Puck, Oberon, Titania, Nick Bottom, these are the characters that I remember from my tenth grade literature class. This was the first literary work that I had ever read and it had a profound affect on me that has lasted to this day.
Shakespere’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreamis widely played and of world renown. This play captures the essence of the summer solstice as seen through the eyes of the esoterics of the 16th century. The play within a play is a reference to the lucid dream state achieved by oversleeping or by deprevation of sleep. In the case of oversleeping, one’s body becomes more and more fatigued as the mind “wakes up” more and more.
During ancient times the solstices were celebrated in many parts of the world. The idea is that during the the solstices the Earth receives and intensified period of cosmic energy so much so that the summer and winter solstices are the longest and shortest times of the year. The cosmic affect of planetary bodies can be demonstrated in the affect of the moon on the Earth’s tides. Individual’s being comprised of 60-80% water show a similar reaction to the moon, see ‘lunancy’. Although science has found no direct connection between the moon and mental states, anyone that works in a hospital or in law enforcement will tell you that there is much more activity during the days surrounding the full moon than typically during the rest of the month.
To get back to my point, during the solstices, individuals are much more open to change, get insight into past patterns and future opportunities based on these patterns. In modern times, many people have begun to use the solstice as a time of cleansing and fasting in order to make these alterations in their lives. I have done this fairly consistently for the past 10 years and I find it extremely helpful for looking at my past and assessing where I want the next 12 months of my life to go based on the insight that I receive. I have gotten ideas for business endeavors and educational activities as well as received a tremendous amount of personal healing.