Winter Solstice is known for being the darkest day of the year. It definitely is up here in Northern Oregon. The day after Winter Solstice, the light of day slowly begins to increase. Right around Spring Equinox it is balanced with equal hours of light and dark again.
I enjoy reading and learning about how many cultures have used this day in ceremony and celebration. Two of my favorite ways to celebrate Winter Solstice is a Release/Bring Ceremony and The Returning of the Light Ceremony. Both are perfectly timed with going in and coming out of fall and winter dormancy, and that which is happening internally with many of us.
Winter is considered a time of darkness. In total darkness, you become acutely aware of yourself. Imagine yourself sitting in a completely dark room, and you have one candle lit. All your attention will go there. This lack of distractions, this darkness, lets you focus on your “soul’s soil”, which I explained in my last blog, Winter’s Gift: Feeding Your Soul’s Soil. As mentioned in this blog, winter is a great time to rebuild and repair your soul’s soil. But also important to your soils soil, is to understand that the day after Winter Solstice the light will increase. As light hits our soil, just like in nature, something, whatever seeds we have planted – intentionally or unintentionally, will emerge.
This time of darkness, lets us not only repair, but look deep, use this focused light on ourselves, and see what seeds are there. These days before the light is stronger are the perfect days to release what we don’t want to grow, and nurture and plant what we do.
For example, are there physical and emotional habits that you don’t want to keep repeating? Now is a great time to release them, and not let them make stronger roots. Move them out and make room in your soil for seeds that you want to grow as the light increases.
The Release / Bring Ceremony uses this time of year to weed out and plant what you want to take into the new year and have emerge come spring. [ Learn more about and how to do The Release / Bring Ceremony. ]
As you are looking around, you might find seeds, aspects of yourself, buried so deep that light might not be able to get to them. At some point in life, something made you want to bury them deep. My mentors of KaTaSee, call these aspects of your Song. These pieces of you I can help you start unburying if you find you need some guidance.
It took me a long time to see all the beauty and gifts winter brings. I believe many of my fears of this season had much to do with looking into my own darkness. Now I see how powerful this time is, how much of ourselves it actually illuminates when less is lit. Spending time just focusing on myself was very uncomfortable and I couldn’t wait for the light to focus on everything else. Now, the dark is an old friend, and I use this opportunity to build myself up, see what needs repairing, release what I don’t want to take into the new year, and plant all sorts of fun!
That being said, I love light. I’ve always been fond of the song, This Little Light of Mine. The line, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let is shine,” still literally lights me up. Here’s the cool part, we each have a light. We have a light, a beautiful loving strength, that can light up the dark. I repeat, we each have a light, a powerful light. It’s there inside. Some flicker small, some shine bright, but it’s there. Here’s the cooler part, it’s contagious. One light can spark or reignite another’s light. Who then can affect the next person’s light. And so on. This rolling fire when placed in a community can not only light up the night, but make the darkness recede completely.
Winter Solstice marks not only the darkest night of year, but it marks the returning of the light. It marks the our slow merging out of our time of self and dormancy, and a time to return to community, and the recognition of the beauty of community. The Ceremony, Return of Light, focus powerfully on this recognition. [ Learn more about and how to perform a Return of the Light Ceremony. ]
These are just two ways I personally connect to and enjoy the rhythms of this season. I love hearing and learning how others do, so please feel free to share yours with me at email@example.com
From Reg and I, we want to wish you all much peace in your darkness, a beautiful bright light, and a wonderful Winter Solstice.