celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge

Today is the longest day in the year, the summer solstice. With the sun rising at 4.43am and setting at 9.21pm, that means 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight. Hoorah for that, says The Hub’s founder and homeopath Sue Leach. Join her to celebrate the summer solstice, symbolic of abundance, positivity and light…

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Today officially marks the beginning of the astronomical summer. Day and night are almost equal, as the sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward into the northern hemisphere. The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun and directly above the Tropic of Cancer. Solstice, from the Latin solstitium, meaning ‘sun standing still’ or ‘sunturn’, is so called because the sun seems to ‘stand still’ at the point on the horizon where it appears to rise and set, before moving off in the reverse direction.

Such is its symbolism that many ancient structures and holy places were built to align with this astronomical turning point. Stonehenge is, for instance, positioned so that the rising sun radiates directly on the central altar, framed by the imposing stones – a glorious site that draws up to 30,000 visitors every year. This year comes with the bonus that you don’t have to combat the crowds, you can catch live coverage of sunset and sunrise and connect with this spiritual place from the comfort of your own home. English Heritage are capturing the best camera angles for sunset today (20 June at 9.26pm) and the sunrise tomorrow (21 June at 4.52am) and streaming them live via their Facebook page. Each stream will last around 30 minutes and can also be accessed after the live event (login not required).

Tap into the power of the sun and its positive influence on our lives

Since the dawn of civilisation we humans have worshipped the sun – and rightly so. Our bodies are built to work in partnership with the sun. From our sleep cycles to our immune systems and mental health, access to sunlight is crucial for living happily and healthily. So get outdoors today and drink in the Vitamin D! Experts predict that the vast majority of us will be severely Vitamin D deprived this year as we’ve been indoors so much more due to lockdown.

Abundance… Positivity… Bounty… Plenty… Light – relish the symbolism of the summer solstice