The Winter Solstice arrives in the northern hemisphere on December 21. It is the shortest day of the year, and a very powerful time on the Wheel of the Year. Here’s a closer look at what we’re celebrating on this meaningful seasonal day & how its energy influences you on a deeper level.
What are we celebrating on the Winter Solstice?
THE BIRTH OF THE SUN
The Winter Solstice is the moment the Sun is born again.
Ever since last year’s Winter Solstice the Sun has grown: from birth, to its height at the Summer Solstice, then declined through autumn, until its light finally died on the darkest night. When, simultaneously, it is born again. And a new cycle of life for the Sun begins.
At the Winter Solstice we celebrate the magnificent Sun: that on the darkest night it is born again – bringing a new year of life & growth with it.
THE RETURN OF THE LIGHT.
What a miracle, that on this shortest day – when it feels like we could just descend completely into darkness – the Light returns with the birth of the Sun.
For 6 months the days have been getting shorter as the darkness grew. But on the Winter Solstice, the Light returns. From here the days will continue to grow longer, brighter, warmer until the Sun is strong enough to return life to everything in nature.
At the Winter Solstice we celebrate this tiny new light. We celebrate the hope it brings, knowing it will continue to grow & deliver us from the cold, dark days. We celebrate the potential this tiny light holds. Anything is possible in the coming months! What new life will this tiny light grow??
THE BEGINNING OF A NEW YEAR.
With the birth of the Sun a new year begins. It’s the beginning of a new cycle of birth → growth → death in Nature; a whole new year of life, experiences & transformation. It’s a new chapter.
Which makes this a really hopeful & exciting time. Anything is possible in the year that lies ahead. Anything can grow in your life. It’s a time of pure potential.
And what a gift that we have this new beginning every year. This chance to go deep inside & emerge as a new version of ourselves. What growth & transformation will the year ahead bring??
What is the spiritual significance of the Winter Solstice?
There’s a very special stillness about the season we are entering. Even though everything appears dead & frozen in the outside world, a new cycle is beginning; it’s a new year. You can sense there is magic brewing deep down in the dark. Just like the spark of new life that appears deep in a mother’s womb, you can sense a quiet spark occurring within.
IT’S A NEW CHAPTER, A FRESH START.
The winter solstice is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It’s a new cycle of birth > growth > death in everything in nature. What will come to life for you this year? What will you nurture & grow? What harvests will your work yield in the coming year?
Who knows?!! We can’t know. But there is so much hope & anticipation contained in the possibility of what those might be. Often, this promise of a new beginning has us feeling inspired to set goals for ourselves, and make promises about all the things we’re going to do in the new year. Changes we’re going to make.
But, it’s actually important you don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself right now. This is not a time for action, this is a time for deep rest. Setting new year’s resolutions based on actions we want to take in our lives is too much pressure right now. We’re not meant to be accomplishing active goals right now, our job in winter is to rest.
THIS IS THE SEASON FOR DEEP REST.
Winter is meant to be a deeply nourishing time in your life. It’s meant to nurture you, and restore you. It’s meant to ground you & to calm your nervous-system – worn out from a long, hard year of life & growth & challenges.
I realize most of us don’t have the luxury of just hibernating over winter (like we should.) The ability to truly rest is a privilege – one that too many of us don’t have. Winter is asking you: can you lean into rest wherever you are able? Even if you don’t have the privilege of an abundance of restful time in your life, can you find small, simple places where you can embrace rest? Can resting receive just as much focus as your ‘to do’ list?
Because your spirit is so tired.
It’s been a long, hard year. You’ve been through a lot. You’ve worked hard, and you’ve stretched & grown in so many ways. (Whether you can see this growth or not doesn’t matter.) Simply living on Earth through the past year … You have grown. And you are tired. It’s so important that you rest right now, to rejuvenate your weary spirit for the new year ahead.
WINTER IS THE CHRYSALIS STAGE IN YOUR PERSONAL EVOLUTION.
Winter is the chrysalis stage in the evolution of the butterfly. It’s the time when the caterpillar is wrapped up quietly, in the dark of her cocoon. To the outside world it doesn’t look like anything is happening. (And this is one of the most challenging things about embracing rest: to the outside world it doesn’t look like anything is happening. Our brains scream at us, telling us “you’re not doing anything. You’re wasting your time.”) But actually, deep in the dark, a quiet transformation is happening: the caterpillar is evolving into a magnificent butterfly.
This is the same transformation your spirit, and all of nature, is undergoing this season. To the outside world life is still & quiet, there’s no movement. You don’t see anything meaningful happening. But in the darkness, hidden deep inside, a powerful transformation is occurring. You are evolving into a whole new place in your life.
All the experiences & lessons learned over the past year are being integrated into your spirit & into your life. And you are evolving because of it.
Your only work right now is to be like the caterpillar. You don’t have to do anything. Just wrap yourself, all snug in your cocoon, and simply rest.
THIS IS THE SEASON FOR DREAMING.
You need to rest, so you can dream. Right now you are dreaming up the dreams of everything that will grow in your life this year. You’re dreaming up new plans, new ideas, new ways of being that will blossom & grow, and become bountiful harvests in the year ahead. The dreams of everything to come this year are being sparked in your winter’s rest.
Winter is the season when things are revealed by turning deep within yourself. Embracing the quiet & the darkness – recognizing that you don’t need to do anything for the magic to unfold. This is the season of receiving.
New information, ideas, dreams for the new year are revealing themselves by turning inward. Right now you are able to receive Divine downloads, and wisdom from deep within yourself – if you’re able to get very still, and very quiet, and to simply open your spirit & your mind to receive them.
Create a lot of opportunities for yourself to dream this season. (Consider keeping a dream journal by your bed, and recording anything that comes into your mind & heart in the coming weeks.) You may not be able to see it or feel it, but deep & profound growth is happening this season. You are receiving spiritual downloads & divine wisdom from deep within yourself. You are dreaming the dreams of everything to come this year. And you need so much rest, and ample time to dream, in order to receive them.
A NEW LIGHT IS BEING LIT WITHIN YOU.
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day, but it’s also the moment the Sun begins to grow again. The light of a brand new year is being lit, deep within the darkness.
And the same thing is happening in you.
The dreams you are dreaming in winter are the sparks of new life that will grow in the year ahead. A new light is being lit within you right now, a new fire is beginning to burn. It brings with it new hope – anything is possible in the coming months. This is a time of pure potential.
And this is why it is so important that you take this time of rest so seriously. Your work right now is to rest – so you can dream up the dreams of everything to come this year.