This year's Winter Solstice is on Wednesday, December 21st. It is one of my favorite celebrations of the year. Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. It’s when the light is preparing to gently come back to us. We start to gain three minutes of daylight back each day following. There has always been something magical for me on that night. It’s the time right before Christmas and other holidays. It’s soon to be the first of a new year, and so it gets us thinking about what the new year will bring for us. The word solstice means the sun stands still. It reminds me of a retrograde time right before it gets ready to move in another direction.
In times past there were always celebrations with lights and greens from the trees outdoors symbolizing a time to bring back the light. A time to appreciate nature in its dormant state. We can see where some of our Christmas or holiday rituals came from. Cutting down a tree and decorating with lights is just one of them. Who knows where the gift-giving comes in. I almost feel this takes away from it all because people that don’t have a lot of money have to burden themselves trying to figure out where they will find the money to participate.
I usually have a big event where we gather, have an altar, do rituals, and share information about the upcoming year but this year I’m doing it on a smaller scale at my house. I suggest you take time out of your busy schedule to stop and think about what you have been grateful for this year. Then do a write and burn to release anything you no longer wish to carry in the New Year. Write it out, fold the paper away from you, and burn it. Then write what you would like to bring in for the New Year and fold the paper towards you. Be sure to bring to mind everything and everyone you are so grateful for. Then keep this paper in a safe place to review during the year. I always like to do this by candlelight because of this magical light. Have fun with it and enjoy the magic of this night.