Celebrating the Winter Solstice
For many of us here in the Northern Hemisphere, today marks the Winter Solstice. While the Winter Solstice may not be on your radar so shortly before Christmas, for many of us it’s a very spiritual day full of sacred rituals. Several years ago, winter solstice meant nothing to me, other than the knowledge that I would be stuck in cold, dark days with no end in sight. Now I know that the magic of the Winter Solstice is the darkness of the day, and that the darkness is what bring it the spiritual significance. The winter solstice has so many spiritual meanings that it makes it more than just the darkest day of the year.
For many cultures around the world, the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It’s a powerful point of transition in the changing of seasons that has been celebrated since ancient times by various cultures and religions. The spiritual significance of the winter solstice has many layers, but the most glaring one is that it signifies the birth of the sun and our climb out of darkness. It shows us that the darkest times are always followed by the light and that just when we think, things are at its bleakest, the sun starts shining again. Winter turns into Spring, night turns into day, darkness into light.
The winter solstice carries a lot of quiet energy and is the perfect time of year to turn inward, reflect on the year and the changes you want to make in the coming year. It’s the time to celebrate what was, release what no longer serves you and set your intentions moving forward. With that in mind, I’d like to offer some suggestions on how you can use this powerful solstice energy to jump start your personal awakening in 2019.
1. Spend some time in nature today. The hours will be limited, but bundle up, and take a walk. Look at the beauty of the stark winter trees. Although on the surface they appear to have no life left in them, there is so much internal shifting. It is in the winter that roots are strengthened and energy is conserved to reemerge in the spring. It is the same within us. It is during our most stressful and painful times that we grow our roots to emerge stronger, more compassionate and beautiful after the winter of our life turns into spring.
2. Celebrate the dark turning to light. After the sun sets today, turn off all the lights, and sit in quiet reflection. Get comfortable with the darkness and notice it’s beauty and the wisdom it carries. Then light a candle and notice how much just one little candle can light up the dark. We tend to be so scared of the dark times in our life, but there is tremendous beauty in those times and growth and learning if we open to it.
3. Create a fire ceremony. It’s a great time of the year to reflect on what no longer serves you. Wether it is holding on to anger and resentments, relationships that no longer feel supportive, or anything else from your past that you no longer need or want to hold on to. Write them down on a paper and when you feel ready, throw it into the fire. It’s quite powerful to see our “stuff” go up in flames. Try it!
4. Celebrate with family and friends. A big part of the winter solstice in ancient times was showing your love for those that have supported you through the year. Find the people that have helped you along the way, and offer them your gratitude. Better yet, get together with them and celebrate with a meal.
Spent some time tonight reflecting on yourself, your journey and where you want this life to take you in the next year. No matter where you are on your journey right now, there will always be a day when you will notice that there is more light than darkness again. It’s coming. Hold on through the dark times and celebrate the changing nature of life.