Regardless of cultural heritage or spiritual belief, most people find themselves wrapped up in the commercial aspect of the holiday season before they know it. Whether out of habit or involuntarily, getting caught up with preparation and planning can leave you feeling depleted of energy and questioning what the spirit of the Winter Solstice is really all about.
Seasonal Change. The Winter Solstice takes place in late December when the weather is colder and the days of light are shorter and darkness is longer. It marks the slow turn towards increased daylight and celebrates the coming of spring. This is a magical time of the year to tune into your spiritual connection and to appreciate the beauty of the season. The Winter Solstice is also traditionally a time of firelight, candlelight, quiet contemplation and repose. The perfect time to nurture the spirit and soul, whilst creating a meaningful celebration, is now.
Appreciation & Gratitude. Many ancient cultures performed sacred rituals and made offerings during the darkest days of the year. Some of the popular traditions that we associate with the festive period originated centuries ago. Celebrating the spirit of the Winter Solstice is a great way of renewing the connection with nature and each other, and of honouring rituals, traditions and goodwill. Make a promise to spend more time listening, watching, and appreciating the quieter rhythm of the Winter Solstice this year. Take a walk in nature and admire the changing colours of the season. Build an outdoor shrine to show your appreciation of nature’s beauty. Visit friends and family and share meaningful moments. Prepare a meal of seasonal produce and share food with good company. Sharing food is an important part of any celebration. Light candles and take a moment to reflect on the events of the year and on your aspirations for 2016. Celebrate the shortest day of the year in reflection and stillness to tune into the true natural spirit of the Winter Solstice.
New Traditions. Personalise your Winter Solstice celebrations in a manner that feels special for you. Creating a new tradition can bring more peace and harmony to your festivities and draw loved ones closer together. New rituals demonstrate your respect for the changing cycles of life and opens up your spiritual awareness. New traditions that are founded on love, respect and harmony also attract abundance, protection and prosperity into your life. Keep it simple by decorating a festive wreath that symbolises your wishes for the coming year. Outdoors, light candles in a circle to represent unity and harmony in a candlelight ceremony. Invite friends and family and light a candle for each person. Give thanks for the yin and yang of light and dark. Sit together and admire the beauty of the darkness before casting individual wishes. Fire releasing is another popular seasonal ritual that can be performed in a group or on your own. On a piece of paper write down the things that you want to release and let go of. Throw the paper into the fire and pause in quiet reflection, or if outdoors, let out a celebratory howl. You will connect with the spirit of the Solstice as you do this.