Winter Solstice falls this year on Wednesday 21st December, the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight and because of this it is a celebration of going from the darkness of the winter months into the light of the spring and summer. It is a time for renewal, rebirth, a celebration of the new, and leaving the old behind.
The Winter Solstice has been a significant time of year for our ancestors stretching back to the dawn of human civilisation, and in many cultures was marked by festivals and rituals. It was the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun; as the gradual waning of daylight hours is reversed and the light begins to grow again. In fact, many of the traditions we associate with Christmas come from earlier Winter Solstice customs and were woven into what we now know as Christmas.
The Christmas wreath, a symbol adapted from Frigga’s Wheel of Fate, reminds us of the cycle of the seasons and the continuity of life.
Use this powerful light festival to let go of your old anchors attaching you to the past, things that have happened cannot be changed, but if dwelled upon and not released they can hold you back in the now and no matter how much we think about them, or regret them, they have still happened and nothing will change this; but they can still affect us in the now, limit us, hold us back, and the Winter Solstice is the best time to release these anchors, to refresh ourselves for the year ahead.
To mark the occasion you could light candles or tea lights as a way to symbolise the increasing light. Light always shines the brightest in the dark, use this powerful metaphor to remind yourselves of our own inner light, and of the need to acknowledge our own darkness. Or you could simply spend some quality time with loved ones on a nurturing walk in the natural world, gathering winter foliage such as holly, mistletoe, pinecones and evergreen sprigs, taking moments to be silent and connect with nature.
Remember that the Winter Solstice is not about religion. It is about a natural occurrence in the earth, the planet spinning on as it always has. It is about being connected to Mother Nature and the elements.