Summer Solstice: The season officially arrives Friday morning

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For those of us living on the West Coast, summer officially arrives at 8:54 a.m. Friday June 21. If you recall what you learned in school, this is the longest day of the year if you're somewhere north of the equator. 

That also means the amount of sunshine we receive in a day will have peaked by sundown and the days will gradually grow shorter. Common knowledge, right? 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) tells us after the summer solstice, the sun starts to sink towards the horizon in the North Pole, but not before they experience full sunlight 24 hours a day all summer long (with the exception of cloud cover of course)! Imagine seeing the sun go around in a circle at the pole throughout the day.%INLINE% 

This part of the Arctic is called the "Midnight Sun." Fairbanks, Alaska holds a long-standing tradition called the Midnight Sun Baseball Game where the first pitch is thrown at 10 p.m. Why not? They've been doing it since 1906. 

While the solstice's connections to astronomy are well documented, we wondered what all this peak brightness means astrologically.

Rituals and ceremonies connected to the summer solstice are more likely to be found in pagan tradition ancient civilizations, but we spoke with internationally-renowned astrologer based in Oakland, Jessica Lanyadoo. She's been an advice columnist and has had work seen in Vice, New York Times, BuzzFeed and countless other outlets.  

While she's no pagan, she does have some interesting insights on what the solstice means from a unique perspective. "When I look at this chart, it's engaging and I'm feeling the calling to pick a side. That's my honest take on the solstice," Lanyadoo said.%INLINE%   

But let's back up a second. We won't go too deep, but let's just say the phrase Sabian symbols comes in to play. These are spiritual interpretations of the 360-degree zodiac chart developed in the late 19th century and are still in wide use by astrologers. For what it's worth, the solstice coincides with the ascent of the Cancer astrological sign.  

So the archetype and imagery Lanyadoo, who is also a psychic medium, refers to, is that of a sailor lowering a flag and raising a new one. "This is consistent with Cancer– patriotism and loyalty," Lanyadoo said. "Do we want to continue to honor these systems?" For her, the imagery takes on interpretive meaning. "[We] are politically and socially explosive." She goes on a tangent about how the image she read could be interpreted as gay or trans rights or even refugees around the world fleeing countries. 

"Cancer is associated with heart and feelings, a sense of family and belonging."  

Whatever this new season brings for you, we can probably all agree we don't want a prolonged heat wave like last week and we certainly will have to keep an eye out for wildfire danger. 

Happy solstice!