The Winter Solstice is a time of year that has been celebrated for millennia, across cultures and continents. It usually falls around December 21st.
The energy of the Winter Solstice is vibrant, celebratory, illuminating and deeply reflective. Although this opportunity to go inward falls on the busy holiday season, even just a few reflective hours alone can help ease the transition through the season.
Read on to learn about the Winter Solstice, what it is, and find a few rituals you can use to celebrate and bring mindfulness into the solstice cycle.
What Is the Winter Solstice?
Occurring between December 21-24 each year, the Winter Solstice (northern hemisphere) is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night.
The counterpart of this day is the Summer Solstice, when we experience the longest day and the shortest night, occurring between June 21-23.
The Winter Solstice marks a return to light from the darkness that we experience . . . within ourselves and in nature.
During about a 3-day period, the sun rises and sets at the same point on the horizon, appearing to stand still. Cultures have long honored this significant return of the light, longer days, and a retreat from the darkness that preceded it.
This transition is life-giving.
You can celebrate the Winter Solstice through rituals and ceremonies that can help you amplify your own vibration and more deeply align with the energy of the changing seasons and release unwanted darkness that is no longer serving you.
Celebrate the Winter Solstice With These 5 Rituals:
The seasonal transition from fall to winter is a time to reflect and go within. While it’s a tough transition for many, there are ways we can embrace the changing seasons.
Try these rituals to celebrate the Winter Solstice and help you ease into the transition of seasons.
1. Burn a List of Things to Release
Release to rise. What do you need to let go of to expand into your truest self?
Is it fear? Stress? Worry? Regret? A lack-based mentality? After you have your list, read it aloud, take a moment to genuinely say goodbye to each item, and toss it in the fireplace or another fire-safe vestibule.
Here’s How to Perform a Burning Ceremony to Let Go and Move On
2. Practice 108 Sun Salutations
In some yogic traditions, the change of the season is celebrated by doing 108 sun salutations. A sun salutation is a sequence of yoga poses that are practiced linking breath to movement. The number 108 is considered sacred in yoga, numerology, Ayurveda, astronomy and in meditation.
It’s common for people to practice a smaller ratio of sun salutations than 108, like 10 or 18. Interested in learning more about sun salutations and how to practice them?
Learn How to Practice Sun Salutations on YA Classes
Learn the basics of sun salutations and practice them on YouAligned Classes.
3. Nourish Your Body With Grounding and Warming Foods
Mother Nature knows what our bodies need to thrive. She ripens fruits and vegetables at just the right time throughout the year so that we can gain the vitamins, minerals, and energy from our food that we may be lacking.
Warm the body from the inside out to stoke the light within.
Winter calls for root vegetables, thick stews and soups, and spices such as ginger and turmeric. This will also help boost immunity. Eat up to warm up.
Treat yourself to a warming turmeric latte with this recipe: Boost Your Immunity with This Delicious Turmeric Latte Recipe
4. Declutter Your Space
The winter solstice marks the change of the season, and with the new energy of winter comes a fresh opportunity to cleanse and declutter our home space. You may feel heightened inspiration around this time of year to do a deep clean or declutter a room or area in your home.
Not feeling so motivated? Add the benefit of giving back by making a pile things you no longer use that you can donate or give away. Clearing excess belongings will help clear the energy of your space – a perfect way to celebrate the changing of the season!
Get Rid of These 25 Things to Declutter Your Life
5. Set Your Winter Solstice Intention
Living with intention brings power into every moment by aligning our thoughts, words, and actions with what we seek to manifest. Set aside some time to reflect or journal about what you want your intention to be for the winter solstice, and the winter season.
How do you want to show up for yourself this time of year? What do you need? What are you seeking to manifest or create this season? Intentions are even more powerful when we write them down and revisit them often.
BONUS Winter Solstice Ritual: Give Back
The holiday season is a time that many are reminded of how blessed, fortunate, loved, and supported they are. But for many, this is a time of lack, loss, pain, and scarcity.
If you find yourself with abundance and the desire to share your blessings, give back to those with less by volunteering, purchasing gifts for families, donating food, or performing random acts of kindness.
Your efforts will illuminate someone’s darkness and remind them that there is always light to be found.
This Winter Solstice, Be the Light
Winter Solstice is not the only time of year to honor the light and darkness that we all contain, and reflect on the year.
There will be ebbs and flows throughout the year and you can draw on these same rituals to eradicate the darkness and invite the light to come back into your life and ease through any transition, not just seasonal.
Remember that you are always guided, supported, and loved.
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