Summer & Winter solstice – the Sun transforms light & dark

Summer solstice is the longest day and shortest night = maximum light. And, afterwards the days will shorten as night ‘pulls in’.
Winter solstice, on the opposite side of the world at the same moment, is the shortest day with the least amount of ‘daylight’ of the year and, afterwards, the days will lengthen.
A balance – our planet is always balanced with light and dark and so we have this
summer solsticepolarity of the two solstices – both transforming light and dark.  The word ‘Solstice’ or ‘Sol’ ‘stice’ translates to ‘solar stand still’ – the moment when the light changes!


Summer Solstice is therefore one of the two most mystical solstice times of the year and offers us gateways to navigate a new half of the year with transformational energy.


The fairy tale/mythology

This is the tale of the battle between the Oak King, representing the growing season, and the Holly King, in charge of the resting season.

This is ‘knowledge’ which we all have deep within our ancestral memories. And of course we have no way of knowing exactly where, or when, these stories originated!

Picture the scene, wherever this battle takes place, of an ancient struggle and the winner rules the next part of the year. It’s quite a magical and mystical fairy tale don’t you think?  There’s just so much contained in it that we can actually really ponder on, meditate on and think about.


Excerpt from Eight Seasons: Walking in Rhythm with Nature – Alison Smith©️

Available from book stores Amazon – order here

“We first met these two Kings in the chapter of Yule & Winter Solstice.

And they are about to go into battle again!

Who will wear the crown this time?

Our strong Oak King has worked hard since December to inspire growth with meaning and purpose and has ruled impeccably since the Winter Solstice. Oak brings his produce, lessons learned, spirit of travel and new offspring to the battle.

And yet the Holly King, with his evergreen foliage, offers the gift of time to withdraw and to give the earth some respite. Holly will provide greenery in the face of dark and cold. His vibrant red berries will offer hope of warmth to come as we deepen into the cooler, darker half of the year.

The Sun will begin to abandon us … at least, that’s how it would have seemed to our ancestors!

The battle commences for the crown, and the Holly King is determined to regain the crown from Oak. Oak is determined to hold onto his crown and rule for more months. Holly King has nature at his side this time, though, as the leaves will fall to make space for new, and the Earth will want her to sleep.

And he does it!

Holly King will wear his crown of berries for the next half of the year. His responsibilities are immense as he will bring understanding that all times pass and, indeed, there will be warmer times ahead after we get through the coming Winter and the darker months. However, until we meet the two Kings again at the next Solstice and Winter, we will move through Summer and Autumn with all the celebrations, beauty, new understandings and rest for what is ahead.”                                 ©️Alison Smith

How to celebrate!

As you know I’m a great advocate for working with the rhythm of the year. When we ground ourselves in the natural cycles, with the eight solar festivals, so we ground ourselves on this earth.

However observing the Solstice doesn’t need to be complicated. Our ancestors would have organised a fete or party when was convenient. And so my absolute best advice is, if you can, to watch a sunrise as near to the Solstice time as possible,.

A sunrise has all of the potential for an amazing day ahead. And a sunrise at Solstice time has extra magic to share …
and maybe …
just perhaps …
a new perspective


Being authentically our self is not always easy but, I do believe, essential as we move through the months ahead. So ground yourself in this amazing Solstice energy and tell me what it is that you love to do.

As always, with love from Alison

For 2024

At 9pm (GMT) on Thursday the 20th June the Sun enters the zodiac sign of Cancer ruled by the Moon and heralds the Solstice. And so it is a magical sunrise the next morning offering us all opportunities to witness a change in energy.  I’ve opened a few extra 1-1 consultations just for the energetic shifts available  click here for more details