Winter solstice marks the darkest depths of winter and the beginning of the return of the sun. It is a time to honour the ever turning wheel of the year, let go of things that no longer serve you and to give thanks for the passing of another season. One of the things I've notice in abundance this year is the call to slow down after Samhain. To really rest and turn to inward reflection. We are after all, cyclical beings that are part of nature and we can't be a energetic as we are in high summer, in these depths of winter.
If you saw my post this morning, you'll know why this is my first year of truly celebrating Winter Solstice. And as I've woven in rituals and ways to celebrate the return of the sun, it struck me how many of these have morphed into Christmas celebrations, but their origins can be traced back to Pagan and Celt traditions. It feels so much more aligned to be weaving in some traditions that I've always enjoyed each year, but also understanding the nature aligned purpose of why they're so beautiful to honour.
For the last couple of years, we've not had a tree. Instead I've bought off cuts of fir branches and decorated our fireplace and this year our conservatory. Fire has always been a big part of winter for us, especially through lockdown. We would go into the garden on cold clear nights, get the fire on to stargaze and marvel at the enormity of the universe.
Light always leads for me. We have simple stars in our windows, inspired by our travels in Norway, where the glow would guide seafarers back to shore and travellers home on the snowy winter nights and to welcome in light and warmth at the darkest depths of winter.
I am looking forward to getting up to watch sunrise out of the sea, immersing in nature from first light soaking in all the goodness. I am really feeling the call to get into woodland. So I am going to answer that call and spend the afternoon preparing a feast and ease into the evening reflecting on what Winter Solstice means to me. I've been working on re-decorating our conservatory, painting the walls and floor tiles, to create a space where we can do yoga and immerse in rituals in a beautiful nature connected space and I'm so excited to spend time there tomorrow. It brings me so much joy to share.....
Here's 10 simple and beautiful ways to celebrate Winter Solstice
1. Light candles or a fire: Create a warm and cosy atmosphere by lighting candles or a fire. This can be a beautiful way to honour the return of the light and the darkness of the winter solstice. The warmth and light of the fire can symbolise the return of the sun and most of all it creates a super atmosphere.
2. Clear the space: Using sage or palo santo, clear the space you're going to honour Winter Solstice in.
3. Reflect on the past year: Take some time to reflect on the past year and all that has happened. This can be a great opportunity to let go of anything that no longer serves you and to set intentions for the coming year.
4. Practice gratitude: Winter solstice encourages us to sink into our darkest depths. To see the shadows in ourselves, think about the light in ourselves and practice gratitude for this. Take some time to write down a list of things that you are grateful for and spend some time reflecting on them.
5. Follow self-care rituals: Winter solstice is a time to take care of yourself and nurture your body, mind, and spirit. There are some beautiful meditations on youtube and Spotify. If you're able to, move your body in a way that is comfortable and nourishing.
6. Connect with nature: Spend some time outside, even if it's just for a few minutes. Take in the beauty of the winter landscape and appreciate the natural world around you.
7. Bring nature indoors: branches with berries, pine cones, and holly. These elements can help to bring a sense of the outdoors inside and keep that connection to nature. I've filled my space with off cuts of pine tree, the scent is totally sublime.
8. Spend time with loved ones: Winter solstice is a great time to connect with loved ones and to celebrate the light and warmth that they bring to your life. One way to celebrate winter solstice is to have a feast, hearty winter vibes with roasted meats and veggies.
9. Practice self-care: Winter solstice is a time to take care of yourself and nurture your body, mind, and spirit. There are some beautiful meditations on youtube and Spotify. If you're able to, move your body in a way that is comfortable and nourishing.
10. Fill your space with herbs & incense: cinnamon, pine, nutmeg, cloves and mistletoe all bring in seasonal warmth.
How are you planning on celebrating Winter Solstice? I'd love to hear your ideas and rituals in the comments.
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