Oh, fellow wild souls. The winter solstice is one of my most favorite days of the entire year. Perhaps because it is so full of potential + hope. Perhaps because it is the ultimate reminder of the cycles of life, the flow of nature, the turning of the world, and how everything about life, death, and the universe is meant to be. Tucked within the darkness of this day is the infinite hope that exists in the middle of the longest night.
With the arrival of the solstice, we continue the magic of these next two weeks. And, it would serve us well to remember to keep a slow pace through it all.
I set my alarm for 5am so that I could rise way before sunrise (and before I had to leave for work in the dark). I wanted to take full advantage of the magic of the early morning hour, when everything was still + silent. When it felt as if I was right in the midst of the bleak mid-winter.
So, I slipped out of bed, lit a candle, and put on a pot of coffee. Then, I stood by the window, gazing into the dark, early dawn, waiting for it to brew.
Once I had a piping hot mug of joe, I took the candle into the living room + gathered about 7 more. I lit them all on my desk and decided that I’d use them for a solstice spiral. A solstice spiral is exactly what you sounds like… a spiral, made with the light from candles, to honor + recognize the solstice.
A few days ago we had a magical new moon that initiated our shift from this year to the upcoming one, from one phase in our spiritual growth to another. It was a reminder to take it slow + easy, even in the midst of these busy, dark holiday days. It was the beginning of an invitation to use the next couple of weeks to release the past and to welcome + ground ourselves in this new cycle.
With the solstice, we are given yet another opportunity to deepen our roots and to begin to look forward to this new cycle by setting intentions, casting visions, and stretching our dreams. Oh, the possibilities that are out there just waiting for us.
But, the most important for us right now is to slow down, get present, and honor this transition + this shift that we are in the midst of. To recognize + root ourselves in the magic of this season. It is a powerful, inspiring, hopeful time.
So, even if you didn’t do anything for the solstice yesterday, carve out a little bit of time before the year ends to really dig deep and ponder what you are releasing + leaving behind, and what you are inviting in and seeking to manifest from now on. Think of this time, these shifting, transitional days as a time of reset, a powerful moment in the present, which roots us to take confident, inspired steps towards the future. The more grounded + present we are through this shift, through these next few weeks, the more powerful + symbolic this solstice will be for us.
So, what should we do, when we create time to recognize + celebrate the solstice, the shift, and the season? Well, no matter where we are, whether we are celebrating the returning of light or the retreating of light, we can make a ritual that allows us to simply be aware of the shift and the transition, and the hope that comes with the continued cycle of life as seen through the changing of the seasons.
Write, draw, take photographs, create an altar to serve as a vision board, make your own solstice spiral, give to the fire the things that you no longer need. Celebrate with light + simplicity + a connection to nature.
After I spent some time with my solstice spiral, creating it, standing beside it, and simply gazing into the firelight, I spent about 5 minutes in silent meditation. And, then I rose to ready myself for the day – my last day of work before my holiday vacation. On my walk to work, I stopped to touch my favorite tree. To feel the pulse of nature + the turning of the wheel of life. I snapped a few photos of the very beginnings of the sunrise. And then I settled into my tasks of the day.
On my way home in the pitch black darkness of the afternoon, I wandered through one of the city squares, a Christmas tree lot, and neighborhoods all lit with lights for the season. I listened to Christmas music + sauntered down the sidewalks, slowly weaving through my neighborhood, taking the long way home, trodding carefully on the ice, and every now + then glancing up at the stars twinkling above the city. It was bitterly cold + utterly magical.
And, then, I spent the night warm + cozy at home. This year’s winter solstice slowly came to an end. And I went to bed feeling, once again, the power of truly being in the middle of a shift + a transition. It is so obvious, my soul feels it so deeply.
And, this morning, with just one more minute of daylight than yesterday, I witnessed + felt the hope that the winter solstice has brought to the northern part of the world once again. And, in the midst of the darkness of the early dawn, I remembered, again, that light always comes back. That hope always exists, even in our darkest + heaviest moments. And the wheel of life continues to turn.
Solstice blessings to one and all. xoxo. liz.