So continues the series Spiritual Connections Around the World, now with Summer — our third of eight in the series. Here we explore themes shared across religions and celebrations at the peak of the sunny season:

Spiritual Connections - Season Cards - Summer

Spiritual Connections in Summer

At the time of Summer Solstice, the sun rises highest in the sky, burning down on the living world at the peak of its solar power.  From this day forth, the sun will begin to make its descent, the great cycle of seasons now shifting course back to winter.

  • In ancient and modern times across the European continent and Arab lands people have lit great bonfires, dancing around them in great circles and leaping over the flames for purification
  • The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is celebrated today with feasting and lighting many small fires around which people gather, jump through the flames, and sing traditional songs in praise of Saint John
  • In pagan Europe and North Africa, people sent burning wooden hoops or wheels of straw down steep hills to illustrate the retreat of the sun
  • Niman, meaning Home-Going, is celebrated by the Hopi Indians at the end of planting season on the Summer Solstice representing the sun receding into the season of darkness

Up Next: Midsummer, coming August 6th

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