Many Pagans, Witches, and those interested in Nature Spirituality celebrate the seasonal cycles. Sometimes referred to as the Pagan holidays or the Wheel of the Year, consisting of eight celebrations. Four of these festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain) are rooted in Celtic history and origins.
The other four (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice) represent the sun’s location.
The winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere occurs on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:59 a.m. EST.
For us on the northern part of Earth, the shortest day comes at the solstice. After the winter solstice, the days will get longer, and the nights shorter. It's a seasonal shift that nearly everyone notices. Earth has seasons because our world is tilted on its axis with respect to our orbit around the sun.
The spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice is celebrating the longest and darkest night here, and the slow return of the sun is upon us. We look forward to the brighter and warmer days ahead.
However, one needs to only look outside to see Nature’s reminder of slumber and dormancy. Now is a time forest, reflection, growth, and being fully present during this beautiful season.
Allow yourself to fully experience your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Only then can you begin to understand your darkness that may need healing. Working through these shadows allows transformation and emergence of inner strength, enlightenment, and wonderful beginnings.
Trust your emotions to inspire you because they are authentic, raw, and pure. Here in the stillness and quiet calm of Winter embrace healing, rest, and deep reflection.
Winter Solstice Rituals
Rituals during spiritual holidays are a wonderful opportunity to slow down, embrace our spirituality, and marvel at the wonders of Nature and the universe. A sacred moment to connect with the current season and our deepest self.
Altar or Sacred Space
Get creative and update your altar or sacred space to reflect Yule or Winter Solstice season.
Fire is a wonderful way to celebrate and honor light. By providing this as an offering can attract the warmth of the sun to return once again. A lovely ritual you could incorporate is tossing something into the fire that you’d like to stop or something you’d like to come to fruition. You could write things down on paper or toss something symbolic in!
Welcome the Light and Honor the Sun
Welcome and celebrate the sunrise! You can do this outdoors or indoors by a window. Personally, I enjoy bundling up, grabbing my favorite warm beverage, and quietly sitting outside. I think about what I’m grateful for and observe Nature all around me.
Yule and Winter Solstice is a wonderful time to reflect on the past year and all the stuff you’ve accumulated. As a minimalist, this is one of my favorite things to do! I always feel a huge weight lift when I declutter my home. I normally watch The Minimalism documentary (Netflix) and re-read Marie Kondo’s book. Take a cue from Marie Kondo and do not keep any item that does not bring you joy. This is also a great way to give back to those in need this time of year. Find local charities that can use coats, canned goods, or books!
Recognize Nature’s Balance
During Winter, just beneath the pure white snow and barren plants, Nature rests. Quietly building her magical energy to prepare for Spring. Set your own daily rituals or routines that will help bring balance and rest to your daily life. Remember Winter months can be difficult, especially for those who suffer from seasonal depression. What can you do to mirror Nature? What practices can you incorporate now, to emerge stronger and more energized come Spring?
I know ritual baths are recommended quite often, but this can truly be a wonderful way to connect spiritually with yourSelf. It’s a time where you can be left alone (probably) and can focus on your own thoughts, intentions, and breathwork. Make a whole ritual out of the process! Clean
your bath/shower beforehand with natural cleaners, play music or frequencies, light candles or incense, bring a journal, use crystals, add some herbs, bath bombs, Epsom salts.
Winter Solstice Spiritual Intentions
Intense ritual/shadow work
Rumination and reflection
Embracing the darkness
Celebrating with family and loved ones