One day a year, Mother Earth and Father Sun conspire together to capture the dynamic cycle of human experience: Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and the shortest day of the year. In 2022, it falls on December 21, at 4:48 p.m. EST. This is when sunlight is scarce; we feel surrounded by darkness. Yet in the midst of our deepest, darkest fears, it all changes at the stroke of midnight. It is no longer the shortest day of the year! It is only the second shortest!
In this moment, the earth, the sun, and all of us, are reborn.
We move forward with the knowledge that it will soon be spring: plants will come to life; babies will be born; animals will end their hibernation. No wonder this day is the subject of so many creation stories explaining the cycle of life.
Here is a sample of one of those stories.
A Sacred Being, who will bring good crops and prosperity, is conceived on the night of the Winter Solstice. As the days get longer, this Sacred Being grows, and is born in the sunshine and warmth of the spring. The Sacred’s life gives life to the crops as they grow. Then comes the harvest, and the days begin to get shorter and colder.
The Sacred Being becomes old and weak. Death, the greatest foe of all, challenges the Sacred. The enemy wins. The Sacred Being dies and the Earth is plunged into darkness and winter. Three magical birds arrive. They scoop up drops of the Sacred’s blood, or life-force. At midnight on the Winter Solstice, the blood fertilizes the egg that will give birth to the Sacred Being in the Spring. Light returns to Mother Earth. The cycle of life continues. It is traditional to light a fire, or candle at midnight to symbolize rebirth.
This story reminds us that even when life is at its darkest, there is still the promise of light to come. In the midst of winter’s long cold, dark nights, this can be hard to remember. Science has actually confirmed psychological changes in people and animals due to seasonal changes in light. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a fancy way of saying a person is depressed because they are not getting enough sunlight. Add winter’s chill to this and our minds and bodies feel stuck, stiff, and painful.
Now here’s where it gets really interesting.
Neurologists tell us the spot in the brain that registers depression is right next to the spot that registers pain. If the depression area fires off, it can activate the pain area, and we end up both depressed and in pain. This also means that if we are in pain, our brain is most likely triggering our depression response too. We can end up in a negative feedback loop that keeps us in permanent winter darkness.
Break the cycle! This is the perfect day to claim your freedom! Winter Solstice challenges us to shift our perspective. Stop cursing the darkness, light a fire, and celebrate the longest night of the year.
There are several ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice: from private reflection to hosting a giant party. Here are two ideas that lend themselves to both. Most of all, have fun and follow the light of your intuition.
Orange Pomanders for the Winter Solstice
One creative tradition is to make orange pomanders. Decorate fresh oranges with whole cloves and other warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. These oranges remind us, in the dead of winter, that life is sweet, juicy, and spicy!
Pomanders perk up rooms that feel damp and cold and give us an aromatherapy treatment at the same time. Have fun creating patterns and decorations. For example, a spiral reminds us of the cycle of life, a starburst reminds us of the coming light. Add ribbons and other decorations that make you smile.
A simple ceremony to celebrate the passage of the Winter Solstice is the “Life and Death Prayer Scrolls.”
Take a moment to reflect on the past year. What went right? What didn’t? What deserved an award? What events stand out in your mind? Take all of these thoughts and feelings into your ceremony.
Ceremony is the most important element of this process. Ceremony focuses our thoughts and intentions. Focus is the key to manifesting. Combine ceremony with focus, gratitude, and unconditional love, and the universe will hear you and respond!
Life and Death Prayer Scrolls Winter Solstice Ceremony
- Take two pieces of paper and your favorite pen. Label the first piece of paper “DEATH.” Label the second piece of paper “LIFE.”
- On the DEATH list, write down anything you want to release from your life. You can write down one item, or hundreds. Examples might be, “anger,” or “negative thoughts toward _______.” You fill in the blank. Roll up the paper and tie it with a plain string.
- On the LIFE list, write down things you want to attract to your life. Examples might be, “joy,” “a true partner,” “a new career.” On this list, details count. Be as specific as possible about what you want to create. Write down what feels right to you in the moment. Remember, you can always do another list. Roll up the paper and decorate it with beautiful ribbons, artwork, flowers, beads, whatever allows you to express your feelings. It is also ok to keep it simple. Trust your intuition.
Now it’s time to put these prayers into action.
- Hold the two scrolls in your hands and say a personal prayer. Tell the universe what you have written on your scrolls. State what you are grateful for during the past year, and what you want to improve. Send unconditional love and forgiveness to everyone you have interacted with during the past year. Remember to include yourself!
- Take the DEATH scroll and find a safe place to burn it. This can be anything from an outside fire pit to an ashtray in your sink. Feel yourself releasing the old energy as you light the scroll. See and feel the energy of the list being broken up, purified, and disbursed in the air. Remember – safety first when using an open flame!
- If you have access to an area of nature, take the LIFE scroll there. If you do not, find a comfortable place at home to settle in and feel the energies as if you were in nature.
- Tell Mother Earth and the universe everything on your LIFE scroll. Thank them for all they have given to you. Take the scroll, hold it to your heart and see and feel its beauty. See the light in the things you are attracting, feel their warmth. Feel the new energy arriving into your aura, creating sparkles all around you.
- Now let the scroll go. If you are in nature, tie the scroll to a tree, or throw it in a moving river or the ocean. Then walk away without looking back. If you are at home, burn it safely as you did the other scroll. This time see the smoke carrying your prayers to heaven and your higher angels. Either way, know that your prayers have been received.
I hope you will join me for my Winter Solstice guided meditation. This is a special journey where your personal angel will guide you to celebrate the Winter Solstice and activate your light.
Thank you all for your support during this past year. I am grateful to have each of you in my life. You add the sweetness, juiciness, and spiciness! I send to you the gifts of Reiki healing, unconditional love, and forgiveness.
Have a happy Winter Solstice! May your New Year be filled with light, love, joy, and spice!
Once you've mastered this Winter Solstice Meditation, there are more you can enjoy including this additional Winter Solstice Meditation by Psychic Izzy and this Guided Meditation for Winter by Psychic Lacey.