No matter what our spiritual beliefs, or what part of the world we live, we all share the turning of the sun on the solstices.

The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and marks the beginning of winter and the return of the sun. It is the shortest day of the year and, as the days get longer, we have the opportunity for a new beginning.

This is a natural time for letting go and saying farewell. Release your resentments and regrets into the darkness, knowing they will be transformed with the return of the light. Renew your visions for the new year and remember that it’s important not to judge yourself by “success” or “failure” in this past year but by the true quality of how you lived your life and whether you were a good influence on your world.

In the coming year, try to create enriching experiences for yourself and continue to look forward. You can shape your life more positively, with awareness and intention. Dedicate all of your happy, joyful experiences to every living being that is able to share that good energy, and dedicate all of your painful, difficult experiences to uplifting  yourself and others.

Death and rebirth, the passing of the old and the slow emergence of the new. Helping one another through the dark. Sharing with the less fortunate. Being thankful for our past blessings and for prosperity in the future. The natural cycles of our world. All of this is the spirit of the season I celebrate.

Celebration Ideas

This year for the solistice I plan on lighting some candles and reflecting on all of the things I’m grateful for from the past year and letting go of all the resentments I might hold. One way to do that is to write down any resentments on a small post-it note and then burn the post-it in the flame of the candle.

Here are a few ideas that for celebrating the solstice:

  • Greet the sun at dawn on solstice morning by ringing bells.
  • Create rituals, having feasts (pot-luck), and a gift exchange
  • Create your own family tradition by gathering in a circle around candles. Each person can light a candle and talk about something they’re grateful for or something they wish for another person in the coming year.
  • Gather around a bond fire and have each person state what they would like to give up about the past and what the envision for the future.
  • Light candles: a different candle for each of the twelve months on the 12 days before the solstice. Light the center candle on solstice day (represents the return of the light)
  • Contribute to wellness on the planet: donate food or clothing, meditate for world peace, make a pledge to do some form of good in the coming year.

Creating a meaningful celebration of winter solstice can help us cultivate a deeper connection to nature and family and all the things that matter most to us. Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

Photo by Rebecca Triplett-Johnson

Photo by Rebecca Triplett-Johnson