Celebrating the Winter Solstice
In this blog, I’ll be exploring what the Winter Solstice is, its spiritual significance, how we may experience its energy at this time, and celebrating the Winter Solstice.
What is the Winter Solstice?
Solstices occur twice a year; one in the summer and one in the winter. The solstices are festival days in the Wheel of the Year. The Winter Solstice happens at the time of the year when the days are at their shortest and the nights are at their longest. In the northern hemisphere, it falls somewhere between 20th – 23rd December, and in the southern hemisphere it falls between 20th – 23rd June.
‘Solstice’ means ‘sun stands still’ or ‘standing of the sun’, and at this time of the year, for several days before and after the Winter Solstice, the sun appears to stand still in the sky.
You can check out my blog about the Summer Solstice here.
The Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the Year is celebrated by many spiritual seekers all over the world, including pagans, Wiccans, witches of all kinds, and also nature-lovers who do not follow a specific spiritual tradition. It celebrates the turning of the seasons, and those who follow its rhythms mark its seasonal festival days or ‘Sabbats’.
For more information about and rituals to honour the Wheel of the Year, including a special Yule Log Fire Ritual you can do to celebrate the Winter Solstice, you can join my membership, The Sanctuary here.
What does the Winter Solstice Mean Spiritually?
The Winter Solstice is a time of reflection and renewal. There is an invitation here to take a moment out of our normal lives to be still and connect to the bigger picture of where we are in our journey.
At this time, all of nature is resting and still – seeds and bulbs hide beneath the ground from the colder weather, and many animals hibernate. We too can use this time to rest and rejuvenate. There is great benefit to be had from allowing ourselves periods of retreat that can help us to nourish our bodies, minds and spirits and nurture the tender seeds of our own creations.
The Winter Solstice is also a celebration of rebirth. From this point in the year onwards, the days will lengthen and begin to get warmer. Nature will begin to show signs of growth and we, too will begin to venture outside of ourselves more.
So although right now, we are drawn to be indoors more, staying warm and conserving our energy, there is an awareness that the return of the sun is coming, and with it, new life and new adventures. As you stand on the threshold of the next six months, you may like to reflect on what you wish to draw into your life.
Celebrating the Winter Solstice
The Winter Solstice is traditionally a time of celebration and connection. If you are coming together with friends and family, you can create a special feast of seasonal foods and drinks (such as mulled wine and spiced cider) to celebrate. This is also a time of entertainment, so watching a dance show or play or enjoying music together is also a great thing to do at this time of the year.
If you are celebrating alone, then you can choose to really step into the energy of reflection that the Winter Solstice brings. Take time to think about your life, your hopes and dreams and what you have learnt from the last six months since the Summer Solstice. You may wish to create a special ceremony or ritual to mark the day.
Connect with your inner vision this solstice
Embrace the energy of the Winter Solstice with the Work Your Light Annual Visioning Process! Energetically review and release the 12-month cycle that you have just come through, so that you can clearly hear what seeds you are being called to plant and what grounded actions you are being called to take as you cross the threshold into the next 12-month cycle.
If you’d like some more inspiration on celebrating the Winter Solstice including the Yule Log Ritual, you can find that in my sacred membership The Sanctuary.