In ancient times, the celebrations that occur with the changing of the season were more than just holidays. They marked the passing of time and energy that corresponds to the various seasons.
Springtime, for instance, has an “initiation” kind of energy. It’s the best time for starting new projects or for making long-term changes. It meant “planting time” to our ancestors and we still have the urge to try new things, to embark upon new jobs and to start-up new relationships in the spring.
Summer solstice marks the passage from spring into summer. We now enter a season of growth, high activity, taking action and beginning to see the fruition of our activities. Ancient people would be busy watering crops, pulling weeds, tending livestock and so forth. They would already be able to sense the prosperity that would come in the fall harvest through their summer efforts.
What does summer mean to us in the modern world? The symbology and energy are still the same. Summer is the time for industrious activity. The longer days allow us more time to be outdoors, to tend to our yards and catch up on the maintenance of houses, cars and other projects. Even our leisure time can assume more vigor as we are drawn to hiking, kayaking, tennis and other out-of-door activities during the good weather.
The ancient Greeks measured time in two ways. There was Chronos, the kind of time that we’re used to. It’s measured according to a routine clock in 24 hours and 365 days. It’s good for scheduling appointments and marking the calendar.
The other type of time was called Kairos and it was used to indicate the auspicious timing or an opportune moment. It’s also called “right timing,” and marks when to start or end things when they are apt to be most successful.
Summer is the right time for bringing our ideas to fruition. It’s the right time for putting energy into projects that have been back-burnered so that they will be brought to a conclusion. It’s the right time to paint the house, clean the closets, weed the yard and finish your novel.
It’s not that these things can’t be accomplished other times of the year. They can (of course). But, why not have the energy of the planet on your side? Why not use the impetus of all those growing plants, the shining sun and the longer daylight hours to your advantage?
Happy Summer Solstice, everyone, and my best wishes for accomplishing all your goals and projects this season!