Winter Solstice beckons us in closer to the hearth, closer to the family as well as closer to our most inner self.
The year has been spent, for better or worse, we have sowed and reaped. Now feels like a time of caring for our deepest selves, our soul selves. It is nice to put some portion of the day towards tending and nourishing the well from which we drink. Regardless of the weather, I always like to spend some time outside on this day. Nature is the ultimate cathedral in which to worship. Incidentally, the custom of bringing evergreens into the home comes from long ago when people wished to signify to the nature spirits that they were welcome, that safe shelter from the cold and dark outside could be found in a home so decorated. This tradition of welcoming the nature spirits and being in relationship with earth is in disrepair and we can see the impact of this all around us.
If you only manage one small ritual today, let it be a prayer for earth, a renewal of your connection with the wild and true home of all life.
As I am writing this morning, it is raining in buckets where I live – so, it appears that I won’t get to do one of my cherished solstice rituals which is to look for my shadow as the longest shadow you can cast is at noon on the winter solstice. Instead, I’ll connect with the shadow within, recognizing the dark as well as the light that we all hold.
When I meditate on the energy of winter solstice, I feel all the seeds snug in their earthen beds, deep below a shimmering blanket of fresh snow. Solstice at winter also feels like the pause at the bottom of the exhale, the ultimate exhale, really. Winter solstice is that moment –that precise moment before we begin to inhale, before the light begins to grow again. It is worth noting that some of the most profound healing in yoga happens in the pause between the breaths.
Today is the Winter Solstice. We are always blessed, each with Winter Solstice, with the Ursids – the meteor showers that begin in mid-December and run through the 26th. These showers are named for the radiant point which is located in the constellation Ursa Minor- the little bear.
The sky reminds us each year of the medicine of Bear, introspection and intuition blended with instinct. Bear medicine is about awakening the unconscious, like yoga. And, bear medicine is the power to restore harmony and balance – to heal. As we awaken and come to terms with the extent of Climate Change and so many living systems in disrepair and on the brink – remember the power we have to restore harmony and balance. It will take all of us, deeply committed to this aspect of our being, to begin and carry the great shift that is calling us.
And the moon is almost full. In Cancer, the sign of nurturing and home.
It’s magic y’all. Magic. There is no greater magic than being awake to the gift of Earth, her offerings, her beauty. Once you truly realize the magic of being on a small spinning blue and green ball, in a vast jeweled infinite sky – how can you not do everything in your power to protect this home, this life?
I am wishing you a happy Winter Solstice. I am wishing you a holy Winter Solstice. I am wishing you some time to tend your soul, tend your patch of Earth, your family, your community.
Awake to the magic and give thanks.