The Winter Solstice is the first official day of winter and marks the return of the light with longer days of sunlight. Believe it or not, with the current cold and snow, we are on our way to Spring!
The Winter Solstice is a great place to start learning and exploring the ancient and natural ways. Christmas was actually adopted from the ancient traditions of celebrating this change of seasons, the end of fall and beginning of winter. In pagan traditions this was the beginning of the year as it signifies the end of the dark period – fall representing death and spring representing new growth (birth). Now is the time for rest, for going within and planning the next cycle of growth.
Winter solstice is a time when the light of the sun begins to return – due to the position of the sun, the days are now getting longer and we start on a new cycle. This is the time to plant new ideas, new intentions or ways of being. It’s an excellent time to review what has been working for you and what has not, so you can know what you’d like to create in your life over the next cycle (year). This is where the tradition of New Years resolutions began.
A great ritual to use during this time is to release anything that no longer serves you – bad break-up, bad job, financial frustration, illness, dis-ease – release it. Write down what you’d like to be rid of and pitch it in the fireplace, or shred it up and bury it in the ground. Let it go. Then focus on what you DO want. Not a resolution list that can be easily forgotten, but intentions – desires – of what you would like to see happen in your life. Focus on what you’d like to achieve and really dream about it with great focus. Also, be sure to celebrate what is working in your life – what you love and want to keep or have more of. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones and celebrate, be merry and thankful so you can bring more of that into your life.
Think of this as gestation time – you plant the seed (idea, project, intention) and feed it, nourish it while it grows underground, unseen but with great anticipation. In spring we will celebrate growth and may begin to see our seed or plan emerge, take hold and grow stronger and larger. In summer, we enjoy the fruits of our labor with bountiful harvest and in the fall things begin to slow down and die off, going to sleep for the winter. There are various rituals for each season but most pagans and tribal societies recognize the solstices and equinoxes as major turning points containing high amounts of magic.
However you celebrate, wild one, is great, just release what is not working for you, celebrate what is and – most importantly – dream!
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