Illustration by Elly Cactei.

Illustration by Elly Malone.

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, then it’s official: As of today, summer is here!

The summer solstice marks the traditional first day of summer, so pour yourself some lemonade and enjoy the longest day of the year. If you’re close to the North Pole—in, say, Alaska or Norway—the sun can shine for 24 hours straight. That’s why modern day witches associate the summer solstice, also called Midsummer, with light. As the growth of spring reaches its fullness, Midsummer symbolizes the peak of creativity, inspiration, and vitality.

In a rare astrological twist, this summer solstice falls on the same day as the full moon! Just like the summer solstice, full moons illuminate and bring things to fruition, so expect the vibe of this day to be intense. Each event is amplifying the other for a double dose of magical energy.

Today is also the second Sagittarius full moon of 2016, making it a “blue moon.” Think of Sagittarius as Willow Smith—fearless, empowered, and into quantum physics, and other mind-expanding phenomena. This sign is all about getting beyond the stuff that keeps you in your comfort zone.

Venus in Cancer will be opposite this moon, which can mean your feels getting the best of you. Oppositions bring tension, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes we all need a little help from our cosmic friends! Instead of stressing out, ask yourself: Could your insecurities be keeping you from pursuing your dreams? Uranus in sync to Lady Luna says do the thing anyways. This alignment is your chance to get closure on a project you want to complete, or about anything else that’s been bothering you. Once your other obligations are signed, sealed, and delivered, you can ride off into the sunset with no regrets.

Want to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime mystical event? Here are four witch-approved ways to celebrate the summer solstice:

Cleanse your crystals.
Scroll through Insta and you’ll see it: Crystals are everywhere! These sparkly beauties are great tools for focusing your energy, or, if that’s not your thing, spicing up the look of any room they’re in. For best results, put your crystals either physically outside or by a window where they can soak up both sunlight and moonlight. You can also do this with tarot cards or any other witchy items you want to be supercharged for the coming year. If you’re curious about starting a mystical collection, The Hoodwitch online shop’s crystal-ball lapel pins and hand-bound sage bundles are worth a look (full disclosure: I write about astrology sometimes for them, too!).

Life writing.
Every full moon is an excellent time for intention-setting, but this one even more so. Not only do you have the full moon’s silvery rays shining on your goals, but you also have the potent golden-opportunity elixir that is the summer solstice working in your favor! I know summer is the actual last time you want to think about school, but take a minute to appreciate all the things you’ve accomplished in the last past year, even if it’s “I showed up and didn’t draw dinosaurs on every test I took.” Ask yourself, “How have I changed from last summer to now?” If you’re feeling particularly Hermione Granger-esque, try doing this ritual again next summer and compare notes to see how far you’ve come.

Get in the water.
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Pack up your swimsuit, snacks, and SPF, and find your nearest body of water. So many of us associate the proper start of summer with watery activities, and the solstice is the perfect opportunity to honor that tradition. Just drink plenty of H20 while you’re at it. Whether you’re reading at the beach, learning how to waterski at the lake, or floating down the river, say a few words of gratitude to Mama Earth. And if you don’t have any natural water sources nearby, hanging at the pool will do just fine!

Spend time with your coven.
You don’t have to be a witch to have a coven—your coven can be anyone who knows you inside and out, makes you feel like anything is possible, and loves your soul. The summer solstice is a celebration, so call your closest friends and throw a party! A picnic under the sun, fresh fruit, and moonlit rituals are all great ways to bring the solstice vibe to your shindig. Bonus points for trying any of the other activities with your group! ♦