Miss W’s blog: A midsummer night’s dream
I know solstices have been around since the dawn of time, but I must admit that throughout my life, I’ve never really been all that fazed by the arrival of the longest day of the year. Perhaps that’s because I am quite sensitive to the sun – you won’t ever see me running to the beach to catch those final evening rays – or maybe it’s because I associate longer days with doing more work. Lazy, languid summer days have never really been on my agenda.
You see, due to the nature of my job, I am often out on photo shoots when the light is at its most magical, which means first thing in the morning, or just before sunset, which turns what was once an eight-hour workday in the winter to a 14-hour work day in the summer. I know, I know… I could manage my time to take a siesta here and there, and I quite often do. But it’s also pretty easy to fall into the habit of working at the computer in the hours between locations.
But this year, something’s changed. I don’t know if (gasp!) I’ve gotten a little more spiritual or cosmic of late, but the arrival of the solstice tomorrow has me excited. My very good friend Google tells me that Midsummer represents enlightenment, awakening and the triumph of light over darkness, and a time to honour the light within yourself – which I can assure you, my shaman (yes, I have a shaman) will tell you is a theme in my life right now. Hippy dippy yes, but interesting all the same… Perhaps my interest could be sparked by the fact the sun is about to move into my astrological sign (that’s right dear readers, my birthday is just around the corner!), as the sun passes over the Tropic of Cancer. Or maybe it’s simply because there are just so many different ways to celebrate Midsummer and all its celestial magic here in Ibiza.
Whatever the reason – I’m planning to use all the extra hours in the day to their fullest, from the moment the sun rises at 6.29am (when my fat cat will be right by my pillow like a trusty alarm clock, letting me know it’s time to get up and feed her) all the way until sunset at 9.23pm. And then there’s that wonderful post-sunset haze that lasts for about another half hour, as the sky turns pink and purple before finally becoming enveloped in darkness. The most difficult thing for me right now, is trying to map out a plan of action for tomorrow…
Obviously yoga and meditation have got to take a front seat on an occasion like this. Along with manifesting and magic and all other kinds of esoteric things that seem suited to the occasion. But do I practice first thing in the morning… or last thing at night? There are plenty of solstice classes happening around the island including a very interesting Aquarian Sadhana (designed to develop group consciousness, attune our chakras and prepare our psyches to excel in new environments plus a whole load of other benefits I am not qualified to explain but would very much like to gain!) hosted by the wonderful Trish Whelan at Xuclar Beach House starting just before sunrise… let’s hope fat kitty wakes me up even earlier for once!
Making the pilgrimage to what has become known as ‘Ibiza-henge’ (but is actually the masterful sculpture Time and Space – The Speed of Light by Australian artist Andrew Rogers, commissioned by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté) is another popular solstice activity. Now – this particular piece of art is actually designed around the winter solstice, but it doesn’t stop the cosmic community coming out in force around sunset just to absorb the magical energy of the 13 solid basalt columns (one of which is topped with 23-carat gold) designed around the Fibonacci sequence and intended to allude to the trajectories of the planets moving around the sun. In layman’s terms – it’s a really, really special place and the solstice is a wonderful excuse to visit.
And while we’re on the subject of art, renowned NYC art collector – and part-time Ibiza resident – Lio Malca is once again opening up his amazing art space, La Nave, at Las Salinas on Thursday night to celebrate the solstice. For the occasion, Malca is launching an all-new exhibition by of renowned contemporary artist Bill Viola – with two of his most acclaimed works, Fire Woman and Tristan’s Ascensions (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall) on display at the gallery from now until the end of summer. Afterwards, my favourite steakhouse, El Carnicero, is celebrating its fourth anniversary in alignment with the longest night of the year and I’ll definitely be passing by for a fuel-up. I may be cosmic, but I certainly still eat meat! (By the way – despite the name, there are vegetarian options on the menu, in case you were wondering.)
While longer days mean shorter nights, there is still never a shortage of parties to be found in Ibiza and my inner Alice in Wonderland is always driven to the rabbit hole of Pikes. On the actual solstice is the launch of an all-new party called Flash – which looks like it has the fun factor covered times a zillion – and then if you’re still into celebrating the next night, Music For Freaks is throwing a Midsummer soiree of its own. Thursdays, of course, are also home to the awesome Do Not Sit at HEART Ibiza, with Behrouz at the helm alongside the aforementioned Monsieur Laliberté – a duo who will no doubt be planning something spectacular.
On Saturday June 23, the biggest midsummer celebrations of all take place in the village of San Juan. What’s normally a sleepy little village, with all the charm of rural Ibiza, turns into a spectacular festival to celebrate the night of San Juan. In the fields just off the main street, enormous bonfires are lit to dispel any evil spirits lurking around, and the bravest locals and visitors are invited to jump the flames for extra luck. There’s also music complete with dancing in the streets and afterwards, the best place to grab a solstice meal is of course, The Giri Café. I can tell you from previous years, this is LITERALLY a roadblock – the police close all the roads going into San Juan and you need to park w-a-y down the hill, so arrive early… or wear comfortable shoes if you’re fashionably late.
Speaking of fashion, if you’re looking to celebrate the start of the solstice a little early then I have a tip for tonight! Italian designer Barbara Bonner celebrates the official opening of her flagship Ibiza boutique tonight in collaboration with us! The all-new Issue 3 of WHITE Ibiza Magazine is hot off the press and we’ll be joining BB and her tribe in-store to give away free copies to everyone who comes to visit. Longer days mean more hours for shopping… and BB’s Temple is like my dream walk-in wardrobe, so I am expecting to come out of there looking good but with a serious dent in my savings. Trust me – she is the QUEEN of boho 70s glam and this event is really going to be a midsummer night’s dream.