The Winter Solstice and You
The word solstice comes from two Latin words: sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still). For a few days before and after the Winter Solstice, the sun advances so slightly on its path that it appears to stand still, inviting us to observe a moment of inner stillness. The Winter Solstice is the day in which we experience the least amount of daylight in a 24 hour period and marks the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This year, it occurs on Friday, December 21 at 5:23 PM ET. It also occurs on the same day as the Full Moon in Cancer, making for a doubly powerful day.
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Even though the Winter Solstice marks the day when we receive the least amount of light from the sun, it’s also a celebration of the return of the light. The hours of daylight will begin to increase, little by little, culminating in the longest day of the year—the Summer Solstice. In ancient times, fewer daylight hours meant shorter work days for most people. Thus, there was more time to spend with family and friends, and more time to devote to contemplation, relaxation, and rest. Unfortunately, our modern lives continue to be as busy as they are at every other time of year despite the shortened days and longer nights. Still, there are ways to honor the spirit of the Winter Solstice and make it a time of reflection. Here are five ways to honor and celebrate the Winter Solstice and the return of the light.
1. Make Two Lists
The Winter Solstice is the perfect time to release what no longer serves you. From financial instability and failed romantic relationships to those extra pounds you can’t seem to shake, make a list of what you’d like to release, safely burn it, and dispose of the ashes. Next, make a list of all the things you want to attract in your life. This is called setting intentions. Going forward, you’ll need to take a small step every day that builds a bridge toward what you want to attract. For every step you take, Spirit takes a step to meet you halfway, so get moving!
2. Meditate by Candlelight
Turn off all the lights and meditate by candlelight during the Winter Solstice. Imagine the light illuminating all the dark places within you and gently burning away sadness, loss, anger, and fear. The more dark places you have inside you, the more light you can hold and radiate to the world around you, so don’t discount your darkness as something to be shunned or fearful of.
3. Feast by Candlelight
Have a candlelight feast with family and friends. Traditionally, the Winter Solstice is a time of celebration, so why not honor the return of the light with the people who are nearest and dearest to you? Each person can take a moment to state something they’re ready to release and then something they want to attract in the months ahead. If your gang isn’t “woo-woo” enough to celebrate the Winter Solstice, you can call it a winter celebration instead!
4. Decorate the Christmas Tree
The Winter Solstice is the perfect occasion to decorate your Christmas tree if you haven’t already. In fact, the evergreen tree was traditionally used to celebrate winter festivals. You could serve cider or more adult beverages like mulled wine, and sing your favorite holiday carols too. Even if you’ve decorated your tree weeks ago, you can add a star or ornament during the Winter Solstice.
5. Tech Disconnect
If you’re spending the Winter Solstice alone, you can honor it by turning off the TV, the computer, and your cell phone. You can even turn off all the lights and spend the evening by candlelight—like ancient people did. It’s a great way to decompress from your busy life and replenish your spirit. You’ll certainly be amazed by the peace you’ll experience when unplugging from the world.
Full Moon in Cancer
The Cancer Full Moon on the same day as the Winter Solstice makes this a super powerful time for releasing the old and welcoming the light. The light comes in the form of happy relationships, prosperity, well-being, and peace too. Therefore, be sure to take a moment to rekindle your inner light and feel the connection with the great light of Spirit as it illuminates the world.
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