The solstice is the perfect moment to sit quietly in nature and consciously release the last twelve months, and then set our intentions for the coming year. I offer this meditation to support you with this process. You may choose to record it onto a phone or other device, so that you can sit and listen to it with your eyes closed at your meditation place. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, there is a Summer Solstice meditation here.
“Close your eyes and become aware of your physical connection to the ground – through your feet or the log or bench you are sitting on. Imagine roots extending from your body down into the earth, growing and entwining with the roots of the trees and plants around you.
Turn your attention to your hearing – notice the sounds around you, the birds, the water, the wind, the closest ones and the farthest ones. Become aware of any physical sensations – the breeze or sun on your skin, the feel of the earth under your feet, the log or bench under your hands.
Now opening your eyes and using your ‘owl eyes’ become aware of your peripheral vision. Feel the immensity of this place, as it stretches out and connects through corridors of trees and hedgerows to the vast network of nature that spans the plant, and of which you are a part. Here you are – an aspect of nature, immersed for a while in your natural place in the rhythm of things.
Consciously connect with the silence and stillness of midwinter, noticing how the activity is slower and quieter now; that the beings living here are conserving their energy and building their reserves. Take a moment to connect with the trees and plants who have shed their leaves and drawn their energy down into the earth; resting, taking a pause. Visualise drawing your own energy inwards and down into your own roots, slowing your breath and becoming still, and feel how this supports you at this time of year.
Now close your eyes again and turn your thoughts to the last twelve months, bringing to mind the key points of the year. No need to remember everything – simply allow the moments to float into your memory, trusting that what you recall is what you need to recall at this time. Walk through your year in your mind’s eye in this way, month by month, giving thanks for each blessing, each new opportunity, each connection made (or lost), including giving thanks for the challenges of the year, as they too brought their teachings and opportunities to learn, grow and expand into the fullest expression of your essence self.
When you have ‘walked’ through the year, give thanks for it all and then release it.
Now turn your attention to the year to come. Imagine yourself doing those activities that you already know you will be taking part in, and see them happening in the best way. Next, bring to mind those things that you’d like the next twelve months to contain – specific activities and experiences, but also an overall sense of the relationships, connections, journeys and feelings that you would like the next year to contain. In this way you are setting your intentions for the year. You might want to imagine each of your wishes as a seed that you plant in the ground beside you, offering your wishes to the earth and to the nature all around you, where they will take root and grow. Each time you return to your sit spot you can water and feed these intentions.
Now give thanks (as if these things have already happened) and consciously release yourself from the meditative space, bringing your attention back to the current moment and place.”
In addition to the meditation you may wish to light a fire somewhere outdoors and use the fire to release your reflections and gifts from the last twelve months; and to offer up your wishes for the next twelve months. To do this, simply write the reflections and intentions onto separate pieces of paper, and place them into the fire one at a time. This is a ritual that can be done with friends gathered around the fire together, bringing even more power to our intention-setting through the shared experience. If you are doing it with friends, I find it works best to place all of your reflections on the last year into the fire one at a time, followed by then placing your intentions into the fire.
Whatever you do at this time of year I hope it brings you joy, nourishment and supports you on your journey.