On December 21, nature moves us through yet another one of her cycles! On this day, in the Northern Hemisphere, we will enter the darkest moment of the year. This day marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night. In Latin, the meaning of Winter Solstice is ‘sun set still in winter.’ Historically, many cultures honor the solstice as a time to acknowledge the passage of life and death, death and rebirth; our greatest contraction and expansion. For after the long dark evening of the solstice, the sun experiences a rebirth; it waxes in power and daylight hours begin to grow longer again.
We can maximize and harmonize our bodies, minds and spirits to flow more naturally with this turning point, and even be nourished by it.
Try planning a special retreat and ritual day, or couple of hours this Sunday, December 21 on the Solstice.
On the solstice morning, enjoy a short slow flow yoga practice, a long savasana or restorative pose, and finish with a quite seated meditation. Sit down in front of a candle or fireplace. Take a moment to honor the solstice with quietness. Bring to mind what you have gratitude for over the past year, month, day. Savor your gratitude. Then, with an attitude of kindness and forgiveness, write down on a piece of paper, something you want to release, something you don’t want to take into the next season, or next year, with you. Mentally agree to let it go as you write it down. Take a few breaths, and on the other side of the card, write down what you may want to cultivate more of or bring into your life. Then (safely) place it over the candle or in the fireplace to be burned up with the rebirth of the sun. (I usually like to burn sage after this ceremony to release any negative energy.) Try this alone or with loved ones to celebrate the turning point together.