Celebration and Silence On The Winter Solstice

Dec 18, 2023

Modern culture is asking you to consume and socialize and rush from place to place without a break. Mother Nature is asking you to do the opposite.

Solstice is a time of rest. To the ancients, the sun seemed to rest in place for three days before it carried on its yearlong journey. We know now that we’re on the journey circling the sun, but it’s still a seasonal transition and a turning point in our lives.  When transitions are marked by ritual it helps us to integrate what’s come before and prepare for what lies ahead. It’s a time for both celebration and quiet reflection.

And yet, modern culture is asking you to consume and socialize and rush from place to place without a break. Mother Nature is asking you to do the opposite. The trees have withdrawn their energy back into the earth, the animals gather resources before bedding down for the winter.  

The winter solstice is like a big black cauldron of dark, quiet, stillness. This womb of darkness allows you to explore all that’s associated with darkness – like dreams and death. All that’s waiting to be born. Keep a journal by your bed and jot down impressions from your dreams. Visit burial places, photo albums and memories of loved ones who have passed. Dream of what’s to come.

The more deeply we can settle into this quietude, and release what’s come before, the more freedom we have to step into what’s next.

During this Solstice time you can:

Steal silent moments. For example, drive in silence instead of listening to chipper holiday tunes, or the news.

Wear more comfortable clothes. Textures and temperatures can help your nervous system settle into silence or be pulled out of it.

If you’re meeting a friend out, suggest a cozy corner of pub or coffee shop rather than a loud bar with hard seats and iced drinks. Or, bundle up and go for a walk in nature together.

Sleep in or go to bed early if at all possible. Nap whenever you can. You can get back to that Netflix series or the juicy novel in January. Sleep is magic in these dark times. More dreaming = more insight and transformation. This is where your soul has a chance to speak to you.

Let go of one old pattern, habit or belief. We’re ever evolving but unless we acknowledge growth - who we are now and who we wish to become - we’ll continue to repeat outdated personality patterns. This can be done through daily journaling, meditation, walking in nature or a deep conversation with a trusted friend. You can set a question loose in your mind like, “Who have I been and who do I wish to become?”

Like a monthly new moon ritual, it’s a time to leave behind what no longer serves and let the emerging light nourish what wants to be born in your life.

The winter solstice is also a celebration. It’s the birthday of the sun! The sun takes birth from this darkest point and grows day by day. Light lots of candles, feast and dance to celebrate the sun’s birthday. You can also bring nature into your home. Boughs of holly, wreaths and pine trees are all traditional ways to invite nature indoors.

Anything you do to experience nature at this time will soothe your senses and help you feel aligned with the natural rhythms of all of life.

A simple change in focus can also help you feel more nourished and less overwhelmed at this time of year. At your holiday gatherings, appreciate whatever decorations of light and bits of nature you notice in the environment. Be curious about the quiet beneath the bustle. Don’t make yourself wrong for feeling what you feel. And remember, whatever you’re doing – or not doing – you’re participating in nature’s biggest birthday bash of the year.

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