If you have been feeling a little ‘blue’ over the past few weeks, it’s no wonder as the height of darkness will soon be upon us come December 21st. Yes! Winter IS COMING!
The Winter Solstice (‘solstice’ is Latin for “sun standing still”) and it magically happens at the same time for every creature on Earth. It represents the exact moment when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted at its furthest point away from the sun. It is a time for “rebirth” and is spiritually significant.
This marks a very special day for all ancient traditions and one where we should take a moment, hit the pause button, and catch our breath. Deep cleansing breaths as we all, collectively, shed our 2022 spiritual skin and embrace the winged transformation into 2023. A transformation that is sure to bring profound healing, abundance, and endless possibilities. The Winter Solstice acknowledges a passage of time through seasons and also a profound passage of time through ourselves. It is a moment of contrast – the shortest day, the longest evening – that can serve as a vessel for deeper examination and understanding of our own inner contrasts and journeys. Contrasts such as dark and light, shadow and sunlight.
The Winter Solstice, sometimes celebrated as ‘Yule’ in Pagan and Wiccan traditions, marks the first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Even though it’s one of the oldest holiday celebrations, the communal rituals around it have remained the same: Spend time with your family, observe and honor the seasonal changes in Nature, and reflect upon what life events have taken place in 2022. Imagine the Winter Solstice as an opportunity to rejuvenate, pray, reset, meditate, hibernate, set personal goals, practice forgiveness, and breathe in a ‘New Year-New You’ frame of mind.
Ancient civilizations in the UK and abroad have marked the solstices as culturally significant events throughout history. For example, these ancient traditions are routinely resurrected and celebrated at Stonehenge during the solstice, when visitors from all over the world trek to the monument to mark the shortest day. Despite being built thousands of years ago, Stonehenge was designed to align with the point of the sunset on the Winter Solstice.
We should take a cue from Mother Nature and the natural world, and respect that darkness, night, and shadow play a critical role in the biological rhythm of our planet and our ecology. Many plants and animals, ecosystems, and organisms depend upon the nighttime for rest, growth, and reproduction. Unfortunately, many of us Humans have lost the connection to this primal and symbiotic relationship with the darkness and the shadow. We have fallen out of balance more often than not because we forget that without one, the other could not exist. We try to “lighten things up”, deny the darkness, or eliminate the shadow. At times we find ways to bypass or distract ourselves from it, and this denial most likely accounts for a lot of the problems such as inhumanity and DIS-ease that we see in the world. We have lost connection to “the whole” and denied “the sacred balance”.
Personally, I want to spend more time outside at night with a blanket of stars and the moon above me. No traffic lights. No car headlamps. No city lights. My desire to connect with shadow is not only psychological, but spiritual as well. I want to deepen and lean into the areas of my life that are perhaps “uncomfortable” because they are a part of me. My shadows make me appreciate my light. Through the respect and understanding of this darkness, my beauty and gifts are transformative and illuminating.
ATTRAVERSIAMO WITH ME! (*)
Give your-SELF time to process the past year and all that we have been through. Pandemic. Isolation. Tears. Smiles. Hardships. Success. Love. Heartbreak. Birth. Death. Pain. Passion. Hasn’t it been an adventure! Each path on this journey we call LIFE (bad or good) has landed us exactly where we are supposed to BE. Right here. Right now.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice and internal illumination with me as we prepare for a remarkable 2023!
(*) Italian. verb. ‘To cross over’