Kindle our inner fire!

Early nightfall. Crisp mornings. Fresh snow on bare branches. The signs of winter.

These darker months are the perfect time to turn inwards, become quieter, sleep longer and spend more time at home.

In the darkness of Midwinter when the days are shortest, Nature asks us to slow down and enjoy a cup of warm cacao and to listen rather than speak. Under the ground the earth silently sleeps. Seeds rest and animals hibernate.

Now picture a big city airport in the last two weeks of December. We humans fly from one part of the world to another, rush to the malls, stressing ourselves with the pressure of having the perfect home, decorated with the latest “must haves” and preparing the perfect meal for our guests.

However, nature is showing us that resting and drawing inward for a while, is present in all living things. Rest is necessary for growth that comes later in the season.

For people throughout the ages midwinter has been a significant time of reflection and renewal. The celebration of winter solstice, can help us create a deeper connection to nature and all the things that matter most to us. Let winter be the time where we feed and nurture our soul, not the time where we are stressed out and wish “these days” were over already.

So today we have arrived at the depth of Winter. As the solstice approached, the nights became longer and the days shorter, so that these days are the shortest of the year. The dark triumphs but only briefly.

There are two solstices within every 12-months and is either the longest day of the year (summertime) or the shortest day of the year (wintertime). The December solstice is known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere.

Solstice literally means “standstill of the Sun”. At winter solstice, the Sun travels farthest south in its orbital path and for about three days the Sun rises and sets at virtually the same place on the Horizon, appearing to stand still before slowly beginning its journey North.

The Solstice is a turning point. From now on until the summer solstice, the nights grow shorter and the days grow longer, the dark wanes and the Sun waxes in power.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
— Edgar Allan Poe

The winter solstice, and the darkness it brings, has had an influence on art, literature and mythology over the last centuries. During these days our ancestors would practice traditions and rituals that were focused on a celebration of life and the return of light. 

Enjoy yourself as much as possible on the winter solstice because pleasure and happiness brings back lightness into the world. During the dark of winter, invoke all the forces of pleasure and love which make life worth living. Another ancient midwinter custom is decorating with greens like rosemary, bay, laurel, holly, ivy and mistletoe.

This winter solstice is a special one as it starts just hours before the Capricorn New Moon this year. So this day is not just the beginning of a season it’s also the beginning of the month according to the moon, for it will renew itself just hours after the sun does.

Let’s welcome the sun back into our lives today and when the evening falls look up and search for the old moon in the arms of the new one.

Solstice Blessings and Happy New Moon!