Once again, it’s time to enter a sacred cosmic gateway: the winter solstice! Amidst the turmoil of 2022, we could all use some much-needed peace, solitude, and nourishment right now. The solstice on Wednesday, December 21 invites us to turn inward, reflect, and reset.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. The reverse is true in the southern hemisphere… it is the longest day. Both are powerful threshold moments for respect.
Around this time, many cultures believe that the ideal Great Mother gave birth to a Sun Child. The Egyptian goddess Isis gave birth to the sun god Horus. The Greek Leto gave birth to a shining Apollo. In matrilineal religions, the goddess herself (Besana, Amaterasu and the Sun Woman) experiences a rebirth.
In keeping with the theme of rediscovery and lighting yourself up from within, here are some of my favorite rituals to do during this time of year:
1.Press the “listen button.”
Nothing new can come out when you are running here and there. You need silence and solitude to listen to your inner guidance. I often think of it as pressing a talk button to communicate with God, our Higher Self, and the world. We are constantly seeking information and feedback. Yet, without hitting the “listen button,” we miss out on the answer.
Use the solstice as an opportunity to unplug from all devices and give yourself some alone time. Spend time journaling about anything that comes to you.
2.Release what doesn’t serve you.
I once heard someone describe the old saying to hold on as carrying an old suitcase on your shoulders. At different stages of our lives, certain beliefs are essential for our growth. You wouldn’t give a 2-year-old a box of matches or let him walk alone on a crowded city street. However, there comes a time when you can safely light a match and cross the road yourself.
There is no point in sticking to old patterns that are destroying your success. There is no room for playing it small in this new season. Everyone’s light matters.
In the days ahead, take time to physically clear out the old (i.e., clean your home and clear your electronics) and also let go of energy that doesn’t serve you. Write down everything you created or took that doesn’t support you. Burn the paper safely in a fireproof bowl or fireplace. When the ash cools down, put it in the earth.
3.Go outside for sunrise and sunset.
At sunrise on the day of Sankranti, go outside and acknowledge the luminizing power of the Sun. Ask that it illuminates your heart and mind. Then blow bubbles or ring a bell to drive away regret, worry or anxiety.
Then, go outside and watch the sun go down on the shortest day of the year. Blow bubbles or ring a bell to share your hopes and dreams with the universe.
4.Shine your light.
The winter solstice gives us the promise of new life. How can you shine your light in the world? A small lamp can light up a lot of darkness. In this spirit, do some random acts of kindness this week.
Start by sending affirming, loving messages to friends. Say “I’m there for you,” “You’re amazing,” “I appreciate our friendship,” etc. This simple act can turn a bad day into something sweet. Don’t even hesitate to extend warm greetings to someone else in your life today. Tell the barista you appreciate her friendly attitude, compliment your coworker on a project, smile at a neighbor, or post a message on social media that is positive and inspiring.
5.Do a walking meditation.
Mindful walking can be a way to wake up our senses as we notice the sights, smells and sounds around us. Here are some pointers to make your next walk more mindful and allow you to be more fully present in your life:
Go outside and pay attention to the sensations in your feet as they touch the ground. Be intentional when you move and notice how your body feels. Can you feel the wind against your skin? Sun on your face? Pay attention to your breathing.
What do you see while walking? Really pay attention to color, shape, and texture. Take a walk down a street you don’t usually go down and discover something new about your town or city.
What do you listen to when you are on this walk? birds singing? Cars passing by? the children are playing?
Can you smell something good? Of clay? Companion perfume? Eating out from a nearby restaurant?
You can also rub a drop or two on your money before you use it to enhance prosperity.