June 21st at 10:57 a.m. marks the beginning of summer and is the longest day of the year. Even as we begin the hot months of summer the Summer Solstice is the day which marks the gradual shortening of daylight in our hemisphere. By October the sun will be setting approximately 2 minutes earlier each day as the nights becomes longer until the Winter Solstice in December.

Ancient sages believed that the time of the solstices had a strong energetic pull which can heighten emotions and put extra stress on the nervous system. During the Winter Solstice the days are cooler and shorter and for many the extra energy is needed for the activity of the holidays. (Of course, this extra emotional and nervous energy could be one of the reasons for the well-known holiday family relationship angst.) The Summer Solstice can be harder on the nervous system because the summer heat can require a bit of extra physical care. As much as is possible it is a good idea to pace, hydrate, and nurture yourself around the time of the solstice. A simple technique is to take a few minutes to use a cooling breath technique such as closing off the right nostril while breathing in and out of the left nostril only.

This year’s solstice is only three days after June’s New Moon which takes place on the 18th at 12:37 A.M. The New Moon can be lower in energy and can often pull one’s attention inward which is good for introspection and emotional healing. The New Moon gives all of us the opportunity to begin anew each month. A New Moon so close to the Summer Solstice is a subtle but strong cosmic moment to make plans, shift attitudes and foster personal growth. Not every Solstice is an opportunity to have internal quiet and, given the wild ride we’ve been on for the past few years, the lower energy of this year’s solstice is appreciated.

Someday history will look at these times and view it as an era which changed the planet. This moment in time is easier to appreciate if one is a fan of history or for someone who accepts that life is in a constant state of change. It does seem as if recently Mars has had an outsized influence over this era of change. I was thinking about how Mars has been a bothersome energy for months and when I calculated the chart for the Summer Solstice of 2023 I also looked at the chart for the Summer Solstice of 2022. The chart of 2022 had a powerful 10th house Mars conjunct Jupiter and the Moon. Mars was exceptionally strong for the Solstice chart and his movement through the next 12 months did not lessen his influence. From the Solstice chart he moved into Aries which was the placement for the nodal points, he then stationed, via his retrograde movement for 5 months in the sign of Taurus (activating Scorpio). In March he entered the sign of Gemini which is not a great placement for the fiery Mars. (Gemini is also very strong in the chart of the USA.) On May 15th he entered Cancer, his sign of debilitation, which he will exit on June 30t h. Mars will enter Leo on the 30th, a positive sign for the head strong and fiery Mars.

All planets have specific degrees of strength, and for Mars in Cancer, the degree of strongest debilitation takes place at 28 degrees. This indicates that until the 30th of June Mars will be having a strong influence on humanity. Cancer is the sign of the stomach and the pulmonary system which can be easily thrown off by the influence of debilitated Mars. Those who feel tired should honor that because Mars is an indicator of energy and there is nothing wrong with resting if that is what the body needs. Mars is the ruler of blood and inflammation, and this is not the time to ignore the physical body. It is best to eat wisely and to not over-exert the body/mind for the duration of June.

While we are not moving into a time of perfection on planet earth we should be able to experience a lessening of tension and even less anger as we move past June and into July. On a more personal level we should try and take a bit of time to contemplate changes in our lives and, perhaps more importantly, changes within our own consciousness. The solstice energy always presents opportunities to clear out and/or understand old emotions.

It is our choice to be contemplative rather than depressed. It is our choice to turn off the doom scrolling and the constant expectation that the external world will give us what we think we need. If we look carefully we can see that many people are tired of the anger and the division which is perhaps the silver lining of a full year of the influence of a strong Mars, but we must make the effort to look. Interestingly Mars likes laughter and I hope we all can find moments of laughter this summer as we move forward.