The Summer Soul-stice
By Caitlin Harper
Summer both inspires and implies image of warm and active days, filled with fun and exploration. The start of summer is marked on June 21st by the year’s longest day of sunlight. This date is now celebrated with extended beach days, but it was originally celebrated by almost every early civilization. The Romans, Greeks, Vikings, Native Americans, Aztecs, and Druids all celebrated the longest day of the year with varying celebrations of cultural significance on this day and the days surrounding the summer solstice.
One of the most empowering celebrations of the summer solstice is that of the Chinese yin. The yin is one half of the yin and yang of Chinese philosophy. The yin and yang describe how opposite or seemingly contradictory forces actually compliment each other in a way that is interconnected and interdependent. Each opposing side has an element of the other at its core, as represented by the dot within each pole of the circle's halves. No side is superior to the other. One side always gives rise to the other and thus they are dependent on each other. Although the yang is believed to reach its peak during the summer solstice, it is the yin that is celebrated. The yin reaches its peak on the winter solstice, but it is celebrated because its energy is on the rise. The celebrations also continue the idea of balance, building up the yin at its weakest and ignoring the peak of the yang’s strength- another important life lesson.
The yin and yang
The yin is the symbol of femininity and the summer solstice is a celebration of that energy. Ladies, use the summer solstice as both a time to reflect and to celebrate. Reflect and remember that the nirvana of balance is hard to reach or fathom thousands of years after the concept of the yin and yang was created. When trying to coordinate work, family, travel, fun, and health it is hard to maintain order, calm, and most of all balance. In this weak cosmic moment, the summer solstice teaches us to keep both hope and faith that balance will return and strength will be found.
Reflect, but also celebrate the return of your energy, and the great things you will accomplish with it. Lastly, celebrate the powerful and strong women of your life, including yourself. Balance is hard for the modern woman, but reflect on the lessons of the yin and yang while making your life simpler in clothing that supports both your ambition and balance.