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A Solar Summer Solstice Project

A Solar Summer Solstice Project

The summer solstice (June 21), marks the zenith of the sun, the longest day of the year, when the sun’s power is at its peak. The moment of peak power is very, very brief. Our ancestors built huge bonfires on this day to celebrate their connection to the vital power of the immense burning star that keeps our planet bright, warm, and alive.

Hundreds of years ago on the summer solstice, our ancestors sat in sun-drenched fields or on stones as warm as living flesh, fashioning small round suns from straw or vines, decorating them with suncolored flowers, honoring the mysterious, fiery light that warmed and brightened their days and made the plants grow that fed them.

The summer solstice is a perfect time to help children make a tangible connection with the earth, to connect with the sun, to invite solar power into their lives. If you and they make a round, golden image while sitting in the strongest sunlight of the year, allowing it to shine on and infuse your creations, you bring that strong, life-promoting energy indoors with you when you are done.

Here are just a few ideas for possible materials to get going. Chances are that the children will come up with their own marvelous and surprising inventions that will work just as well. The only prerequisites are that it be round and that its colors evoke the sun’s warmth and passionate splendor. Try your best to make your images outdoors in the sunshine.

* Grapevine wreaths make excellent bases, which may then be decorated with fresh or dried flowers and yarn or ribbons. You can home-dye your yarn and ribbon using onion skins to achieve a rich terracotta or golden yellow, depending on how long you boil them in the pot with the skins.

* Modeling clay comes in many types, some self-hardening or bakeable. Get out the toothpicks, chopsticks, and other carving implements, and make suns with jolly faces.

* Children of all ages enjoy finding four slender sticks from the yard, crossing them to make an asterisk shape with eight spokes—reminiscent of the eight festivals of the year—and winding brightly colored yarns and ribbons around and around to make a round solar variation on the ancient “God’s Eye” shape. If four sticks are too bulky for small fingers to manage, use only three—the solar shape is more hexagonal but still appealing. Poke in a flower or two for an especially pleasing result—marigolds and daisies are the classic sunny favorites.

When the images are finished, you and the children may want to hold them up to the sky for a few moments so that the sun shines on them, before finding the perfect place in your house or outdoors to hang them.

Read more: Crafts & Hobbies, Holidays, Life, Other Holidays, Spirit,

Adapted from Celebrating The Great Mother, A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. Copyright (c)1995 by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. Reprinted by permission of Destiny Books.
Adapted from Celebrating The Great Mother, A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Teaching earth-based spirituality to children is finally possible with this handbook written by parents and children. These practical, easy-to-follow activities will help you reclaim the spiritual roots of today's modern holidays and create rituals that bring children into seasonal celebrations.buy now

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66 comments

+ add your own
11:44PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

Solar energy is definitely booming up by the time. It is great to see that more and more people are now adopting it.

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11:36PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

Solar energy is definitely booming up by the time. It is great to see that more and more people are now adopting it.


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10:47PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

solar energy is a good source of energy. we have to utilize it to generate energy.
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5:24AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

we encompass to make the most of it to produce get-up-and-go.
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5:23AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

we encompass to make the most of it to produce get-up-and-go.
fb status || romantic facebook status || mothers day status || teachers day facebook status

10:11PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

The corporation in recent period commence a figure of new manner substance.
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4:47AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

I'm reading it at completely the wrong time of year - but will save this for June!

12:09AM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

Thank you Annie.

5:14AM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

solar energy is a good source of energy. we have to utilize it to generate energy.

10:51AM PDT on Aug 19, 2010

ok

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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