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The scoop on Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is approaching on Wednesday, Dec. 21st. Historically, this was referred to as "Yule" and is what gave rise to the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating "Christmas." Not to go religion on you here, but religious scholars note that Christ's birth day was more likely in March then December, but in the Romans' conquest of Europe, they aligned their holy day celebrations with the more traditional celebrations of the locals in an attempt to gain more receptivity and adherence to their Roman Catholic belief system. Hence, they created "Christmas" near the time of the Winter Solstice and elected to celebrate it as the day of Christ's birth. Fitting, don't you think, since he is referred to as "the light of the world?" This will make more sense as you read on below...

Every year on the Winter Solstice, we have the longest and darkest night of the year that gives birth to the days beginning to lengthen thereafter. The Winter Solstice is a celebration of the "rebirth of the Sun" and traditionally is about regeneration, renewal, and self-reflection. The belief is that light reigns over darkness, even over the longest, coldest night of the year. Traditionally, candles were lit, fires were burnt, and celebrations happened the night long since the returning of the Sun was seen as a sign of good things to come.

Winter Solstice is also about our inner soul light and its capacity to shine through any darkness. Even the slightest hint of light can overtake the darkness of a space. And it is through the hard-earned cracks of hardship and struggle that the light enters.

This is a powerful time to shift from our old ways to new ones that serve us better, and to set new intentions for our future. The window from the New Moon of November to the New Moon of January is a potent time to plant the seeds for what we want to grow in our life, for planting the seeds that will grow into the kind of year we want to have next year.

You might say that energetically, the Winter Solstice is the beginning of our New Year. Can you start cultivating right now what you want your year to become, through the way you interact with life around you? Can you imagine how it will feel to have the fruits of your endeavors already met and ready to harvest in your life?

Here are four fun ways to get you in sync with Winter Solstice energy:

  • Write down the past year's highlights and lessons, the ones you liked and didn't like, and what you learned through them.

  • Consider what parts of yourself you like and want to grow, as well as what parts of yourself you don't like and want to change. Write them down as a way of committing to specific changes.

  • Watch the sunset on the shortest day of the year and then the sunrise the next morning as the days begin to grow. Or just get up on Dec. 22nd to witness the sunrise as the Sun's power begins to return.

  • Light a special candle in the evenings to honor your soul light and to remember that it shines through any darkness.