Don't Sleep On The Summer Solstice Moon

Illustrated by Janet Sung.
If you haven't already, mark your calendar for the 21st. This Thursday, the moon will be in the final moments of its first quarter phase before transitioning to a waxing gibbous on Friday. Both of these phases are associated with taking action and making decisions and they happen to coincide with the summer solstice, the longest day of year (find out just how much more daylight your city will enjoy here).
It may seem counterintuitive to focus on a lunar event on the day that, from a spiritual standpoint, is pretty much dedicated to the sun (the very word "solstice" is derived from the Latin words for "sun" and "to stop," in reference to how long the sun appears to linger in the sky). But, as writer and practicing witch Julia Gustafson explains, the moon and the sun won't necessarily be at odds during the summer solstice. "These two simultaneous events are a potent catalyst for change," she says.
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Spiritually speaking, the solstice signals a changing of the seasons and reminds us that we've reached the midpoint of the year. It simultaneously calls on us to acknowledge and celebrate the gradual pace of nature while waking us up to what's left on our to-do lists for the year. The first quarter moon can function similarly, Gustafson says, describing it as "a time for strength and resolve" and a chance to "refocus and reinvest in your ideas, relationships, goals, or projects."
And, if you aren't familiar with the lunar cycle, this phase occurs right between the new moon and the full moon. So, in the same way that the summer solstice is the midpoint for the year, the first quarter moon is the midpoint for the lunar cycle. They're both checkpoints, opportunities for us to pause and gauge our progress toward our goals.
You don't have to have an elaborate ritual planned to reap the benefits of both the solstice and the moon this Thursday. Just take a few minutes to look back on what you had planned for 2018 and see how far you've come toward seeing those plans to fruition. If you're on track, that's great — what can you add onto your plans to see them really shine by December? If you've fallen behind, maybe you need to pick up the pace, reevaluate your plans, or set a new intention altogether.
The nice thing about this "spiritual checkpoint," so to speak, is that you aren't up against a deadline. You still have six months to do what you set out to do back in January. And, "if you are feeling disheartened about something in your life or feel like giving up, instead, channel the energy of the first quarter moon to help you through this time," Gustafson says. In other words, take as much time as you need this Thursday to determine what changes you are ready to make — preferably while getting a little sun.
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