10 Rituals & Ideas for the Winter Solstice
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"The Winter Solstice is the time of ending and beginning, a powerful time - a time to contemplate your immortality. A time to forgive, to be forgiven, and to make a fresh start. A time to awaken." - Frederick Lenz
The Winter Solstice is the beginning of a new solar year and marks the sun's rebirth. The Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, has been celebrated by our ancestors for hundreds of years. This is a magical and powerful moment, perfect for reflecting on the dark moments and welcoming the new solar year with a renewed energy and a positive attitude.
When is the Winter Solstice?
The Winter Solstice usually happens between the 21st or 22nd of December in the Northern Hemisphere. And between June 21st to 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. But on very exceptional occasions, Winter Solstice can occur on different days. Winter Solstice occurs in the shortest day and the longest night of the calendar year. The days following the Winter Solstice get longer, and the nights get smaller. This will continue until the summer solstice occurs when the longest day and the shortest night of the year happens.
Here are a few ideas to make your winter solstice even more magical.
1. Winter Solstice Lanterns
Winter Solstice lanterns represent that the light within ourselves can glow even when the light and heat of the sun fade away. Winter Solstice lanterns are usually burned to express the light that lives within us. The lanterns represent the light that returns in the deepest dark night of the year. You can do this with your family and/or friends. When you light up, your lanterns think of all the darkest moments you have been through this year and let yourself be guided by the light. The flame in the lantern represents hope.
2. Winter Solstice Log Ceremony
On the night of the Winter Solstice, it's common to gather some logs and make a fire to welcome the sun after the longest night of the year. Friends and family can join you, and while sitting around the fire, pass around some pencils and paper and write down everything you want to let go. Bad thoughts, painful experiences, or regrets. Write it all down, and once everyone is ready, throw the paper into the fire. Some people play the drums or howl as a group to seal the ceremony and welcome new beginnings.
3. Tree Blessing Ritual
Our ancestors used to decorate pine trees with candles and ornaments that would symbolize the sun, stars, and moon, as well as gifts to the Gods and Goddesses. This was viewed as an enduring symbol of life, throughout the dark periods of a cold winter. Nowadays, you can decorate a tree outside your home with your family and offer the animals with food supplies for the upcoming winter months. Bird feeders, nuts, and even garlands made with popcorn are often used for this ceremony.
4. Take an Ice Bath - Wim Hof Style
Taking an ice bath can be a powerful ritual to add to your solstice celebration. Nothing says new beginnings like immersing yourself in ice cold water and emerging victorious on the other side. Ice baths have many health benefits such as improving your mood, soothing sore muscles, sleeping better, boosting your metabolism and immune system and an overall feeling of relaxation. If you ever want to try this challenging ritual, it is important to follow the safety guidelines related to ice baths and never do it alone.
5. Welcome The Return Of The Light
Our ancestors used to stay up all night during the Winter Solstice to ensure that the sun would return the day after. Although now people who celebrate the Winter Solstice still say up, the reasons are a little different from our ancestors. Nowadays, people stay up all night to show their respect for the meaning behind the Winter Solstice and, of course, to watch the beautiful view of the return of the sun.
6. Candlelight Winter Solstice Feast
Even in ancient times, people would come together and celebrate the return of the light with a big feast. In modern days many of us celebrate similar holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. On this day, you can invite family and friends and have a night feast with candlelights to celebrate the return of the light.
7. Practice Gratitude
You can also see Gratitude as a symbol of new beginnings. Being grateful for everything you have and for all the people that are a part of your life can open yourself to receive positive energy. This can help you to live a more fulfilling and happy life. So on the night of the Winter Solstice, make sure to take some time to be grateful for everything that you have in your life.
8. Practice Yoga & Meditation
Meditation and yoga are rituals that connect you with the universe. The Winter Solstice signifies the "dark night of the soul," meaning that what happens outside of us also takes place inside of us. Winter Solstice celebrates the light after the darkness, which you can also channel when you do meditation and yoga. Let go of the dark thoughts and energy and be ready to be embraced by pure and positive energy.
9. Trying Something New
The Winter Solstice is also a symbol of a new journey for the sun, but this can signify new beginnings for you as well. On this day, you get to reflect on all the things that lead you here. As well as the changes that you need and want in your life. You can make a list of things that you want to accomplish this winter and make an effort to achieve everything on your list. Think of this as a bucket list for the wintertime. And by the time Spring arrives, you will not only be stronger but happier.
10. Set A New Routine
Start this new cycle of the sun with a more organized schedule so you can make the best of it. This will help you to manage your time much better and be more productive. You can also do this as a family to ensure that everyone will have a perfect and productive winter, where all of you can thrive and be successful. Start the new winter with a new attitude and a more organized schedule.
"One kind word can warm three winter months." - Japanese Proverb
The Winter Solstice is more than just the new cycle of the sun; this is the one night that you find the light in the darkness. The Winter Solstice is a symbol of hope and new beginnings. It's a chance to create a better life for yourself. Make this night a sign of change and commit to creating a better life for yourself-one where the light will guide you through the darkness.