures observed the festival of Midsummer timed around the summer solstice. Midsummer eve was considered to be the day when the walls between the mortal and the spirit realm became permeable. The spirits and witches became active during the eve as portrayed in Shakespeare’s popular play –A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

People from the Nordic regions, Russia, Ireland, and the British Isles celebrated the Midsummer festival. The influence of certain pagan rituals, particularly the incorporation of fire and water was also predominant in the festival of Midsummer.

People would create fires around their houses to cleanse the environment from the negative energy of evil spirits. Later they would also participate in communal bonfires in their village. The communal bonfire played the role of purifying the environment and also invigorating the waning Sun.

Another ritual involved rolling a flaming wheel downhill into a lake or river where the flaming wheel represented the Sun and the seasons. In contrast, the inclusion of a water body in the ritual was a way of cherishing water for keeping the living beings alive during summers. Water was also a symbolic way of revering fertility.

Religious significance of the summer solstice

Did you know that the ancient Romans during the summer solstice celebrated Vestalia to honour Vesta, the Goddess of the Hearth? To celebrate this religious festival, married women would worship at the temple of Vesta and give her offerings to seek her blessings.

Kupala Night
Kupala Night – Russia

Image Credit: Life in Russia

In Russia, on Kupala Nights, maidens would float wreaths of flowers and candles into the rivers. Later the Church transformed this festival into the birth occasion of St. John the Baptist (June 24).

Dragon Boat Race
Dragon Boat Race

Image Credit: CGTN

Ancient Chinese commemorated this day to the Earth and the feminine energy. The dragon boat race was conducted in Zhejiang, a custom that is continued even in present times.

Mayans and Aztecs built temples to follow the solar movements. Aligning the shadows of the structures according to these movements helped them decipher astronomical events such as the summer & winter solstices. The existence of the Egyptian Pyramids, Stonehenge in England, and Machu Picchu in Peru are indicative of the fact that ancient civilizations monitored the yearly progress of the Sun’s rays falling on Earth.

Tirgan
Tirgan

Image Credit: Pinterest

Iranians even in modern times continue celebrating Tirgan on Tir 13, an ancient Persian midsummer festival. They dance, recite poetry, splash water, and serve traditional foods such as sholezard and spinach soup.

June solstice celebrations worldwide:

  • Midsummer – Nordic, Slavic Nations, Ireland, British Isles
  • Dragon Boat Festival  – China & East Asia
  • Tiregān– Iran
  • Noc Kuplay – Poland
  • Jaanipäev – Estonia
  • Juhannus – Finland
  • Jāņi – Latvia
  • Rasos – Lithuania
  • Day of Private Reflection (Ireland)
  • St. John’s Eve – Catalan nations (Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Valencia, Andorra, etc.)
  • National Indigenous Peoples Day –  Canada
  • Fremont Solstice Parade –  Fremont, Seattle, Washington, US
  • Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade – Santa Barbara, California, US
  • International Surfing Day
  • International Yoga Day
  • World Music Day

Spiritual significance of the summer solstice

Since ancient times, older civilizations like the Harappans, Aryans of the Vedic age, the Persians, the Babylonians, the Incas, and the Mayans have revered the holy Sun.

The Sun is the source of all power and energy in this world. Sun’s energy is synonymous with positive energy. Thus, the Sun can stimulate our spirit’s energy too.

I don’t know about others but nothing can cheer me up more than a bright, sunny morning.

In modern times, this day is also observed as International Yoga Day. If you think yoga is just for the body then your knowledge is incomplete for yoga encompasses the spirit, mind, and body. One facet of yoga deals with cleansing the mind and awakening one’s spirituality.

How to spend the day of the June solstice?

Summer solstice 2022 is the perfect time of the year to get in touch with your spiritual self and to reflect on your life. You can experience this magnificent day from anywhere. This is the perfect day to feel indebted to the Universe for your existence and to revere the cosmos.

If you can take some time off your busy schedule on this year’s June solstice, then just head out to enjoy the Sun during the wee hours of the day. Alternatively, you could go hiking, walk in the forest in solitude, contemplate by the lake, or go for a day picnic with your loved ones. The winter solstice will occur on December 21, 2022 at 4:48 P.M. EST.

Also Read: We Want to Control Everything

Creative Corner · Guest Corner

Should you hunt for wellness & wellbeing?

The next part of the blog is in continuation with this blog part written for Vandana’s blog on wellness and wellbeing. An extension of the same as to what happened later.

https://www.anewyou.se/should-you-hunt-for-wellbeing-and-happiness/

Once you read the first part of the wellness and wellbeing blog, do read this part for more insight.

That morning I woke up from a good night’s sleep. I barely sleep so smoothly as I always, toss and turn in bed, read and play music at night. Nights are the only time when the world around you is as thin as the air of that place.

While I walked down the stairs, I saw Mackeri cleaning a sword, a beautiful 17th -century sword with a scabbard lying close by.

“What is it, what are you doing?” I asked her as I flipped my hand to check the time by the watch quickly. It was seven in the morning, and she seemed to be long awake. “Did you sleep or were you awake the whole night?”

“Ohh! Hello. Did you sleep well?” She smiled, to which I nodded.

“I was cleaning my old sword, I do it every three months, and that’s a ritual now.”

I could see the sword clearly, right in front of me. Made of a metal with a strange greenish tint, that was not steel, but an alloy, the silvery glaze of the sparkle shone brightly under the Sun.

“Do you know what swords are for?”

“Yes, for killing.” Of course, there could be no other reason for it, whatsoever.

“No, for knowing what death is. Killing is a gross term, and merely killing is what it is used now for. But it is not killing it is to know the essence of life, to know how beings move around. How they cease to exist with just one blow. Their soft flesh can be pierced by anything harder than them, and yet, we fight. This is the insanity people gain from living here, on this planet.”

Words were minced meat under her tongue. I saw her husband for the first time. He lay on the cot, staring calmly at the sky above him.

“You mean to say that actions don’t matter or do they?” I was curious.

How is it a circle?

“You have to always know that every action taken is reciprocal. Actions are boomerangs; they come back to you every time, you throw it to cut down someone else.”      

“It is somewhere in the circle; people get back what they give back. If they create trouble, know well it gets back to them. If something is wrong as per you, and you are not wrong in any way, then it is not yours, but their gift and the ball will lie in their court. There is a strong court where you might have to defend yourself.

But, again there are those who get back just for being mere bystanders. For not getting associated with the good or the bad. For being neutral, as neutral serves no one and is aloof. They often seem stronger. Not participating in something means you either fear it or you understand it. Yet, it is useless to others and thus, is often the first to go out of the equation like my husband.

In some other instances where those who become the medium to deliver it might be gaining slightly now from it but will also get back for the imbalance they bring, eventually. If they need another birth to give back, that too will happen. It is how this world works that the laws are written in the very matrix that surrounds us and you cannot avoid it, but take it.”

“It is difficult, but I will eventually understand this part of wellness and wellbeing.” I tried soaking in the words as much as the sun, both seemed precious right there.

“You mustn’t harm without being very sure that you must and for that you have to prove yourself. To prove it, you must work towards it and the sword is good then. Killing neutrals will not help, killing the ones supporting good will also not help. Use your judgement judiciously.”

What happened next?

“Yeah, I know.” I nodded.

“Unless someone finds you worthy enough to understand all of it, you cannot understand it. Most of us are born here but not all are worthy to understand the wisdom for which we come here. If you are proven worthy the portal will open since this is the only portal that is beyond the reach of ordinary humans.” She smiled.

“Okay, I will see what I can do.”

“Stand to the life you are given, till you die. Here, take this, a dragon vein and keep it close. Anger is your fire, bury it deep or transmutate it. Learn and learn till this life ends and come back whenever you can.”

She turned back and went inside with the sword; I had packed my bag, and cleaned up already when I came down. Near the well was a small tiffin box, I grabbed it and took a peek- warm momos with my favorite soup was waiting right there.

I paid her back an amount I knew will be valuable for her to survive some hard months and, that was my hard-earned money. I went off to meet my grandma who was in the next quarter. With just the train fares left, I knew I would have to beg to grandpa to help get back where I came from remembering well, life moved in circles.

There is a bit more to the wellness and wellbeing story for later.

Creative Corner

Do you ever need a poetry course?

Here we talk about a poetry course today but before that let me ask you, do you need a course at all?

Well in my opinion, we do need a course for everything new we want to learn and begin.

Courses may not be perfect but can align your thought process immensely well.

It is these courses that tell us more about this new world we are trying to explore.

One such course is right now what I am trying to bring forth and this is a poetry course.

Why suddenly poetry and why even a course? Aren’t there already enough courses in poetry?

Yes, but all of these courses have something different to say and so will my course do something different.

Learnings from the poetry course

Through the course, you will gain in three ways and three kinds of people.

  1. If you are willing to take up a new hobby, tune in to this course that teaches you how writing can be adapted as a hobby.
  2. If you are trying to heal from experiences that were unforeseen and tough, you can try out this course and learn how you can once again jump back to your life. The course tells you the reason you must take up writing.
  3. If you love writing poetry but you are not aware of the facts that can help make it stand out, try this course.

I am no renowned poet but I have years of experience in writing poetry. I do not believe recognition alone can be the factor guiding your choices, there are many good things in the world yet, they are not a brand. It was a line in favour of why you must take this course from me :).

A poetry course that can change the way you look at the world. Hosted with Indie IT Press that has a bunch of good courses to offer, I would like to tell you to join me in this journey.

Charges vary and is based on your country and job status. It is not a free course but is economically designed for different needs.

If you want to try a free course in writing, you can join this one by Vandana Sehgal.

Creative Corner · Poems

We Want to Control Everything

We want to control everything

We want to tame down all.

Our desire to control,

overpowers our inner animal.

Our inner animal overpowers,

our inner human.

I understand fighting

against an enemy that tries to kill us.

But why kill?

Why territorise?

Why not live together?

One who understands enmity,

often fails to practice it.

One who fails to practice enmity,

are often termed as weak men.

A weak man is always overpowered.

So, we must keep killing.

Many must die for one to stay.

Many must go for one to be.

One man drops his weapons,

another tries to overpower, what must one do?

Pick it up again?

Blame the world for making him a killer?

A horrible killer?

Killer of men, slayer of dogs,

Master of violence.

The happy days are gone as a man watches in mute silence,

as men watch obliquely.

All these ages have gone past,

What makes humans forget every time

They are born here; we are to make peace and not war.

We are to return home and not wade far.

That one thing in us – a worm I call, could not be killed in so many years when we have almost killed all –

our mightiest enemies,

our faintest fears,

Our near and dear,

our garish ears,

our inner gears,

the world we hear,

our mockeries & jeer,

We kill always our dear & near.

That inner worm still lives after so many years!

Creative Corner

The dragonfly dragons tie

As the wind blows faster even the tiniest dragonflies grasp and hold onto the best piece of support and when you see them from close you learn it’s always best to rest when the wind blows loud.

Our big eyes are often too caught in the windy hurricane that surrounds us often but then we all must be like the daring dragonfly dancing in the wind yet, grasps a support for it knows the fiery winds won’t last long.

Dragonflies have inspired the civilisation for long. They can do a lot of things none can and so they became famous but what grasps life around a dragonfly is this tiny line between intellect and wisdom of when to leave what and whom to hold when?

Crossing this sea of judgement making has taught me the art to choose and so has it taught the dragonfly.

For we have to always know our truths, our lives better than anyone else.

Dragonfly copyright © sneha
Creative Corner

One dream! It keeps coming back

There is just one dream that keeps coming back to me ever since I remember I have been dreaming, like since my early childhood and it is this,

“An angel is all set to drop me down a big, dark tunnel and as I stand beside the winged guy, all happy and excited for a new life, he turns to me and says,

“Are you sure you want to go through this dark and meaningless pursuit called life?”

I am dumbstruck, and so I ask, “Am I not preparing all these days for just this?”

“Yes, but you haven’t picked up everything, still and I wonder if you can even manage there all alone and trust me, I would rather like having you here. Life on Earth is boring. There’s nothing much to do. You keep repeating yourself in different ways, it’s just that. Making meaning out of it, is really tough, given you’re not even rightfully trained.”

Why didn’t you do it then?” I charge him this time.

But just when he is about to answer the “why”

Dadaaa

Then I am out into the open.

I hear nothing but I realise I am somewhere I was not previously and lo! I begin to panic.

That’s when I cry out for the first time since the world around me looks exactly the way my handsome angel had defined it.

I am cleaned and out of shock and tiredness I fell asleep and then the angel appears again.

“Could you come back?”

I panicked but by then, my aunt, a newbie in this field excitedly picks me up and goes out of the hospital room to show me to her friend.

In this cold night, freshly born, I go out in my towels with my aunt.

I close my eyes and I nod to my angel. He smiles as I go unconscious.

The cold was to much for me to tolerate since the hospitals did not have warm corridors in those times when I was born.

“But then there is a flurry of reactions, a warm heater and a voice’s intervention keeps me back on Earth.

The voice says, “Ohh boy! Why do you want her now? I am sure a few days of yours and a few years of hers would do you both good.”

What have I learnt?

  1. The Last Leaf by O’Henry teaches us to have hope and all of us must keep creating our masterpieces to keep up that hope that drives humanity since ages.
  2. The story of the two monks and the injured woman by an anonymous writer tells how Monk 1 is the one who has carried the injured woman on his back and yet after dropping her on her village gate, he forgets all about her whereas, the second monk goes ahead and complains to the head monk about the first monk’s action which he interprets to be against the protocols of monkhood. So, there are two kinds of people in this world and it is always better to stick to the like-minded ones.
  3. The adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Samuel Langhorne Clemens teaches me to live my life with my brains right on my shoulders. So, when someone gives me a fence to paint and I want to go fishing, I need to find another who could enjoy whitewashing the fence for me.
  4. God sees the truth but waits by Leo Tolstoy teaches me when God is lazy to act, you must not be like Aksionov but instead should stand up and fight for rights.
  5. The Bet by Anton Chekov teaches me not to be part of any bet and even if I am, I should be like the lawyer, renouncing what needs to be, only to rise again.

I laugh and scream out of joy.

Creative Corner

What is it that matters the most?

What is it that matters the most?

Thoughts on “What is it that matters the most?

I was trying to put in a few words this morning.

But then I was feeling slightly obtuse.

I did not perhaps understand why or what is it that matters the most?

The birds were chirping and perhaps, calling my name I looked up. They were free.

Was I?

So did freedom matter?

Or was it the ego inside me driving me, pushing me to not listen to anyone but to that just one dream inside my head- write since you love to write.

Often our egos fuel even the most innocent thoughts inside us, therefore they say, “Be careful where you put your egos in.”

So, now that I was confused, I stopped writing and began pondering over this fact.

Ego or freedom, what was it?

But then perhaps none, I said to myself and then a memory hit me.

Back when I was very small, an old man used to come begging in the afternoon when my parents were away for classes.

Story

What is it that matters the most?

He used to always sit on our stairs and I would give him a glass of water and some biscuits that I would be saving the whole day to give him on thee day next.

But, yes my mother feared him and doubted he was a kid-picker, but she could not control his coming, so she controlled me.

She would lock the double door and all I had was a window that too was grilled.

So, one day the old man told me, “For all your biscuits and all your water, let me tell you one thing. Remember it, for I have nothing else to give you. If you remember it and practice it, it will become a gift one day.”

I was tiny but his voice quivered as though he was slightly emotional and even though ordinarily I would hardly listen, his livid eyes kind of opened my ears.

I listened and listened quite nicely.

“When you grow up do things that would add meaning to your life. Do something which will help you understand your life and your role on Earth and work alone until you find true friends.”

“Does begging help you understand your life?” I asked for children are cruel when young I have heard.

“Yes, it does. But I am not a beggar.”

“What do you think I am?” He laughed loudly.

“A kid-picker.” I told him what my mother told me for I had no brains.

“Ahhh! But I am not that, kid, I am a God-picker. God bless you.” He said and vanished in no time.

After that day, he never came again and I never saw him again even though i waited many afternoons for him saving my biscuits for him only to feed the crows in the evening.

Creative Corner

What is the best thing about writing poetry?

Writing poetry for life! stories for days and peace for the nights.

It heals you.

It heals all around you

Scientifically it is seen that any word formats linked to one another in a rhythmic manner can calm hearts, well take songs for that matter.

It was just a shy hobby which took to become what I became now, healing every now and then.

But then I saw that it could also be, that through words, I was just not expressing emotions but also telling out stories.

Beautiful stories, heartwarming stories, lessons and morals weaved in words.

It is said life is a journey and writing is realising this very journey.

Finding people who can learn and appreciate journeys is what makes worlds.

Do you think so?

What is your poetry journey?