Embracing the Winter Solstice
The winter solstice is a wonderful moment in the year that is pregnant with possibility! It’s the time between death and rebirth. What a fabulous time to sink into a state of mindfulness to intentionally create what is to come in your life for the following year.
Think of it this way. Imagine that you’re in the womb. It’s a dark Void. An egg and sperm meet and BAM! Conception happens. We don’t know yet what the final product will be, but we know that energy is set in motion to bring about the birth of something new. What a wonderful sensation!
So How Do You Prepare for Winter Solstice?
Preparation starts the year before. Seeds can only sprout in fertile ground so the things you do all year will determine whether or not what you want to manifest can grow there. If you want to be an entrepreneur but you have no track record of solid Earth energy (diligence, steadiness, patience, etc), you haven’t really cultivated the soil where that can grow. If your Air energy (creativity, communication, detached intellect) isn’t strong, you probably won’t have enough inspiration to get anything off the ground. Entrepreneurship also requires Fire to keep you going and Water to flow with the punches.
If you didn’t prepare during the year, start now. Be more mindful now. See what life is giving you now and use that to help you grow into your highest and best self. Always be in the mindset of improving your “soil” so that when seeds some, they have the medium to sprout.
How Do You Observe Winter Solstice?
Most holy days are feast days. Food is love. Whether you are alone or with others, share in the abundance in your life by feasting on healthy, seasonal foods. If you don’t have a lot of money for a big spread, splurge on one wonderful thing. Food nourishes your body and soul. Indulge.
Stories are a way of honoring people and your path, reflecting on your strengths, having fun, and connecting. Your stories can be personal stories, folk tales, entertainment, or myth. They can be in the form of song, conversation, or a “Let me tell you the story of….”
Meditation, journaling, chanting, mindful walking, or anything that takes you into the dark recesses of your soul is a great way to observe the winter solstice. The longest night of the year is all about maximizing the darkness. Go with the deep, unseen, unvisited places to see what lurks in the shadows. We often shy away from the dark, but this is where surprise, potential, and treasures lie. Go get it. It’s not always an easy journey because we shove things back there that we don’t want to see. However, it’s often better to shine the light on those things and face them.
Look Into the Light
The light can be found in candles, a bonfire, the sunrise or all three! Winter Solstice is about the return of the sun. No matter how much darkness your life has had, the sun always returns. Let it warm and inspire you. Let is show you all the loveliness that is in your life. Even the most troubled life has spots of wonder. The wheel of life promises that now even more will show up. Look for it.
Meditation often leads to gratitude. Our hearts fill with gratitude to the Earth for all the beauty and bounty that it has provided. We remember the people who supported us and those who challenged us in ways that illuminated our path to growth. Gratitude is often paired with thanksgiving. We can express this thankfulness with words, deed, and/or gifts. Food, perishables, and handcrafts are a good way to keep it sustainable and meaningful. Remember that it’s not about commercialism or “stuff” but the heart. Keeping it small and stress free can help to sustain the gratitude.
“Ritual” can mean doing the same things every year with intention or it can mean that you make an intention, create an altar, and bring that intention into the world in some way. There is lots of energy here for releasing the old and intentionally welcoming in the new. It’s the perfect time to do a solo or group ritual to honor and use that energy. Not sure what your focus could be? You can always acknowledge or give thanks for the change in the wheel of life.
How do you show joy? Dancing? Singing? Laughing? This is a celebration! It’s the return of the light, a return of warmth. It’s a new year! The winter is just beginning. We’re still in a time of gestation and quiet, but we know that the energy is shifting and new life will come with the return of spring. Let’s celebrate.
If you find that you go around and around the wheel of life and the players change, the details of the situations change, but you essentially live the same stories over and over, use this time to become self aware. When challenges arise, consciously choose your next step. Be a sovereign being. Take responsibility for things so that you are not just along for the ride. Do the hard things. Let things die. You need space for something new to come in. If you do these things, when the next cycle happens, the dawn of the new year will bring about a new you.