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The Summer Soul-stice

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.
Images taken from Pinterest
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. To celebrate and propel the power of women and the balance they have reached in their transformative lifestyles Paridaez has taken 20% off it’s products for the next 48 hours using the code: summersoulstice ! Embrace your returning feminine power with clothing that matches your determination for a well-rounded lifestyle and at a price that also deserves celebrating. 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.

Contributed by Caitlin Harper the author of 

The Moon by Lyndsey Almon

Why are we all so transfixed? 
Scientifically it is a mass of rock matter orbiting our planet. It orbits in an elliptical path rather than circular which brings the moon closer to the earth at times exerting much more gravitational force and at other times farther away with very little effect. When we hear talk of supermoons we are referencing the rare occurrence when a full moon phase finds itself the closest the to the earth (perigee).

There are 13 moonths (cycles from new to full moon) in a year. Our calendar year has decidedly been divided into 12 months which causes overlaps in the timing of the moon cycles and gives us our colored moons; blue moon (second full moon in a month) and black moon (second new moon in a month). ​
The mass of the moon pulls our oceans and water ways towards it in rhythm with its daily turns. Its movements create our tides and a sort of breath in and out 2 times a day as they rise and fall. We ourselves are made of 50-65% water as adults. Is it then so outlandish to believe we are also effected by its movements? Could gravitational pull be it? If it were just science why is there a magical mysterious quality to it's phases?
Throughout history (herstory) humans have used the moon phases to guide their lives. When to plant, when to harvest, when to reach outward to create connections and when to look inward and work on the self. This significance has been passed down through generations and though it may not be as blatantly clear, we still time our calendar year by these traditions. 
Today those that practice moon meditation are using the moons phases as guidelines for self help and setting affirmations much like all other forms of mediation. More women practice these mediations with the moon as we ourselves also cycle. The average natural women's cycle is 28 days the same length of the moon cycle and there are 13 of these. It is only natural that we feel these pulls from the moon and most women not regulating themselves with birth control find their cycles following the moon.
If you are interested in beginning your meditation with the moon, this Sunday the 26th of February is a new moon and the perfect time to begin! Think of moon meditation as a New Year's resolution, just repeated 13 times a year. It may seem like a lot to ask but we are constantly in a process of bettering ourselves and we all know it's much easier to work on small steps than it is to leap into a giant project. Go easy on yourself and set a goal/intention/wish/vow/promise that is achievable in a short period of time. Make this your focus and remind yourself each day as the moon grows more full. The underlying belief in moon meditation is that as the moon grows so too will your goal/intention.
As with any other form of meditation, make certain to clear your mind and focus only on that goal. There are so many ways to meditate in accordance with your personal beliefs. Incorporate the meditation into your daily yoga routine, carve out personal time at home at night after dinner to sit in silence with your thoughts, create or join a group for new moon and full moon mediations. As with all goals we set for ourselves in life the power and energy to achieve them is within if we focus and concentrate our efforts!
Not sure what your focus should be this month? This Sunday's new moon is under the astrological sign of Pisces. Pisces is a powerful water sign that rules the oceans and represents surrender and release. This new moon also eclipses the sun and with the added energy this is a time to let go of trauma or deep hurting and to start to heal so our energy can focus on creating new healthy and loving emotions and experiences. If you are lucky enough to not have a deep hurt in your life the energy can work just as boldly for any negative feelings/thoughts you have been carrying with you. Vow to let go of work stress, forgive a friend or yourself of a misstep or mistake, let go of negative feelings towards yourself and others. As the moon grows in fullness you'll feel yourself replacing negative with positive.