The winter solstice celebrates the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.
If you aren't particularly religious or spiritual, you might feel like this has nothing to do with you. Actually, it does! The winter solstice is a time of quiet energy, where you get the opportunity to look within yourself and focus on what you want and need. It's a time to set goals and intentions for the coming year, to examine and let go of our past, and to make changes within ourselves. The solstice is essentially tied to a personal awakening.
Probably the most important spiritual meaning of the winter solstice is that this is a time meant to reflect and recreate yourself. You should spend at least an hour doing that on Dec. 21. Light a candle, keep the lights off, and embrace the darkness. Turn your phone off, and don't even think about using a laptop or your TV — not even your smart watch! Take some time to think deeply about yourself, your past, and what you want for your future. This is a time where you aren't harsh about your decisions, and you really let things go. Could there be a more perfect way to enter the new year? An important part of celebrating the solstice has always been showing your love to the people closest to you, like friends and family members.
In ancient times, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. They feared that one day there would be no daylight left. Over time, they realized that after this day each year the sun started moving towards them again.
As a result, solstice celebrations were created to celebrate the return of the sun. Many contemporary holiday traditions, including Christmas, were borrowed from these ancient solstice celebrations.
The primary intention of most winter solstice celebrations is to release the dark in favor of the light (the old in favor of the new) and to welcome back the light as each new day begins to grow longer and longer.
REFLECT, RELEASE AND LET GO
Write down everything that you would like to release and let go of, onto scraps of paper. Once done throw them in the fire and allow the flames to transform the darkness into light.
Having a solstice gathering? Invite your guest to join you in this activity.
Write down your intentions. An intention is a thing, idea, habit, etc., that you would like to bring into your life. I like to spend the time after the winter solstice creating intentions for the new year.